Amongst other things, 2010 has been another year of aiki-travel for me and making new aikido connections. In hoping that these connections will eventually flower, I am also aware that, as time goes on, the connections can fade if we don't do something to keep them alive. Therefore, I do hope that by continuing this monthly aikido newsletter, I may provide at least an effort in maintaining these connections as much as I can. Clearly it is not as perfect as having a close relation such as with one's own dojo and I don't expect to replace that. I do, however, believe that this continued effort may provide some seeds for new and interesting possibilities in our aikido future. As we enter a new beginning to the year, it gives us the opportunity to remember the meaning of "Mushin", the innocent mind, in order to practice as if it is the first time we learn. This is the healthy and long lasting way to keep your aiki-motivation alive. It is therefore with these two thoughts (the innocent mind and keeping the connection alive) that I wish all readers and the Aikido community a wonderful start to the year and a great learning experience and may we all maintain and create many beautiful aikido friendships in 2011!
Like every year, we announce in the first newsletter the event of the 2nd Doshu's passing away as we commemorate the great contribution that Kisshomaru Ueshiba has made. This issue provides a link to a recently uploaded video of the 2nd Doshu. We also greet the year with a beautiful Kotodama explanation by Yoshihito Shibata Sensei of Santa Cruz and enjoy a notorious yearly opening by Ze'ev Erlich Sensei. In our student profile for this issue, Anna Medvedeva of Barnaul, presents herself. Thank you all for your contributions to this newsletter.
Now not forgetting that on the 3rd of January, CABN chairman, Ernesto Ladavas will become the young age of 60 (it would be a nice age to have a 6th dan). Ladavas Sensei is currently graded 5th dan Aikikai though we are all curious when his next aiki-promotion is!! With his birthday, there is anyway at least one reason for celebration :-).
2. New Year's Kotodama (from Yoshihito Shibata Sensei)
ta ka a ma ha ra ni mo to tsu mi o ya su me o o ka mi
a ma ta no ka mi ga mi wo tsu do e te to ko to wa ni
ka mi tsu ma ri ma su
3. Fujita Sensei's Corner
Name: Anna Medvedeva
Grade: 4th kyu
When you are not doing Aikido, what is your work in life?
I'm a student at Altay State University. Speciality: Public Relations
Why did you start Aikido?
I was always fond of martial arts. I loved to watch movies about them, read the articles. In my dreams I saw myself doing different techniques. Effective but very beautiful and gracious. So when I had the opportunity to learn some martial art there were no doubts in my head. Why it was exactly Aikido? Because I knew it was one of the few arts which implies not using your own power, but cooperating with your partner in the way to protect both of you. Very peaceful kind of martial art, isn't it?
What is for you the most interesting aspect of Aikido?
Harmony. It can't be described by words. You just feel it at every dojo.
What is the most difficult aspect?
As for me, everything is difficult. There is no any easy point. Every movement which seems quite simple requires a lot of trainings. But this is great! Always try to reach the ideal.
What is the most pleasurable aspect?
There are two nice points. First, this is communication with other people. You definitely derive the pleasure to speak with a person you have the same goal with. And the second aspect is that during every next training you learn more and more. It gives you the power to go further, strive for perfection.
What benefits do notice you have got from Aikido?
I started to think clearly what I want to do in my life. What are my goals and what are the ways to reach them. Maybe it sounds a little bit pathetic, but this is what I feel. Never expected that a martial art can do such things with you.
Favorite technique: Shiho nage. Like it very much. Maybe because I understand it better than other techniques.
Further comments: Wish everybody start to learn Aikido. In such case the whole world would start to live in piece. And nobody would be puzzled over the problem how to stop the war.