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


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