Sunday, September 10, 2006

ASJ moment #2

If ASJ's number one moment was the home birth of my daughter Jennifer, then the second was a much more extended moment: watching her grow up. She lived in the dojo for her first 9 years until her mom and I separated then later divorced. After that she spent nights on a regular basis with me but lived basically with her mom.

She and I got to spend a lot of time together in her formative years. After she was up and around she would come with me to teach classes at San Jose State. She was around a lot when I was teaching kid's classes. I remember one class when she was really young and her mom was in the hospitol I taught classes holding her in one arm and intructing with the other. She basically grew up watching aikido and had a lot of innate talent. She later joined the kids' class and got all the way up to 4th kyu(blue belt) before stopping in Middle School.

Jenny @ Aikido West mid-1980's
As she grew a little older parents at the dojo would bring their children with them to play with Jenny. Jenny was a great organizer and would lead the kids in mini-caravans along the edge of the mat. Jenny is a definite extrovert(as I am introverted) and I think she might have gotten some of that during this period.

Jenny got to meet a lot of famous Aikido teachers when they came to teach at the old dojo in Japantown. One instance that comes to mind was when Frank Doran brought Saotome sensei to our dojo. In the afternoon period before the evening class
we all went to a matinee showing of the film "Ghandi". Jenny met the current Doshu when he came to teach in the mid 80's. Of course at that time he was Waka-sensei(young master in training). I introduced Jenny to him as our Waka-sensei. She also met Steven Seagal when he taught a seminar here in 1990.

When she was a toddler I used to take ukemi for her after class. I have a couple of photos of this taken at Aikido West during a break between seminar classes in the 80's. As you can see, she had lots of ki. Her movements were very spontaneous, powerful, and joyful.

I know that when we moved from our old place to our current location in 2001, she was very sad. After all, the old dojo was the place she came into the world.


Blogger Pablo Escabar said...

Very interesting story!

1:14 PM  

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