The big Aikido event in the month of May is, of course, the All Japan Aikikai Embukai
at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo.
(Participants lining up for the 47th All Japan Aikikai Embukai)
This year was the 47th time that the event took place. With thousands of participants, Aikido groups from all over Japan demonstrated from the morning to the afternoon. Towards the end of the day, demonstrations were given by the higher graded masters such as Suganuma Sensei, Shimamoto Sensei, Tada Sensei, Endo Sensei until the finale of Doshu.
This event was an opportunity to bring Aikidokas from all over Japan together and manifest the wonder of the art of Aikido.
A delegation from the CABN (Ernesto Ladavas, Charles Kientz, Lawrence Warry, Els van Schie, Martijn Bogaerts and Elly Bogaerts) attended this event and also attended the classes of Doshu in the mornings at the Hombu dojo. Furthermore, the CABN delegation took the
opportunity to visit Fujita Shihan and his wife and to pay their respects as he continues his recovery from a stroke which occurred last year.
During our stay in Japan, we also met the Japanese Patent Office Aikido members and the dojo of Yamashima Sensei, 7th dan Aikikai, in Nerima, where we spent our last evening training and enjoying a wonderful sayonara party.
At the last training with Yamashima Shihan, in Nerima Sports Center
2. Israeli Aikido Association
During the month of May, I travelled to Isarael and witnessed the preparations taking place
for the 10th anniversary of the Israeli Aikido Association. During my visit, I toured to various
towns and citys and, along the way, met friendly Aikido people having connections with the IAA, including, the north of the Galilee, Dekkel's group in Hagoshrim and Julian Harel's group in Gonen. In Jerusalem, I met Dr. Isaac Lifshitz (a Rabi and an Aikido teacher who kindly invited me for a traditional sabbath with his family) and the people from Rami's Aikido & Shiatsu Center and students of Shuki. In Tel Aviv, I met the group of Miles Kesseler (the director of Aikido Without Borders, an NGO which promotes cross-cultural joint trainings between people of different backgrounds and cultures).
I'd like to thank all these people for welcoming me to their dojos and hope to see them again in July for event with Fukakusa shihan in Rehovot.
Of course, I also met the wonderful people of the dojo in Rehovot and we trained together and enjoyed the Aikido and the loquot fruits from Olga's garden afterwards.
The 10th anniversary celebrations of the IAA shall begin in June with the appearance of
7th dan Shihan, Shimamoto Sensei who is also a zen buddhist priest.
In the first week of July, the 10th anniversary continues and comes to an end with a seminar under the supervision of Fukakusa shihan, 7th dan Aikikai. Included in this seminar will be additional guest instructors from Japan and abroad and two lectures will be provided. One will be about Japanese Cluture and budo (Prof. Ben-Ami Shillony) and the second will be about Aikido in combination with Judism (Dr. Isaac Lifshitz).
I will be present at this event and hope to provide a report about it afterwards.