Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Of 30th Anni versary Celebrations & Big Mike

On Saturday, Aug. 19th, we had a special beach training and picnic at Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz. It was a beautiful late summer day, windy, and a little on the brisk side. A group of about 20 dojo members, ranging from very new people to very veteran students, assembled. We did about an hour of free-form staff movements, combining 4 and 8 direction movements with some partner practices. I'm just getting comfortable with teaching some of this stuff, and more on this in future blogs.

The training was followed by a picnic. Special thanks to Mark Kato for his hot dish, which went real well in the brisk surroundings of the day. There was a period of just hanging out, and then some of us went a little bit into some of the 30 year history of the dojo. For me the whole concept of teaching at the dojo began in early summer of 1976. I had been back from Japan for a little over a year and was teaching at UC Santa Cruz. At the time I was living in a small apartment close to the Twin Lakes beach in Santa Cruz. I received a phone call:"Robert Nadeau here. There is a dojo happening real quick here in San Jose. Do you want to be a part of it?" And the rest is history. Of course that was the dojo in its original location in San Jose's Japantown. I originally taught Friday nights, slept over in the office, then taught both the early kids' class on Saturday and then the adult class. I also started training Monday nights at Nadeau sensei's class, fascinated by his energy approach to the art. He combined fascinating and experiential energy work with very grounded movement, something that is still unique today.

On a sad note, I learned that Mike Collins, or "Big" Mike as he is affectionately known, is battling a malignant brain tumor. He is certainly a beloved and very valued member of our dojo community. Let us all join together in wishing him well and sending both him and his family good energy.


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