Sunday, December 11, 2011

Odds and Ends

I wanted to post another picture of Tojima sensei from his visit to this area in 1979. Again this is courtesy of my good friend John Putica, who gave me these photos. As you can see he was quite active during his visit and not just on the aikido mat. Tojima sensei raised bonsai on his own and would go on excursions into the mountains during which he insisted plants talk. So as you might have gathered from past blogs, he was quite a remarkable person.

AS I announced in a message sent e-mail to dojo members we will be expanding the non-profit or Takemusu Shinbuden part of our activities. Again it is a non-profit that was given to me to help spread the message of aikido. And a lot of this is to honor my friend Steve who passed away just a year ago. Last Wednesday night we offered norito or formal Shinto prayers for Frank Silvey who was in the hospital for a procedure. But in addition to that we were able to go into some of aikido's least understood practices. Sometimes during class this does not get transmitted. So I am thinking the second Wednesday of each month we will end the aikido a bit early, around 8pm. We will start the intermediate/advanced a little earlier for those who come to that portion. But everyone is welcome to stay. We will do formal norito, but this will also give time for other aspects of aikido to surface that we don't do justice to during the training portion of the class. The training part is important because it establishes the body as a space for transformation so this is not to diminish that. But certain things also need to be presented not only informationally but also experientially. For example last Wednesday we took everybody through the ritual of fire water steam. And there are many other things we will also explore. Ultimately aikido is a deep study of how the universe operates and one's true relationship to self and the universe. So we will keep everyone posted. And there is no charge for this. People can stay in gi or come in in street clothes. There is no charge for this. Donations however are always welcome and are tax deductible, not for the dojo but for the non-profit.

Looking at the picture of Tojima sensei, some of our older students will recognize that it was taken at our original 6th street Japantown location. There was an apricot tree to the front of the building and to the left. Tojima sensei is just giving it a trim, just as he I'm sure did for his bonsai.

I just posted a new video of long staff or bo. Last Saturday we did a good hour on the long staff. For awhile I was working mainly with the jo, even though the movements were technically bo movements. And I have also spent some time using the 3 foot staff. But for now I am back working with the long staff. I hope you enjoy it.


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