Monday, June 30, 2008

Aikido Demo plus 100degrees F.

On Thursday May 15th Aikido of San Jose gave an Aikido demonstration at the Peninsula Regent in San Mateo. TPR is run by none other than our own Maurice Gregoire,who assisted in the presentation. Others helping out were Steve Tsao and Michael Hayes. The temperature outside that day was 104 degrees. It was hot.

I knew that Tim Lincecum would be pitching for the Giants that day and bringing it close to 100 mph. But Mother Nature beat him on the radar gun that day. We had blue folding mats that were literally on fire. Even in socks we couldn't stay on the mat for longer than 10 seconds. So we did a lot of verbal presentation and fortunately there was a nice soft and cool(by comparison) lawn. Also, TPR provided a GREAT sound system, so the lecture given along with the movements was very clear. So I'm hoping you enjoy this clip. It is always nice to visit the people at TPR and special thanks to Maurice for setting it up and to Steve and Mike for helping out.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Friday nights

Lately on the 7:30 to 8:30pm portion of we have been having theme nights. We've covered the long staff form(aikibojutsu no ikkyo) as well as some counters. So if you're interested in seeing something covered, you can let me know by either personally mentioning it or e-mailing me at So far it has been a lot of fun to do things we don't normally do. It's a challenge for me to structure the classes around techniques and concepts that are a little different and not commonly covered.

There seems to be a lot of interest in the long staff form. So we'll review that for awhile. Eventually I'd like to do some staff free-form. We could do some sound or chanting. Sword taking, staff taking. Sword to sword, staff to staff. Knife taking. There may be some forms you'd like to see covered that we often don't get to.

I'd like to thank Karen Williams for taking the following video of the long staff. She has also been extremely helpful in coming up with topics for the Friday nites.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Retreat 2008

Well, I've been back almost a week from the Menlo Summer Retreat. It was quite an event. I went last year and had a great time. This year I was a featured guest instructor, so it was a little different. I still had fun. However, there was a lot more responsibility having to teach a class a day. And with over a hundred people attending the retreat, there were lots and lots of people. Sort of like playing Carnegie Hall. A memorable event to be sure.

Sharing the teaching responsibilities with sensei's Nadeau, Doran, and Ikeda was quite an honor. They each have their own styles and approaches, so it is quite interesting to see new people exposed to quite a lot of variety in terms of classes. I liken it to attending a trade show. It is fun to see what they are into. The food was standard camp fare, not memorable but okay enough most days.

The earlier retreats were held at Dominican College in San Rafael. They were memorable and at times held in extreme heat. This year we had some very warm days, but no hot days. The hot days are here now.

There is another summer camp coming up in Santa Cruz next month, July 9th through the 13th. I'm not sure about the status of drop ins or even late registration for that camp, but when I find out, I'll make sure it's posted. I think anyone wishing to can check in at

One amusing camp aside was when Nadeau sensei asked me to help him out with a comic book superhero name."The Green One," he said. Now my mind wondered whether he meant Green Lantern or The Incredible Hulk. From the flow of the class I guessed the latter and was right. Speaking of which, I caught the film last night and really liked it. I found the earlier one a little flat for some reason. The new one with Ed Norton is much more in touch with Stan Lee's original concepts for the character. I think you will enjoy it if you haven't seen it yet.