Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More 40th anniversary

More 40th anniversary stuff. The first photo was taken in late fall of 1973 in I believe Nara. You can get a flavor for the Japanese sense of the fall in the color of the trees. Taking the picture was none other than Anno sensei. Pictured are myself, Linda Holiday sensei, and Dick Revoir. The 3 of us were the first foreigners to live in Shingu as full-time students of aikido at the Kumano juku dojo(Shingu Dojo). Anno sensei had taken us on a car trip and this was one of the main stops. The Japanese fall or aki is beautiful and very brief, bridging on one hand a hot and sweltering summer and a long and very cold winter. It signifies the end of the year. Also, for us we knew that the end of our stay in Shingu and Japan was approaching quickly. The second photo was probably taken sometime in 1975. At that time I was back in California teaching at the UC Santa Cruz campus. Linda sensei was back in Japan and sent me this wonderful picture of Tojima sensei and herself.

The 40th anniversary training marking the passing of Aikido's founder, Ueshiba Morihei Osensei is proceeding(@Aikido of San Jose, Sunday, April 26th). Due to a prior commitment and double-booking, Nadeau sensei will be unable to attend. Teaching in his stead will be Robert Noha sensei, chief instructor of Aikido of Petaluma, and Betsy Hill sensei, chief instructor of Tenchi Aikido.

Both teachers are longtime and very senior members of the Bay area Aikido community. We are talking about the community started and nurtured by Robert Nadeau shihan and Frank Doran shihan, which has now become the California Aikido Association. Robert Frager was also an integral part of this early phase, and founded both the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and its unique aikido program. Of this community, Robert Noha was probably the first teenager to receive a black belt in aikido. And Betsy Hill was probably the first woman to receive a black belt as well. I remember going to the Mt View dojo to train as a part of the aikido/energy awareness weekends co-taught by Robert Nadeau and Robert Frager and Mr Noha already had his black belt. In those days this was very unique. And Betsy Hill is the first person in aikido I ever met and talked to, this was at an Aikido demo on the UC Santa Cruz campus early fall of 1969.

So even though Nadeau sensei will be unable to attend, we have 2 instructors who are very deeply a part of not only the area's history, but his history as well.

Since we have that picture of Tojima sensei, I am including a new video of footage from 1973 Here Tojima sensei demonstrates the atemi or striking motions in irimi nage:


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