Monday, May 18, 2009

Wolf Tunes & Blade Blues

The first weekend in May Betsy Hill sensei and her students hosted a very special weekend of training. Robert Noha sensei of Aikido of Petaluma taught Friday night. Robert Nadeau shihan did an all day workshop on Saturday. And I did an abbreviated workshop Sunday morning into mid-afternoon. We got some much needed rain which at times was rather intense.

So the key words for the weekend were history, friendship, and transformation. Betsy, Noha, and I were together the previous weekend for the Osensei Memorial Training in San Jose. It was delightful to spend another weekend with both. And the workshop with Nadeau sensei on Saturday was memorable. The theme for the weekend was aikido as a transformational tool. Of course all of us go way back so the historical part was very evident.

So it was a weekend to spend time with friends and to celebrate ties that have endured for decades. Sometimes I find myself in awe of the fact that I have been doing aikido for as long as I have. Sometimes in baseball a player is priviledged to play in as many as 4 decades. Willie McCovey of the Giants played in the '50's, '60's, 70's, and '80's. So he played in 4 different decades. My aikido career has played in the '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's, and now for almost the first decade of the 21st century. How time flies.

After my class on Sunday I got my trumpet out and played. Somehow the open air in Sebastopol brings out a sound I really like. As I played, my friend Dianna got out her sword and did a free form Iaido, or sword drawing. After watching,I dedided to video some of it with my phone. She has a real gift with the blade. Her lines are truly impeccable. I put together the following video with some shots of her in the field next to the Tenchi Aikido dojo. Also included are a clip of her doing some cutting with her blade and some shots of Vlad, her Siberian wolf.

One of my very favorite films is Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke". It is about a warrior princess of 13th century Japan who rides on the back of the Wolf gods. So I played a version of the musical theme of that film to this video of blade and wolf. I hope you enjoy it.


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