Monday, February 25, 2013

A Special Event

Saturday night a large group of Aikido teachers and students gathered to honor Robert Nadeau shihan's 60th year in martial arts. The event was held at the Capitol Club in downtown San Jose and the aikido community gathered from all over. Many who could not be in attendance sent their congratulations via email and even video. Senseis Frank Doran, Mary Heiny, Linda Holiday, Richard Moon, Pat Hendricks, Michael Friedl, Peter Ralls, James Friedman, and countless others gathered to honor Nadeau sensei. My apologies for leaving out anyone but my head is still spinning.

Nadeau sensei started Judo at age 15. In the early sixties he was in Japan training at Hombu dojo and was a personal student of Osensei. Nadeau sensei was apparently one of the few people Osensei would field questions from. And there were times Nadeau sensei was called into the office by Osensei for some teaching or clarification. We are not talking technique here, but the transmission of the deeper essence of aikido.

Nadeau sensei currently runs division 3 of the California Aikido Association, with schools on a local, national, and international  level...When I first started aikido in fall of 1969  he was already running the Mt View dojo. He was instrumental in the UC Santa Cruz Aikido club starting because he appeared in a demonstration the helped launch the club where I first began training. My understanding is that he was the first full time aikido instructor in the state of California. He was issued in the sixties a teaching certificate signed by both Morihei Ueshiba Osensei and his son and successor, nidai Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba.

Nadeau sensei is well known for his unique approach to aikido that transcends the teaching of just technique to focus on developmental aspects of the individual student from the personal to the universal level. He is to this day deeply committed to solving the mystery of Osensei's art and passing it on to us.

So congratulations!

I am also including a video I did a couple of years ago. Due to youtube's at the time 10 minute limit for videos I had to edit it. But now the full video has recently been uploaded. Get ready for.......

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Musings

 This being Valentine's Day eve just a few thoughts. Like most of the Bay Area I am just getting over post Super Bowl Depression. So close and yet ultimately not meant to be. At least this year. But the 49ers played their hearts out and gave us one of the most memorable games in their history. If the lights had gone out sooner, which seemed to activate them, we would have won. But credit to the Ravens and to brother John.

A couple of years ago the Warriors were on a brief mini run and beat the Lakers in LA. Kobe Bryants comment was great:"These guys are the Phoenix Suns on steroids!" Well by that Colin Kaepernick may eventually be 'Joe Montana on steroids'.......

Speaking of the Warriors it seems the 49er loss has as we  write pulled them down as well. But the season nevertheless has been a real feel good story for Bay Area sports. And of course we have the World Series Champions locally in our Giants so let's not get too greedy.

Dojo wise I want to thank everyone for their support in helping us to cover the 2012 PG and E bill. And also for the wonderful support shown for Mary Heiny sensei's annual visit to our dojo earlier this month. Next month on March 20th we will be hosting Kinoshita sensei in the same manner as Mary sensei. It is a seminar class so there will be a charge for it. But sliding scale fine and scholarships can be worked out for those who otherwise could not afford it. Kinoshita sensei is the successor to Abe sensei's lineage. Abe sensei taught a couple of great seminars for us in the early nineties and donated the Osensei calligraphy that is our shomen in the dojo.....

Last year Dennis and I did a version of "My Funny Valentine" that was well received, so we did another one this year. Last year's version was more of an up tempo swing version of it. The song is meant to be a ballad. What I found is that the slower ballad style is much tougher. Artt Frank has been trying to get me to play slower and with longer notes. While that would seem easier there is just so much space between notes you can just get lost in the space. So this is 2013's version. Hope you enjoy it.......