Ernesto “Ernie” T. Talag Sensei, 6th Dan Aikido Yuishinkai, Founder/Chief Instructor of Ki Association international (KI-AI), throws seminar host Lodel Magbanua Sensei, 1st Dan KI-AI, using kokyu nage during the Yuishinkai Aikido Seminar & Belting Advancement last September 8, 2012 at the 3/F High School Bldg., St. John’s Institute (Hua Ming), Hilado St., Bacolod City, Negros Occidental (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
Ernesto “Ernie” T. Talag Sensei, 6th Dan Aikido Yuishinkai, Founder/Chief Instructor of Ki Association international (KI-AI), and seminar host Lodel Magbanua Sensei, 1st Dan KI-AI, pose with participants of the Yuishinkai Aikido Seminar & Belting Advancement last September 8, 2012 at the 3/F High School Bldg., St. John’s Institute (Hua Ming), Hilado St., Bacolod City, Negros Occidental (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
Ernesto “Ernie” Tallada Talag Sensei, 6th Dan Aikido Yuishinkai, conducted the Yuishinkai Aikido Seminar & Belting Advancement through the invitation of Bacolod Aikido Yuishinkai (BAY) of Lodel Magbanua Sensei, 1st Dan KI-AI, last September 8, 2012 at the 3/F High School Bldg., St. John’s Institute (Hua Ming), Hilado St., Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
A total of 19 aikidokas representing four groups in Bacolod City were in attendance.
Talag Sensei is one of the Philippines’ pioneers of Aikido, having started his training in the art in 1963 under Benjamin Galarpe, who is named by many as “The Father of Aikido in the Philippines” and the Founder of the Manila Aikido Club (MAC), the country’s first Aikido club. In 1965, Tohei, Koichi Sensei (1920-2011), then the Chief Instructor of the Aikikai Hombu (headquarters) in Japan, 10th Dan (by 1969), visited the Philippines. Talag Sensei eventually came under the direct supervision of Tohei Sensei.
Tohei Sensei resigned from the Aikikai, and started his own organization, the Ki no Kenkyukai (Ki Society), and system, Shinshintoitsu Aikido, in September 1971. Talag Sensei corresponded with Tohei Sensei and expressed his intention to be part of his new organization. In 1977, Maruyama, Koretoshi Sensei (B: 1936), a uchideshi “inner disciple” of Aikido Founder Ueshiba, Morihei (1883-1969) and then the World Chief Instructor of the new organization, tested and evaluated a number of Filipino Aikido instructors to chose from them the sole authorized representative and Chief Instructor of the Ki Society in the Philippines. Talag Sensei served in that capacity from that time on until he resigned from the organization in 1998 due to administrative reasons and founded his independent organization, Ki Association international (KI-AI).
In the first half of 2007, Talag Sensei was invited to join the Aikido Yuishinkai International (AYI), an organization founded by Maruyama Sensei in 1996, and his KI-AI was consequently affiliated with AYI. After serving as Chief Instructor of Ki no Kenkyukai for 21 years, Talag Sensei held the rank of 2nd Dan. Thus, Maruyama Sensei awarded Talag Sensei his 6th Dan in Aikido, which is more reflective of his more than four decades of Aikido experience in training and teaching (time in grade).
The seminar held by Talag Sensei was historic in that it was the third time that a master-level Aikido instructor conducted an OPEN seminar in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental. The first one was R. Jun Batobalani Shihan, 6th Dan Aikikai, who visited on October 20-21, 2001 with the sponsorship of Danagayan Singkaw-Ryu Aikidokan of this writer, Hansy Alojado, and Victorio Perez Sensei, and Fukakusa, Motohiro Shihan of Thailand, 7th Dan Aikikai, in March 2005 through the Kyokan Dojo of Stella and Noel Fuentes Senseis. Talag Sensei, however, was the first to introduce the Yuishinkai system via the seminar circuit.
The seed from which the seminar sprouted was freelance artist and comedian Anthony Peter Yulo, who urged Magbanua Sensei to bring Talag Sensei to Bacolod for a workshop. Since Manila is the center of Aikido activity, aikidokas from Bacolod would have to spend thousands of pesos for fare and accommodations to attend seminars in the NCR by visiting Aikido masters. Magbanua Sensei, who used to train under Rene F. Cornel Sensei (1951-2005) in Bacolod, started his studies with Talag Sensei in Manila in 1991, while managing NGO’s; Cornel Sensei was once Talag Sensei’s representative in Bacolod. Magbanua Sensei, who had been a long time 1st Dan under Talag Sensei, has a small group in Bacolod, the latest revival of which was last September 2011. Most of the attendees of the seminar were from this group.
Talag Sensei focused on the foundation of the Yuishinkai system which is the harnessing of ki “energy/life force” through relaxing the body during movements. This foundation is then applied to the basic kokyu nage “breath throw,” kokyu dosa, and a few other techniques. A consummate teacher, Talag Sensei initially made participants do the movement before explaining the biomechanics behind them, thereby facilitating better comprehension. The afternoon session also included some jo “short stick” techniques.
Those who attended the seminar were Lodel Magbanua Sensei, David Cruz, Riza Ledona, Joseph Magbanua, Christopher Ramos, Jeanne Ramos, Reanna Ramos, Garrick Sajo, Jonathan Talbot, Jeremy Viendo, Anthony Peter Yulo, and Dowie Yulo of Bacolod Aikido Yuishinkai (BAY), James U. Sy Jr. Sensei of Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., Roy R. Flores Sr. Sensei and Jimmy Soquiña Sensei of Tribu Hangaway Philippines (THP), and Noel “Nonong” Fuentes Sensei, Kenneth Lee. O. Materum, Joseph Gupo, and John Solo Moncada of Kyokan Dojo.