At the end of July, I had the opportunity to travel to Honolulu in Hawaii and attend the 30th summer gashuku of Aikido Ohana of Hawaii. For many years now, the tuition has been under the guidance and supervision of Takeshi Yamashima sensei, 7th dan aikikai. Yamashima sensei, accompanied by his Japanese deshi, Yamada san and Yamaguchi san arrived to a surprisingly rainy Hawaii but the weather did not subdue the spirits of all present at the course.
The course took place in the beautiful setting of the Ho'omaluhia bontanical gardens, Kailua covered by the Ko'olau mountain range draping the background of the open air tatami where the training was to take place.
Beautiful Ko'oalu mountain range.
Participants had the opportunity to camp out at night over the course weekend and nutritious and tasty food was provided morning, lunch time and evening to a hungry bunch of tired practitioners.
Present on the tatami, including the Aikido Ohana members, were guests from different groups around Hawaii and some of the classes were presented by their senior members. The host sensei, Alan Nagahisa sensei commenced each morning with a 6:30 morning class as we held our hands on our hearts and our bellys and directed our bodies to the rising morning sun in gratitude.
After the summer camp weekend, there were further opportunities to train with the sensei in and around Hawaii at the Betsuin dojo of Gayne Sogi sensei and the Aikido Ohana dojo of Nagahisa sensei.
The whole visit to Hawaii and aiki-experience were very gratifying and I hope next year to bring my aikido friends and club members for the 31st Ohana gashuku.
Big thanks go to the Aikido Ohana members for their kind and special attention.
Video of the summer gashuku this year with Yamashima sensei: (Click Here).
2. 50th Anniversary since the arrival of Aikido in Hawaii
O-Sensei in Hawaii in 1961
Earlier this year, all the aikido groups of Hawaii came together to form a massive event,
inviting doshu aikido to a festival celebrating 50 years since O-Sensei had brought aikido to
Hawaii (the first land outside of Japan to practice aikido with O-Sensei). A great effort was made in publicising the event with a beautiful honorary guide attributed to all of the aikido groups of Hawaii and to the lineage of the Ueshiba family and the aikikai. We are wishing the aikido groups much growth and harmony for the future as a result of this manifestation.