Sunday, September 06, 2015

Aikido of Bali Hai

I made my first trek to the island of Kauai in 1996. I went alone. I loved the musical 'South Pacific' and of course the sequence with the island of Bali Hai. In the stage presentation the characters onstage just looked out towards the audience with a sense of vastness and reverence. Your own special place. You live on a lonely island lost in the middle of a foggy sea. Bali Hai is your own special island. And I remember sometime in the very distant past listening to the great Dodger announcer Vin Scully where he was filling some space between what was happening between pitches or innings and he said referencing the movie version of 'South Pacific' that the Bali Hai sequence was filmed on the island of Kauai. So having a longing to journey to Bali Hai, a place that doesn't exist in the 'real'world, I decided to make a pilgrimage to the physical island of Kauai. What I found was a lush tropical paradise with mysterious mist covered mountains, verdant plant life, and clear blue ocean on pristine beaches. It was a wonderful stay. And I passed a sign reading 'Bali Hai Realty' and the thought crossed my mind, 'wouldn't an Aikido of Bali Hai be great?'

So that thought always lingered in my subconscious. I made two more trips in 2012 and 2013. I skipped 2013 because of a trip to Japan. But on very short notice my daughter's time share in Kauai opened up and I made a very unexpected trip late last month. And this time in Princeville on the way to Hanalei Bay I saw another sign, 'Bali Hai Salon'. So the thought reawakened. And I put it out again but this time on Facebook accompanying some photos of my trip to the island and upon returning back got a response. A small group of Aikidoists from my dojo would like to go next summer. So game on!

So instead of a physical dojo Aikido of Bali Hai is instead a journey. June sometime in 2015, the dates to be determined. Aikido training 8am to noon so even though we start early everyone will have an afternoon and evening to enjoy 'paradise'. I don't want a huge group so I imagine it will be basically just people from my dojo and those connected to me.

The actual structure of the training is to be determined. I have my vision, but will try to be open to suggestions. But what I want to emphasize as the purpose of the trip is more than just go to a great place and train in 'aikido'. Yes there will be training and I'm sure there will be ample time to enjoy the island and spend time with friends and fellow aikidoists. But I allude to the song. For those of us who'live on a lonely island....lost in the middle of a foggy sea....' it will be about finding our 'own special island'.Our

own special place.

So that is my vision. Now we will all see how that unfolds.


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