Saturday, August 27, 2016

40th anniversary dinner

On July 11th we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Aikido of San Jose in a special dinner at Original Joe's. Yes it was July of 1976, the bicentennial year that the dojo opened in San Jose's Japantown.. Now 40 years later we are still going. Attending were Robert Nadeau shihan, who opened the school and passed it onto me in February of 1980. Also present was Motomichi Anno shihan from the Kumano area, representing my ties to Japan. Conveniently he was here as a part of the Santa Cruz Summer Retreat. My thanks to Linda Holiday sensei for allowing us to host him and for herself attending. And Mary Heiny sensei who helped establish me in Japan at the Shingu dojo and who, along with Linda sensei, have supported me over the years with their continuing friendship.

Also in attendance was My daughter Jennifer, who was born in the San Jose dojo in November of 1978, her mother Sarah, my granddaughter Nora, son in law Dover, and personal special friend Dianna Lynne. Vladi was not able to make it. And Betsy Hill sensei and her husband James, whom we'll see when Nadeau sensei and I go to her dojo in Sebastopol to help her celebrate Tenchi Aikido's 10th anniversary.

I want to personally thank the teachers and students of the San Jose dojo for supporting me and the dojo with your continued training over the years. Special thanks to those who helped organize this event. Meng Ear for her leadership and direction. Yu Chen Shen for emceeing the raffle. And countless others who gave of their time to donate items, or just plain attend and eat the food. Professor Richard Bunch was not in attendance because he came up with a stomach flu. It was good to see old timers Mark Tucker, Jerry Egusa, and Nick de la Torre.

I think back to the early days of the school. Sarah and I had just come back from a year in Japan in late 1977. We moved into the Japantown school and less than a year later Jennifer was born. My thanks to Nadeau sensei for allowing us to move in. Sue Ann McKean, who was not able to attend, had been staying there. She moved into the Castro Street Mt. View dojo. She noted she was stepping up in the world because that dojo had a shower. Yes things were primitive in those days.

So looking onward to another 40 years. At least.......

Here is a new video I just posted on YoutubeL

Monday, August 08, 2016

Aikido of Bali Hai(Training in Paradise)

From June 15 to June 27 a small group of Aikido of San Jose students, teachers, and family made a trek to the garden island of Kauai for some training and relaxation. IN summer of 2015 I had spent a week there at my daughter's time share and sort of put out what would it be like to take a group for an aikido event to the island. Unexpectedly I got a response so a group of us headed over. We rented 2 houses in Princeville just off Aniini beach. In fact the end of Anini beach became our dojo. WE trekked down a steep incline to a beautiful beach(which meant the return was a steep climb) and trained both in the water (above) but also under the shade of some friendly trees.

It was not a heavy training event. Every other day we spent 2 hours or more at our beach dojo. We concentrated a lot on the staff movements. Hopefully everyone who went now knows the 30(not 31) movement form. We were however able to get into some things it is difficult to get into in a normal dojo setting. One of the things was the aikido cosmology, which I have studied over the course of my years and in recent years have explored in detail with Nadeau sensei.. It is my belief that a true understanding of Osensei's message must include some of this.
While that can get somewhat heavy, hopefully that was balanced out by the beauty of our surroundings and the fun the whole group had. People were able on the non training days to sight see, and  yes, to shop.
Towards the end we made it to Waimeia canyon to the South.
And on my fifth trip to the garden isle I went to my first luau:
So maybe if the universe is willing there will be another Aikido of Bali Hai next year.

The only real downer was watching the Warriors lose games 6 and 7. But in perspective their best player suffered two leg injuries in the opening round and was about 60 % for the last game. The rest of the team had to work extra hard to finish the opening round and the second round. Curry came back and had that fantastic overtime 17 point game winning performance when he should have been eased in. They faced a 3 games to 1 deficit against what was probably their toughest opponent in the playoffs, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder..And meanwhle Labron and the Cavaliers easily coasted through what one Eastern scribe called 'the junior varsity Eastern Conference'. So the Warriors with a hobbled Curry simply ran out of magic at an understandable time. Kudos to Labron and the Cavaliers. They won it. But hopefully next year there is another Aikido of Bali Hai and we'll be celebrating, along with Kevin Durant now a Warrior, a parade.