Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Primal Universal Energies: Art & Aikido

Aikido of San Jose has changed the name of its fall 2018 fundraiser. From Keep the Lights On we have shifted to Primal Universal Energies: Aikido and Art. Why the change? First of course Aikido is a martial art But my feeling is that we now need to go past the martial aspect to simply art. Art is creation. Creation is a process that takes the artist through light and dark, suffering and ecstasy, from turmoil to the sublime. No real art without an artist. Joseph Campbell in his "Myths to Live By" wrote that the shamans of today are the artists, whose job it is to bring new energies into the world. For me the shaman is one who lives in the dark so that he/she may bring light into the world. Ueshiba Osensei had a strong shamanic element  in his aikido. He stressed Takemusu Aiki, which is Aikido as an act of creation through the power of love. I feel for Aikido to go to the next level of itself, we must shift our emphasis from Aiki-do to the aforementioned Takemusu Aiki.

Also very vital to this change of names is that Lou Bermingham sensei is receiving his promotion to 5th dan.
Lou began his training in 1975 in France under Tamura sensei. He then moved to Northern California where he began his training under Robert Nadeau shihan at the San Jose dojo. And after I became the Chief Instructor of Aikido of San Jose in 1980, Lou has continued to train diligently and to be a real force for keeping the pursuit of Aikido's message alive in our dojo. He has also taught the art at Apple and for many years at the Los Gatos Community Center. And he is an artist of considerable note. Those of you who have attended his art shows can attest to the depth and beauty of his work. Working abstractly Lou draws out archetypal energies and forces with his works, especially his acryllics. Part of this event will be an art show of his work. He will also be doing an Aikido presentation.

Linda Holiday sensei, chief instructor of Aikido of Santa Cruz and author of "Journey to the Heart of Aikido" will also be attending  and doing an Aikido presentation and demonstration. I have known her since I believe 1970. We both started at the UC Santa Cruz Aikido club. I was fall of 1969 and she fall the following year.We spent a very bonding period in 1973 when we both became students at the Kumano Juku Dojo in Shingu, Japan. And we were privileged to study there under Hikitsuchi sensei, as well as Anno, Tojima, and Yanase senseis. Check out  her excellent book to get a flavor of that time. She know travels and teaches internationally. I am looking forward to her presentation.

I will also be giving an Aikido presentation. Certain things about the phrase Aikido have opened up fairly recently. And the connection to Takemusu and to the Water/Fire Center/Circle relationships have also blossomed. I will also be asking a couple of my dojo's senior teachers to give a presentation.

The date for the fundraiser is November 3rd, a Saturday. It will run from 4pm to 8pm. In addition to the Art show and Aikido presentations there will be an opportunity to meet and talk with the teachers/artists. There will be items for an auction and raffle. A minimum donation of $15 is requested to get into the event. That will also include 2 raffle tickets. Similar to Public TV fundraisers there will be items or prizes for donations of $50, $75, $100, $200, $300. Glen Kimoto sensei has offered to donate 2 nuboko(3 sectioned spear out of white oak) for donations of $500 or more.

This event is to cover our annual power bill(PG&E). Last year it was $3,800. This year I expect it to be in excess of $4,000. So any and all support is welcome. Please feel free to bring family and friends. Family members will not be charged. There will be items for purchase. And those wanting to increase donation to upper levels to get some of the fundraiser items feel free. Those out of area or dojo alumnus not currently active may leave an angel donation(no prize) by going to our webpage at https://www.aikidosj.com and finding the paypal link in the middle of our title page . A donation in any amount is greatly appreciated. Please email me at jack@aikidosj.com when you do and I'll send you a personal thank you email.


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