Traditional Japanese Martial Arts for Adults
Martial Arts Celebrity Visits Castle Rock
Seminar with Matsuoka Sensei Big Success!
Over Super bowl weekend, Castle Rock AIKIDO, a martial arts school exclusively for adults, hosted a three day seminar with a guest from the Hollywood area. Haruo Matsuoka was actor Steven Seagal's martial arts partner for almost twenty years. Matsuoka has acted in and performed stunts in popular martial arts movies including, Above the Law, Hard to Kill, and The Glimmer Man.
Matsuoka "Sensei" or "teacher" was born in Osaka, Japan in the late 1950s. In the early 1980s he moved to the United States with his American born
instructor, Steven Seagal, who had been teaching martial arts in Japan and was an emerging martial arts movie star in Hollywood at the time. In more recent years, Matsuoka Sensei teaches the Japanese martial art of Aikido (pronounced 'eye'-'key'-'doh') at his two California martial arts schools; one in Culver City, the other closer to his home in Orange County.
A very busy man in California, Matsuoka Sensei still finds time to travel to European countries like France and Spain regularly to teach Aikido. While he has taught martial arts seminars in Russia to as many as 500 students at a time, this past weekend he accepted an invitation to come teach a very intimate seminar to 25 dedicated Aikido students at Castle Rock AIKIDO's new martial arts facility at 185 Caprice Court. Police officer, JD Paul came down from Steamboat Springs to attend the seminar. "I've wanted to study with Matsuoka Sensei for many years," he said. "There is an old saying: 'When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.' But, I had no idea that this martial arts master would ever appear here in Colorado!"
During the seminar, Matsuoka Sensei focused not so much on high-flying, board-breaking techniques that are often expected, but instead on the subtleties of one's body awareness, economy of movement, and a neutral, balanced posture. Repeatedly, Matsuoka Sensei spoke of moving one's body as an integrated, connected whole instead of in an overly-mechanical, step-by-step fashion. He illustrated the importance of fluidity, instead of rigidity, and powerfully demonstrated how an opponent will innately react with tension if you initiate a self-defense move with your own tension, thus creating a stalemate. Matsuoka Sensei showed the students that, contrary to popular belief, the speed of a self-defense technique is a function of softness instead of hardness.
Guest from all over the Denver Metro area attended the seminar. Matsuoka's teaching were very well received by the seminar attendees. "He's an inspiration, not Justas a martial artist, but as a human being, as well. Matsuoka Sensei possesses a friendly disposition, a calming confidence, vibrant health, and he exudes a charisma that many people, no doubt desire in themselves, "say Sean Hannon, owner of the dojo. "We were very fortunate to have such a master join us herein Castle Rock. We look forward to hosting him again."