Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year

It is almost the end of 2009. Aikido of San Jose is taking a one week rest, with a special New Year’s Day training at 11 am on Friday. So it is a little funny having no classes at the dojo. I am often in the office trying to tie loose ends together. This blog is one of those.

So what have I learned in 40 years? I guess the main thing is that it is a journey, a path. There are what one might consider high points at the time. But the major thing is to continue and endure. One class at a time. I guess it adds up. At first the classes were all training classes. Undergoing the standard frustrations at learning and failing. Later some teaching was combined with the training. Now the classes are basically all teaching, but the person you ultimately teach is yourself.

For the last period of time the major focus of mine has been the San Jose dojo. Initially it was the UC Santa Cruz club. Then the UC Davis club. Then the Shingu dojo in the ‘70’s. Since ’76 it has been San Jose. Even during my stay in Japan in 1977 it was with the sense that I might take over the San Jose dojo someday. In fact February 1st of next year(soon) it will be 30 years since I became chief instructor of Aikido of San Jose. I was living in the dojo at the time and teaching some classes. But it was a whole different matter actually being the dojo-cho. I was living upstairs with Jenny and her mom. Some of my best memories are of helping to raise my daughter in those days. And it was fun being a part of the Japan town culture at that time.

In terms of beginning to understand Osensei’s message, it has been a brisk year. Much of this is experiential and does not lend itself to discussion in words and ideas. The mind’s ability to translate experience into words and concepts makes discussion difficult. But hopefully the New Year will see in all of us a greater depth of understanding regarding the Founder’s message.

I am including a video of my class for the 40th anniversary celebration. Happy New Year!


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