Friday, February 10, 2012

Mission Accomplished and Linsanity

We accomplished our collective mission of paying off the power bill for 2011 on Wednesday night. A combination of a strong showing for the Mary Heiny sensei workshop and donations from those unable to attend, a few from out of area and a few from out of state, helped us solve the dilemma of paying the $1,500 still due on last year's power bill. So my thanks to those who supported the workshop and to those who donated. A few teens were in the class fueled by scholarships from the donations. I think they will strongly benefit from being exposed to a teacher of Mary sensei's calibre.

On another note, I have been following the Jeramy Lin phenomenon/miracle. Here is a player who was discounted because he was 1) Asian and 2) from Harvard. And plus all that he has local roots. So he was signed by the Warriors in what seemed at the time to be a marketing ploy, ie a local Asian NBA player. Of Course he was let go by the local team for no apparent reason and is currently the toast of New York City and possibly the biggest NBA story going. He has led the Knicks to 4 straight wins and tonight scored 38 points and led his team past the Lakers and Kobe Bryant.

I find it ironic that likely the most publicized Warrior this year is likely to be ex-Warrior Jeramy Lin. I always felt he could play and followed his scant minutes last year with large interest. After all I'm Asian too and when young basketball was my passion. With the local team he probably would have been buried on the bench behind Ellis and Curry. He only got a chance in New York because of injuries to other players. But I find it fascinating when a player all of a sudden comes out of nowhere and plays like he has. It is somewhat similar to Alex Smith of the 49ers leading them to the NFC title game. So these days I find the stories in sports most interesting. I have a feeling Lin will be around for awhile and he will make Warrior fans happy with his play in the Big Apple and at the same time nostalgic for what could have been here.

I just posted this video online of Dennis and myself doing "Line For Lyons". I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Super Bowl and Spirit

This is the last video of me connected with the movie "Thrive". It was part of a one hour interview conducted by Foster Gamble.

I must say I took a rather casual approach to the Super Bowl. I watched bits and pieces of it and listened to the end of the game on radio. I was doing the books for 2011 for the dojo to submit to my accountant. So my focus was on something else. Being a niner fan I found myself rooting for the Patriots. So I guess we live in a Giants universe(football not baseball) for the next year. But the niners clearly have a new direction which I expect them to sustain. And with the addition of some receivers who can catch the ball and make plays I expect them to go further. So wait till next year.

AS much as sport offers so to speak the "Thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" it is the cultivation of something almost undefinable called spirit that is stressed in aikido. Let me give you an example of this is conjunction with the dojo and the Super Bowl.

I thought almost after the fact that I should have cancelled the Sunday evening 5pm class last Sunday. Things like that can creep up on you. The Sunday evenings are team taught with a rotating set of instructors. I was in the office working on the books as I said. Well, no one showed for the Sunday evening class. But the instructor(whom I will not name) did. This person came even though the turnout was probably going to be small and possibly non-existent. This person stayed 30 minutes and then I said " go watch the rest of the game".

Spirit is something that is developped when no one is watching. It is one's intentional actions which could be done even anonymously. So I did not mention this person's name. But how we behave when only we know what we choose to do and do it. It is the opposite of a great sporting event where there are heroes and goats. Where things are celebrated and hyped. It is silent. And acts done from spirit endure. On a night when no students came to class the dojo was the scene of a great act of spirit. And I do want to thank the instructors who donate their time and keep the Sunday evenings going. And for real acts of spirit there is only the silent applause from the universe itself.