A blog with some news, reports and articles from the Aikido community around the world.
Edited by Lawrence Warry & Ze'ev Erlich

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 2012

1. What it Means to Practice the Art of Peace in Times of War

Those who practice the arts of peace (such as Aikido) during times of war are true warriors of peace. During the time of conflict last month in Israel and Gaza, we received the following inspiring article from Ze'ev Erlich sensei in Rehovot, Israel. It's very easy for the international community to quickly forget what happened but for the people who are living in areas of vulnarability, it is another story:
November in Israel - Missiles and Aikido

Situation in Israel is not very clear now. Well, it is never really clear here, but when we have visitors from overseas, they are always surprised that it is so peaceful and beautiful. But now it is not quiet.
Now there is war.
Missiled fly above us and on us.
Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City. Picture: AFP

Israelis suffer, Palestinians suffer, and we all pray for its quick end.

Our town is so far ok, but we hear missiles land and explode south, north, east and west of us. Our military has a new weapon that shoots a rocket against a rocket and they hit each other in the air and explode. It saves here many many lives.

a woman protecting her daughter in the south
of Israel - November 2012
Photo from:
Everywhere people keep training as usual. We worry, we are prepared to run to shelter, we are trained to do that, but once our aikido class begins, we forget everything and there is peace. 

Even children come as usual to Aikido class. Today we celebrated birthday to one of them (Adi).

We try to keep good mood, there are many jokes here about the situation, but we never forget the suffering and the grief.

Our dojo: Training during hard times with even more people than usual on the tatami
The Arab-Jewish conflict is old. Very old, and a solution is not in sight.

What my friends and I try to do, is to find positive places, give them strong encouragement and we try to enlarge them.
There are two aikido/budo peace organizations here. Budo For Peace, and Aikido Without Borders. Both work very very hard to bring arabs and jews on the mats and train together while building friendship and trust. Please find ways to support these organizations.
image source

I wish our political leaders had deep knowledge in Aikido. I wish very very wise people will find a way to finish the bloodshed. Because brutality probably will sooner or later just bring more brutality. 

Thank you my dear friends for your heart warming messages from so many countries. You are really dear friends.

Thank you for your kind worry and care.


Ze'ev Erlich
Masatake Dojo

2. Fukakusa Shihan Visiting Israel in December
There is not a better time to send the message of peace by means of Aikido. The world needs it more than ever. Fukakusa Shihan is scheduled to teach Aikido in Rehovot and Tel Aviv from the 12th of December until the 16th of December.
Here-below, a poster about the events in Rehovot:
More information can be found this facebook event page:
And you can also contact the organiser, Ze'ev Erlich:

3. Aikido-Mania in South Korea (Yamashima Sensei, 7th dan Aikikai, seminar in Seoul, 23rd & 24th of November)
Participants of the Seminar with Yamashima Sensei in the Centre
It is, at first, an unexpected phenomena that Aikido could reach the levels of virality that it has reached in South Korea recently, a country which one would expect to turn to its own traditional arts such as the more commonly practiced Tae Kwon-Do and Hapkido. Nevertheless, there is a growing move over to Aikido of some Hapkido practitioners especially. Partly this could be put down to improved relations between Japan and Korea though I could clearly see a great admiration for Takeshi Yamashima sensei who has been visiting South Korea for a number of years and has been impressing them with his delicate but robust manner of practicing Aikido. The participants in the event were both enthusiastic and fascinated by the subtle control that Yamashima sensei was having upon the uke and each practice was full in numbers participating. 
On the following clip, we can see many participants enjoying the practice with Yamashima sensei:

The Saturday session ended with a party in the evening where there was good food, jovial chatter and good beer available. It was my first visit to Seoul but not my last as I very much appreciate not only the spicy enthusiasm of the people practicing Aikido but also the spicy and delicious food! Many thanks to the hosts (kam-sa-hab-ni-da!).

4. Leisinger Sensei on Form and Teaching Again in The Netherlands.
Leisinger Sensei, 6trh dan Aikikai.
The Netherlands saw the return of Leisinger Sensei last month as he is now in pristine health after some concerns earlier this year. At the age of 82, Leisinger Sensei was demonstrating that he still has the caliber of his 6th dan teacher status and gave some inspiring lessons in The Hague, Delft and Rijsiwjk. Leisinger Sensei is back in the month of December for classes from the 13th to 16th of December in Amsterdam and Utrecht.
Here is a clip of Leisinger sensei's recent lesson in Delft:
Hereby Leisinger Sensei's December programme:
Thursday 13/12:       20.00-21.30 uur         Amsterdam - Bilderdijkpark 10
Friday 14/12:         20.00-21.30 uur         Amsterdam - ALO Dr. Meurerlaan 8
Saturday 15/12:       11.00-12.30 uur         Beverwijk – Dreef 27
Sunday 16/12:         09.00-12.00 uur         Utrecht kadertraining

For more information, contact Robert van Den Bosch

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 2012

Aiki Move & Stretch!

November has really been Aiki Move & Stretch month as this new concept for Aikido practice is introduced in The Netherlands. Aiki Move & Stretch is an informal Aikido practice although we ensure there is the normal level of etiquette and safety expected from the normal Aikido practice.
In Aiki Move & Stretch., we explore authentic exercises and try to rediscover our Aikido from our inner-selves. As such, the approach is a little unorthodox and is in no way to be considered a replacement for mainstream Aikido practice. It can, however, be a marvellous and refreshing complement to one's regular Aikido practice.
Why not come along and see for yourself some time soon. Classes are given every Thursday evening (18:30 - 19:45) at the Hagukumi dojo, Mient. 277, The Hague.
Some Aikido Friends trying out Aiki-Move & Stretch for the first time.
We also have an Aiki Move & Stretch Facebook page (already surpassing 100 likes!!) :-).
You can find the page on this link:
Further details of the Aiki Move & Stretch concept are given here:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 2012

Hello Autumn, Goodbye Summer!
A souvenir photo from last summer's Hawaii practice (Big Island, August 2012) with Yamashima Sensei.
Left to Right: Kakisaki san, Lawrence san, Heraldo san, Yamaguchi san.
Nice memories :-)
Although I have not been writing much on the blog recently, you may have noticed, it is needless to say that it is not a reflection of the lack of Aikido activity having taken place the last few weeks. Indeed, this has been a very busy period of time for Aikido groups all around the world, at least because the new season is well under way and also because of the IAF cogress which took place in September this year. This event which joins Aiki-politics with Aikido practice (International organisations join to practice Aikido together and to discuss future initiatives to spread Aikido globally), comes around every four years and is one of the major Aikido happenings with thousands of international visitors. This year's congress was the 11th of its kind and took place in Tokyo, Japan. If you are a regular Aikido practitioner, you may have noticed around the time of the congress (17th - 23rd of September) that your dojo had become suddenly quiet as some or many of your co-members travelled to Japan to enjoy the event. So, for the unfortunate ones, such as myself, who could not make it to this year's congress, there is the hope that the travellers who made it there will link up and give accounts of their adventures either on their own blogs or by linking up to their club's website. I'd be personally interested to learn about your story if you were there and participating. So, if you'd like to share, do drop me a line :-) :-) :-).

Noticing Subtle Acts that Have Big Impacts!
Trying to keep hold!.. as Yamashima Sensei makes a very subtle shift with his cente, whilst
disbalancing me in Suwari Waza Kokkyu Ho during
Yamashima sensei's recent class at the EPO last September.
I've heard Aikido being described as finding the dance in somebody who doesn't want to or can't dance with you. Aikido has multiple layers of learning at multiple layers of consciousness and awareness. One of the most subtle of those layers is the layer of inter-personal relationships. When you step out of the door in the morning and go about your day, are you noticing every single impact you are having on your outer environment from the way you behave to your neighbour to the way you address your colleagues at work and the things you say or the way you behave towards your friends and your family? Are you completely aware of the impacts that the most subtle moods or manners have and the impacts that others have on you. 
Aikido takes the spot light and shines it brightly on those subtleties. When you are partnering up and taking turns to lead and follow as tori and uke respectively, you will have revelations about your and others' behaviour and their impact on yourself and those around you. Do take a moment after class to share in an unambiguous and non-judgemental way your revelations. It would be most rewarding for both parties. 
You will notice even more clearly how your thoughts might even subtely impact your own actions.
In a way, Aikido, is a practice of psychology case studies whilst playing in the world of Aiki-movement. But, not to make things too heavy, it is not to be dwelled upon as an activity to exclusively diagnose manic-depression or other behaviour-related sicknesses. A lot of emphasis is put upon the "playing within a rigid framework". Finding freedom within the confounds of form. It seems a contradictory notion until you realise that form is not restricting but rather guiding you to a deeper freedom than could have been imagined beforehand.
The genius of O-Sensei is that he could see the big picture and map it to the real world. What does that mean exactly? In O-Sensei's time, there was no official technical programme such as that given by the Aikikai Hombu Dojo these days. O-Sensei was probably quite spontaneous in his teaching and didn't give a rigid structure to the learning of techniques although one does recognise the techniques vaguely from footage of O-Sensei's movement. We, the aikidoka of the future, have been famously told by O-Sensei to go forth and "create your own Aikido" and that's the genius of his insights into the "big picture". O-Sensei understood that the lesson is not in the form but in the development of the person (Masagatsu Agatsu, self-overcoming). That is why O-Sensei is regarded by many as not only a martial-artist and spiritually enlightened but also as one who could cross freely between, and transform himself in, many emerging worlds of perception (indeed, O-Sensei is regarded by some as an alchemist!).
We will probably never reach the technique of O-Sensei and we will probably never reach the insights that O-Sensei had but O-Sensei gave the faith that there are worlds out there to explore which will give a deeper insight into the subtleties of our behaviours and how they may influence our inner and outer environments.
So, where do we start? You joined an Aikido club and you have a regular practice. That is already a start. Maybe the way you apply yourself in your practice can be the next step. Instead of enthusiastically "doing" Aikido to your heart's content, try to reserve your Aikido practice as a time for listening. By listening, I don't mean just listening with your ears but with all senses that could arise (including the inner senses of thought and emotion). Listening to yourself and listening to others (listening is important for tori as well as uke). Acting in response to what you hear/feel without judging. When we apply our Aikido practice in this way, we are opening the door to experience a whole new realisation about the impact of our most subtle of behaviours, actions and moods. It's not the intention that you should try to change the things you don't like about the impacts made. Neither is it that you should try to fix yourself on the impacts that you like to make. You will, through awareness, notice yourself changing without forcing the change. The body, mind and spirit, will simply accommodate themselves to new forms while old forms fade away.
If this way of practicing is already not new for you, then I'd like to hear from you what you have expereinced in this approach so far. Now, go and play! :-)

The Samurai Game(TM). The next step!
One year after I played the samurai game for the first time, I returned to Brighton, England at the beginning of this month to meet Francis Briers and his group in the Brighton Ki Centre on a bright sunny autumn weekend. Whilst a little bit of the novelty of the game had worn off on me, the enthusiasm and excitement remained and, though I didn't know how it would evolve, I was convinced already before the sun was rising that the day would reveal new insights and revelations. The game had already begun, in fact, with the email from Francis a few days before, indicating that the game begins evven in the days and hours leading up to the physical meeting on the mat in the room where the battles will take place. 
In this sense, the Samurai Game is much the same as Aikido. You get the reward when you can do everything with your heart and conviction, in the name of honour and benevolence and, as long as you do this, you are serving yourself and others in your group environment, for the common good. The battles are designed (in forms of challenges of balance, skill and agility, and now and again also in the form of chance) to bring the best out of the participants and to put their heart, mind and soul in to their participation. It is no matter whether the player is the best or the worst at the challenge. It is a matter of making the most out of the experience and putting out the best effort you possibly can into it. 
The highlighting challenge I witnessed was made towards the end of the game, with all of us a little tired with the intensity of the game, when the Fate of War (the facilitator, Francis) announced a duel was to take place as a battle of aesthetics. The players would face each other and perform an improvised dance to acompanying graceful music. After each player has made their dance, they are to face each other and the Fate of War would announce to both players "you know what to do". There was a pause for a few minutes. The players stared each other in the eye. One had danced like a pro. The other, not a pro, had danced like he never danced in his life before, like his life depended on it. The one who lost the battle was the one who would accept death. It could have been the pro. It could have been the amature. Who was going to fall first? Last year, I saw the pro falling in a similar scenario. This year, the amature conceded and, in doing so, received the Fate of War's declaration that everybody had witnessed the greatest act that a Samurai can make. After you have been a great fighter and put your whole heart into a battle for the love of your comrades, the last thing you might want to do is to give up your position of greatness. And yet, such an act of sacrifice, leads to rewards you could never have imagined receiving. The rewards must be still coming to this person as they have been coming to me and the other participants. Not least, the reward of mutual awareness and depth of connection leading to a realisation of what we need to do to make oursleves truly happy.
I'm very very happy to have participated in my second game with the Brighton group.
My thanks to you all.
Already booking myself into next year's game!
About the Game (from the website
The Game was invented in 1977 by George Leonard author of numerous books including: Mastery, The Silent Pulse, The Ultimate Athlete, Walking on the Edge of the World, The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei, and The Life We Are Given(co-author Michael Murphy).  The Game was copyrighted by George Leonard and is solely owned by The Leonard Trust.
In 2000, George Leonard designated Lance Giroux, Managing Director of Allied Ronin™ Leadership Training & Consulting  as the sole facilitator training and certification representative for the simulation worldwide.   Samurai Game® facilitators must be trained and certified by Lance Giroux before being allowed to deliver it on their own. 

Aiki-Move & Stretch Makes a Start at the Hagukumi Dojo

I am starting to realise a dream. An Aikido class with sprinklings of authentic movement, music, chi-gong, yoga, energy practice and again Aikido! I wanted somehow to integrate my experiences from all these disciplines. Ultimately, in this class we are practicing Aikido, but, the way we go there is a subtle bending of the framework of the traditional Aikido class. I don't hope that this class replaces Aikido. I think Aikido is enough. This class could be seen as a additional extra or a complimentary practice, however. By starting this regular lesson on Thursday evenings in the Hagukumi dojo (18:30 - 19:45), I am, without shame, putting my own personality and ego into the Aikido practice. Inspired by Aiki-Jam in Tel Aviv, Israel, at the Integral dojo of Tel Aviv (Miles Kessler sensei's dojo), I think that Aiki-Move & Stretch is a way of making Aikido more accessible to a wider range of people and, in doing so, I provide a relaxed and safe environment for people to explore the world of Aikido under recognisable conditions which are not always considered traditionally present in an Aikido class (for example: music, meditation and feedback/debriefing sessions). 
For more information about this new class, click here: 

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 2012

Your Partner is Your Guest 1

This article can be found in the recent book by Anna Sanner (Dance with Heaven & Earth/Life Lessons from Zen & Aikido) which is a beautiful compilation of some of the teachings of Katsuyuki Shimamoto shihan (who is both an Aikido shihan and a Zen priest).

Anna his given me permission to publish this Article of her book.
The book is available online at the following link:
For further enquiries about the book, Anna can be contacted via email (

In Japan, there is a tradition called uchi-mizu: sprinkling water in the entrance hall when expecting a visitor. In the tea ceremony and at Zen temples, this is considered the first service rendered to the guest. Rather than dumping out a whole bucket, the water is sprinkled evenly with the finger tips. It cannot be done immediately before the guest arrives, or the floor will be slippery. Neither can it be done too long before he arrives, because it will get dusty again. In aikido, think of your partner as a dear guest honoring you with a visit. When he arrives, you should be ready. You should have sprinkled water in the entrance hall just a little while ago. Everything should be prepared. Keep an open, welcoming posture. When your guest arrives, invite him in exactly the way you want to receive him. Make it easy and pleasant for him to enter.

Coming back to Sumikiri (Calm in The Eye of the Storm)

This is a post from Ze'ev Erlich made in 2009.

I found the explanation simple but clearly explaning the meaning behind the Japanese term "Sumikiri".


Sumikiri: Stillness in the eye of the storm by Ze'ev Erlich

Sumikiri: Stillness in the eye of the storm

The first time I came across the word sumikiri, was when I read a small but marvellous book called "The Spirit of Aikido" by 2nd Doshu - Kisshomaru Ueshiba.
The word "sumikiri" can be translated as perfect clarity, or pureness, but the book did not give any further explanation.

So... what exactly is sumikiri?
Our most basic training method, is with one partner, slowly and according to clear demonstration of our teacher. Later on, our training becomes more free, creative and dynamic, the attacks and the techniques become more realistic and versatile, and we also learn to resolve situation dealing with a large numbers of opponents.
In such dynamic training, we tend to get very excited and quite often we feel mental pressure and fear. If we continue our training for years and gain experience, we realize that gradually our mind remains relaxed even in such training. Although our body is moving fast and many techniques are applied quickly, our mind remains relaxed and clear - some describe it as: Stillness within motion.

Sumikiri in daily life:
Taking the risk of being crude, I would explain sumikiri as a mental state in which we act correctly and remain clear and relaxed in the midst of stressful situation. I think this can be a result of many years of training, and can affect all aspects of life: family, relationships, work, driving, inner conflicts, etc. Staying completely clear and relaxed under pressure is sumikiri.

Let the mud sink:
The most common example for sumikiri, is of a glass of water with some sand in it. When the water is in movement, the water will be muddy. When we let the water stand still, the mud will sink to the bottom of the glass, and the water will become clear. Even if our body moves dynamically, even if many people attack us at the same time, as a result of our years of training, our mind remains still and we can attain the state of sumikiri.

The eye of the storm:
An important teaching common to all martial arts, is the ability to be in the eye of the storm - where quietness prevails, and where we can remain relaxed. Storm is outside, but inside there is clarity and stillness. Developing such ability takes years, but each and every stage of development, affects all aspects of our life.

In the year 2004, a new book was published: "The Art of Aikido". The very first chapter is dedicated to sumikiri:

"Focus on stillness rather then motion in order to master aikido techniques.
for a heart instantaneously at one with the clear and serene sky, all of existence appears in crystal clarity. When the founder Morihei Ueshiba realized this state of mind, he felt bathed in golden light, and perceived the true mission of Aikido. The centre of a spinning top, appears to be completely still. That kind of stillness, rather then the rapid motion of the top, is where we should focus. It is where the secret of perfect clarity (sumikiri z.e) can be perceived. That stillness also lies at the heart of Aikido techniques. When speaking of the mysterious of centripetal and centrifugal forces, Morihei (O-Sensei z.e) Said: Large has no outside, small has no inside.
This is a maxim we need to reflect deeply."

Sumikiri zoom:
I think this wonderful photo of 2nd doshu is a perfect example for sumikiri. Please look at his relaxed face while executing a dynamic throw:

- Ze'ev Erlich, 5th dan Aikikai.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 2012

Birthday Special

Today, on the 13th of August 2012, Karl-Friedrich Leisinger Sensei became the grand age of 83. After a successful heart valve operation in January this year, Leisinger Sensei is almost fully recovered and looking forward to some more Aikido action. We wish Leisinger Sensei many more joyful years of Aikido practice in Holland and Germany.

Leisinger Sensei at the Annual Meppen BBQ last month

Yamashima Sensei in Hawaii
Over the end of July to the beginning of August, I enjoyed the classes of Yamashima Sensei in the Big Island and Oahu islands of Hawaii. This seminar was cooperative effort between many of the local Aikido groups and the atmosphere was very social and enjoyable with a sincere learning drive. My thanks to the organisers of this event. Very good translations were given by Christopher Li who followed Yamashima Sensei to every class. Looking forward to hopefully pass by next year for more Aikido friendship exchanges.

From Hawaii to Europe!
In September this year, Yamashima Sensei will be back in Europe (teaching in Belgium, Holland and Germany).
The dates are as follows:

Belgium (14 - 16 September)
Friday 14th of September (19:30 - 21:30): Molendreef 8, 2288 Bouwel, BE
Saturday 15th of September (10:00 - 12:00): Watersportlaan 3, 9000 Gent, BE
Sunday 16th of September (10:00 - 12:00): A. Stockmanslei 121, 2640, Mortsel, BE

Holland (17 - 19 September)
Hagukumi Dojo and EPO Dojo.
Details coming soon!

Germany (21 - 23 September)
Friday 21st of September (18:30 - 20:00): Aikido-Zentrum-Düsseldorf, Helmholtzstr. 20, Düsseldorf, DE
Saturday 22nd of September (11:00 - 13:00 & 16:00 - 18:00): Judohalle Lessing-Kollegschule, Ellerstr. 84 - 94, Düsseldorf, DE
Sunday 23rd of Sepetember (10:00 - 12:00):
Judohalle Lessing-Kollegschule, Ellerstr. 84 - 94, Düsseldorf, DE

Solving the Aikido Lineage Problem
After an eventful almost two decades of practicing Aikido (mostly enjoyable and enrinching events only perturbed by the unfortunate but innevitable destiny of older generation teachers eventually passing away and/or becoming ill) and after a plethora of visits to different Aikido dojos all around the world, I have noticed that the issues of "lineage" and "style" regarding variations in Aikido background and branches and sub-branches originating from the uchideshis of O-Sensei are much discussed in Aikido communities.
I'm not sure that it will ever be possible to fathom out a solution which will allow all to agree about how lineage of Aikido masters should be perceived. Every group will make their own interpretation and probably stick to it until the end of time. The mere subject arising will lead to differences of opinion and eventually conflicts of interests within Aikido groups.
With a varied background of Aikido influences, I know what it is to be free from lineage and, at the same time, with a strong influence of the line of Masatake Fujita Shihan (8 years of the master's regular visits to my Aikido club in The Hague), I also have some idea of what it is to uphold a lineage.
At the point when Fujita Shihan was no longer able to continue to travel to dojos around the world to teach Aikido for health reasons, the question of lineage was obviously going to arise for Shihan's followers.
I feel fortunate to have practiced with a large number of the followers of Fujita sensei around the world (including groups of Holland, Israel, Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, Romania, New Zealand, Hawaii) and, especially the older generation followers who have a deeper insight into Aikido's developments than I have.
I'm impressed most of all by the way that all the groups I know have upheld a strong continuation of their Aikido practice although, in their Shihan's current state of unavailability, it is clear that some groups have taken it upon themselves to either find another shihan or sensei or to promote themselves to the position of technical guru in the "style" of Fujita Shihan and, thereby, uphold their continuation.
Which choice a group makes as to their continuation, I guessed was a very critical and important choice and was very much based on the group's philosophy on lineage and culture. The groups which wanted to stick only to Fujita Shihan's technical keiko-ho would be left with no other choice but to promote the most senior member as the group's representative of the Fujita Shihan line. A group which wanted to take the change as an opening for an opportunity to branch out their Aikido knowledge and gain inspiration from another shihan would be left with the need to search for a new shihan.
Whichever way a group has gone, one thing is for sure, each group has had an excellent education about the ideas of Japanese Budo culture and, as a result, I feel an enourmous sense of respect for Fujita Shihan, coming from all of those groups. Ultimately, Fujita Shihan has collected a large number of good people around the world who have shown a genuine interest in the aspects of Aikido that Fujita Shihan was propagating.
My former guess, however, led me to be concerned, for a number of years (since 2008), about the idea that two very different continuation approaches could possibly lead to a conflict of interest between the two branches of thought. In particular, I was sincerely sad about the idea if this would cause a global division in the group of good people that Fujita Shihan had spent decades collecting together.
It was then, for me, a marvellous discovery to have found Glenn Yoshida sensei, 6th dan Aikikai, from Hawaii Renshukan dojo, at the latest semiar of Yamashima sensei in Hawaii Oahu Island in the beginning of August this year. I luckily got talking with Yoshida sensei after the last practice with Yamashima sensei and discovered that Yoshida sensei had been a long time student (dating back to the 1970s) of Fujita Shihan. I put the question to Yoshida sensei regarding my concern and, to my pleasure, the solution was so simple and obvious, the only reason I didn't think of it myself is because my experience and historical understanding of Aikido is much more narrow than Yoshida sensei's.
One aspect of Yoshida sensei's research is to map out a schema/flowchart of all of the aspects of Aikido necessary to have a complete knowledge of the art (much of this schema has come from the teachings of Fujita Sensei). Yoshidsa sensei has kindly allowed me to publish some of his ongoing and not yet complete work. With this schema/flowchart as a reference, Yoshida sensei explained to me that each sensei is covering some or many of the aspects of Aikido as schematised and some teachings may correspond/overlap and others may be mutually exclusive but none would contradict because they are all aiming to fill up the gaps which prevent a student from having a complete knowledge of Aikido.
After this excellent but unfortunately short conversation with Yoshida sensei, I feel more than ever convinced that the two different approaches of continuation do not conflict. They are complimentary and they are both good and healthy continuation approaches to take. Neither one nor the other is a better approach. They are mutually valuable in their own right and should be respected for what they uphold. The one who wants to take over the technical direction as taught by Fujita Shihan is more likely to strongly impose a sampai/kohai relationship which fits in very well with the Japanese budo culture as taught by Fujita Sensei. The one who wants to find a new shihan is upholding an equally valuable learning of Japanese Budo Culture by putting their heart and soul into seeking to complement their current learning of Aikido.
Where both approaches have a common ground is that the leaders of these groups have good hearts, are sincere learners, have a mutual respect for each other and Fujita Shihan and look upon Fujita Shihan as a father of their line.
I sincerely would like to thank Yoshida Shihan for having shed this light on me and for allowing me to publish some of his material. I feel, with the true spirit of budo, that a difficult chapter in my own understanding of lineage is behind me despite the ongoing puzzle that the lineage question will all always spark opinionated debates for many years to come.

Disclaimer: This chart is part of an unfinished Japanese Budo classification project by Glenn Yoshida sensei of Aikido Renshinkan, Oahu, Hawaii.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 2012

Ze'ev Erlich Sensei, 5th dan, seminar at the EPO Aikikai Aikido Club

As an annex to the EPO Aikikai Aikido Club's 10 years anniversary, we are delighted to welcome Ze'ev Erlich sensei, 5th dan Aikikai, to join us for our continued celebration of this landmark year.

Ze'ev sensei will join us on Tuesday the 24th of July for two Aikido classes:
Morning class: 08:00 - 09:00.
Afternoon class: 12:15 - 13:30.
Price regardless of one or two classes: 5 eur.
Everybody is welcome to partcipate in one or both classes.
Externals should let us know in advance that you wish to come and make sure you bring your passport or driving license with you to the EPO for checking-in at the reception desk.

Contact information:
mobile: +31 624603343

Here is a summary of Ze'ev sensei's Aikido history:

Martial Arts CV:
1984 - 2002 Krav-Maga (Israeli self defence martial art) - 2nd Dan, instructor.
Taught Krav Maga in Israel and in Japan for 14 years.
1992 ~~~~ Aikido and Iaido
1992 - 1999 Full time aikido and Iaido student in Japan in Kyoto Aikikai
1995 - 1999 Aikido instructor for handicapped people (volunteer) in Kyoto, Japan.
1997 - 1999 Aikido assistant instructor in Japan.
1999 Moved back to Israel and opened his dojo in Rehovot..
2002 wrote and published the first aikido book in Hebrew.
2006 became a direct student of Masatake Fujita Shihan.
2010 Got permission and blessing from Fujita Sensei's wife to name his dojo and organization: Masatake Dojo, Israeli Aikido Association.
2012 Recieved 5th Dan from Motohiro Fukakusa Shihan.
2013 ~~~~ hoping to practice aikido until I am 120 years old.
2012 ~~~~ I believe that a sensei has to keep having dreams and keep making them come true, but more than that, a sensei has to assit his studets find their dreams and bliss, and encourage the, to follow their bliss and dreams.
My wish is that we will all teach in a way that our students will be better than us.

Lets practice Aikido!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 2012

1.0 Aikido Without Borders.

I'm an Aikidoka without Borders.
Follow my diary as I go into the Palestinian areas of Jib Village and Ramallah to teach Aikido with Miles Kessler and the Aikido Without Borders project:

I'm settling down nicely in Israel and the other evening, I spoke with Miles Kessler sensei about participation in Aikido Without Borders. The discussion was positive and we have a rough plan for going to give some lessons to the Palestinians. I'll be reporting about my visits to the Palestinian areas during the month. Keep coming back to the blog to stay updated on my impressions of this important project.
Aikido Without Borders is a non-profit organisation and depends solely on fund-raising and
donations for it to function effectively. If anybody knows a way of helping, they would do well to contact AWB for further discussions (
For more information about AWB, click here:

In addition, I received this post on facebook from Ido Kallir:

To all my Aikidoka friends aborad- Sensei and students. This is an amazing project, a life dream of Miles Kessler sensei. Share, join and pass around. if there is "A WAY", then this is the one. Lawrence Warry sensei is here for a month to help, maybe others will want?

2. The 50th All Japan Aikikai Embukai

On Saturday the 26th of May 2012, the 50th All Japan Aikikai Embukai took place. Again there was a large turn out as aikido practitioners from all over Japan and a few overseas guests filled the Nippon budokan for this yearly all day event.
Like every year, the embukai finishes with the demonstrations of Tada shihan, 9th dan Aikikai and Doshu Moriteru. This year, Tada shihan will become 83 years old but, on viewing his demonstration, one would never guess.
Here is some footage of the demonstration presented by Tada shihan at this year´s embukai:

3. Practicing with Yamashima Sensei in Tokyo
During the week of my visit to Japan at the end of May, there were many opportunities to train with Yamashima sensei. He was most mornings at the hombu dojo 06:30 - 07:30 class with Doshu and would invite us for breakfast either at the famous Pony cafe (where all the Aikido veterens go) or at a the Shinagawa prince hotel. Breakfast was always fun and enjoyable after a morning practice. In addition, the visiting delegation got the opportunity to visit Yamashima sensei's house on several occassions for some private practice in his small dojo. In addition to that, I had the further opportunity to join the Chyoda practice of Wednesday evening where the atmosphere is very budo-like (with karate being practiced on the mat next to the aikido). The party afterwards is, as usual in a cramped little izakaya under the railway line but always a fun occassion with good food and beer.

Chiyoda Practice.

After Chiyoda practice party in the izakaya under the railway.

4.0 Six forms of ki and prayer from Shimamoto shihan's recent Seminar in Israel.

After flying back from Japan, I was just two days later attending the last session Shimamoto shihan's seminar in Israel at the Masatake dojo in Rehovot. I walked in the dojo after a long journey and some down moments to a cloud of happy faces. I was immediately uplifted and I felt the wonderful ki that had been generated by what must have been another amazing seminar with Shimamoto shihan. 
During the lesson I attended, Shimamoto shihan talked about ki and, in particular, how he sees ki energy like a prayer. As an ordained Zen buddhist priest, it is no wonder that, within his aikido, Shimamoto shihan adds elements of zen. In this case, it was about the link between ki and prayer. The "six levels" of prayer, as he put it, were order as follows:
First: Prayer to your God.
Second: Prayer to Parents and ancestors.
Three: Prayer to Teachers and piers.
Four: Prayer to friends and community.
Five: Prayer to materials (food, the sun, material objects in general).
Six: Prayer to your own soul.
It is in this method that Shimamoto sensei showed how his movement was embodied in the ki and, from this one understood that the six "prayers" are common to all spiritual movements and are underlying principles of spirituality in general. Shihan went on to name the movement he made as a prayer throw (inori nage).

Shimamoto Shihan demonstrating in front of his Calligraphy.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2012

1. EAAC 10th Anniversary Event Report.
The EPO Aikikai Aikido Club's 10th anniversary was successfully celebrated with the advent of Takeshi Yamashima sensei giving an excellent Aikido practice on Wednesday the 25th of April followed by a spectacular dinner at the Full Moon Chinese restaurant in the center of The Hague. During the week leading up to the event, Yamashima sensei visited various dojos in the area (Amsterdam, Gent and Antwerp, Leiden, The Hague's Hagukumi dojo, Delft). Looking back on 10 years, I made a video clip of some of the memorable occassions during the period. Please enjoy ...

It was a pleasure to receive the Japanese delegation (Yamashima Sensei and wife, Aoto san, Chizuyo san and Nagata san) to the training and their visit to Holland. It was a week of many wonderful Aikido impressions, setting us in the mood for many more years of Aikido to come!
With more than 50 people practicing on the mat, it was the largest Aikido held so far at my office.
More than 50 people on the mat enjoying the 10th Anniversary event with Yamashima Sensei.
Although three important persons in the EAAC's history could not make it (Bacas sensei who passed away on the 27th of February 2006, Fujita sensei who is rehabilitating form a stroke since 2008 and Leisinger sensei who is recovering from a heart operation), we nevertheless lighted three candles respectively for each missed teacher and, out of respect for Leisinger sensei's great teaching contribution to the club, we performed the famous 25 move jo kata that Leisinger sensei bought to us from Aikikai Deutschland.
Not forgetting during the lunch period of the same day, the EAAC hosted Ernesto Ladavas sensei, 6th dan Aikikai and chairman of the CABN.
The event successfully celebrated the forming of many old and new friendships and we were pleased to receive three members of the recently formed Aikido club of our office counterpart site in Munich. Many thanks to all the people who supported this project.

2. In and Yo 陰陽 (Japanese for Yin and Yang)
On completing my shiatsu studies last year, I was asked to write an essay on Shiatsu. As part of my essay, I compared common Japanese terms shared between Aikido and Shiatsu. Maybe not so often mentioned in the Aikido world, the terms In and Yo are more commonly known in their Chinese form (Yin and Yang). Whilst these appear to be important terms referred to in the Chinese martial arts, the Japanese terms In and Yo are scarcely mentioned in Aikido publications. I decided, therefore to write something about them in this blog because, afterall, the Yin and Yang Chinese principles also apply to the Japanese martial arts most certainly. 
In principle, In and Yo correspond to the Chinese Yin and Yang and it could be said that the Japanese imported the same meaning as given by this ancient Chinese expression of duality through the transition of Buddhism into Japan.
The terms In and Yo (or Yin & Yang) express common opposites/dualities in nature which when balanced together form a non-dual existence in harmony with the laws of nature created by the universe. That is to say, that all dualisms have a “in” part and a “yo” part.
“Yo” (Yang) is an expression of direct, hard, positive, active, light elements of nature.
“In” (Yin) is an expression of indirect, soft, negative, passive, dark elements of nature.
In shiatsu, the body is expressed in terms of In and Yo. Externally, the parts of the body which accept light (the front of the body) are all considered “In” parts and the parts of the body which shed from light (the back of the body) are all considered “Yo” parts. Internally, some organs are “In” organs (Large Intestine, Thyms, Skin, Small Intestine, Stomach, Gall-Bladder, Bladder, Brain) and some organs are “Yo” organs (Lung, Appendix, Pericardium, Heart, Genitals, Kidney, Liver, Pancreas, Spleen). So a healthy body is one which has a balanced existence of the “In” parts and the “Yo” parts. The application of shiatsu provides the necessary impulse for the body to self-heal. That is to say, by applying pressure to tsubos (pressure points corresponding to the organs), the autonomic nervous system is stimulated which triggers the body to take over the job of unifying organs of opposing polarities thus bringing the body into harmony with a universal balance according to laws of nature.
The same combination of In and Yo are also required in Aikido. When we receive an attack, we don't block it, we accept it (In) and we respond by changing the direction and neutralising with an entering movement (Yo). It is important in Aikido to be both strong and soft at the same time. Most people are either too strong or too soft. Therefore, the practice in Aikido is try to find a harmony between these two qualities and adopt them both at the same time. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 2012

The month of april is a very special month of Aikido Anniversaries (2nd of April: Doshu Aikido, Moriteru Ueshiba's birthday, 21st of April: Shihan Fujita Masatake's birthday, 26th of April: Anniversary of the passing away of O-Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba). Another anniversary (not so well known) also exists in the month of April which has the number 10 this year. That is, the anniversary of the EAAC (European Patent Office Aikido Club). In this issue, we look at the past, present and potential future of this club of European civil servants. Also in this issue, some news about national certification of CABN teachers and a story of fascination about the legendary Samurai Game (TM) created by the genius of George Leonard. We finish this issue with one of Ernesto Sensei's recommended cooking recipes and a Japanese word which is central to Aikido and central to a focussed and authentic practice, "Chuushin/中心" (which literally means centre).

Lawrence Warry

1. Celebrating 10 Years of Aikido at The European Patent Office
The EAAC (European Patent Office Aikikai Aikido Club) is not the only patent office Aikido club in the world. There exists at least one more (the JPO, Japanese Patent Office, Aikido club) and we have enjoyed a number of exchanges already (both JPO Aikido members coming to Europe and EPO Aikido members going to Japan) and Aikido is simply one of the perfect ways to balance a working day at the office. On the 25th of April this year, the EAAC will celebrate its 10th anniversary with special guests Ernesto Ladavas Sensei (our local 6th dan aikikai sensei) and Takeshi Yamashima Sensei (7th dan aikikai from Tokyo, Japan). During the summer, on the 24th of July, we will extend our celebration with the invitation of Ze'ev Erlich Sensei (5th dan aikikai from Israel). On celebrating, we reflect the paths the club has taken and the current state of how Aikido is enjoyed by members of the EAAC today, its connection to the Dutch organisation, the CABN, and we look at the possibilities of development for the club into the future.

The Past (The History): The EAAC was inaugurated under the Amicale Society (the social, cultural and sports organisation of the European Patent Office)  in April 2002 by Mr. Franck Adkhis who sought the technical supervision of Peter Bacas Sensei (✝ 27/3/2006, 6th dan Aikikai), the former chairman of the CABN. Bacas Sensei was and still is a great inspiration to the club and we still display Bacas Sensei's portrait at each of our lessons. Through Bacas Sensei, the EAAC had the privelage and Honour to receive direct instruction from a highly respected figure of the Hombu Dojo, Shihan Masake Fujita (8th dan Aikikai). We had many visits over the years from Fujita Shihan from our beginning until the point where Fujita Shihan could no longer travel to Europe for health reasons (Fujita Shihan's last visit to Holland being in February 2008 for the CABN's Lent School in Ameland). Later in 2008, the CABN received Yamashima sensei, 7th dan Aikikai and, again, the EAAC was honoured to receive a great sensei's direct instruction. Including my person (as assistant instructor to Bacas Sensei) also there in the beginning was Arnaud Rilliard who helped to start up the club and was the club's first chairman. Despite some changes in the wind, Arnaud has become an adept Aikidoka who doesn't hesitate to help out with assisting at the club as a guest teacher and continues to maintain friendly links with the club. A number of patent office staff passed through the membership and guest teaching of the EAAC since the beginnning and, quite clearly, not all were going to stay. However, each individual who has at some point been a member of the club regardless of the period of membership, has contributed in some way to enriching the club, thereby making it a success. The EPO success story would not be complete, however, without the mentioning of the long-time service and immense contribution of 82 years old K.F. Leisinger sensei who, since the beginning, year in, year out, up to last year, was driving 3 hours from Germany to Holland and 3 hours back, teaching at the EPO twice per month in addition to teaching at 4 or 5 other clubs in the region. Currently, Leisinger sensei is recovering from heart surgery that took place earlier this year though, when he spoke on the phone recently, he was in high spirits and sounded chirpy and happy.
The Present (The Gift): The EAAC is a modestly sized club of about 25 adult aikido members, 11 child members (plus 40 EPO staff who have registered to enjoy the Friday morning Aiki-Stretch & Move classes). The class schedule runs every day from Tuesday to Friday (Tuesady mornings 07:30 - 09:00, Wednesday lunch times 12:15 -13:30, Thursday mornings 07:30 - 09:00, Thursday afternoons kids class 17:00 - 18:00, Friday mornings Aiki-Stretch & Move classes 08:00 -09:00, and Friday lunch times bokken and jo class 12:00 - 13:00). We give thanks for our links the club has made to the Aikido world both in the Netherlands and internationally and the pleasure we take in the many opportunities to practice at one's working place during the working week. We are truly privelaged to have such a possibility of practicing our hobby at our work place to such a level of intensity. The EAAC's 10th anniversary this month marks, above all, a celebration of all the friendships made in the past 10 years.

The Future (The Mystery):
The future lies in: 1. The children of our club (who are children of EPO office staff) many of whom may well grow out of Aikido and pursue other interests but some my grow into Aikido and become amazing Aikido ambassadors; 2. The new members. They are not just the new blood of the club. They are also the inspiration. They teach the experienced ones how to be beginners again. They are going to be fresh with ideas and will bring a new voice to the club; 3. The friendships that have been made with other Aikido clubs and teachers locally and globally. Without friendship, Aikido cannot be exchanged from heart to heart. So, we hope that our future is bright and our existing friendships bloom (I think of friendships made between office staff but also friendships made externally, Dutch friends, friends from France, England, Germany, Israel, friends from Japan, friends from America, Australia and New Zealand, Hawaii, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. Yes, we have been making a lot of friends in the past 10 years!) and we are looking forward to new friendships being created. Recently, in 2011, a new patent office Aikido club was formed in the EPO Muich branch. Some members of the Munich branch Aikido club will be joining our 10th anniversary celebrations and we look forward to sharing ideas about future exchanges and joint projects between The Hague and Munich sites. Although the future is "the mystery", the gift of the present lies in the many possibilities in which the EAAC can grow and develop. We'll let you know how it went in 10 years time!

2. CABN Instructors On The Way to National Instructor Accreditation. This year has been a busy time for the CABN instructors and assistant instructors who have brought themselves forward for national accreditation. A number of weekend courses have taken place to prepare these people for their exams. On the 15th of April, the Aikido Teacher Level 4 exam will take place and on the 2nd of June,  the Aikido Teacher Level 3 exam will take place. We wish these teachers much success for their exams.

3. The Samurai Still Exist and They are All Around Us (Report About A Recent Samurai Game).

When I arrived at Zu studios in Lewes, near Brighton, England, I had a rough idea what was in stall for me as I was about to play, for the first time in my life, the Samurai Game ™, an epic game of wit and decisions which brings two armies into a battle with the general objective of observing the behaviour parterns of yourself and others and various life scenarios that can unfold based on players' decisions made as a result of those patterns, appropriately set in a simulated environment in the context of the 15th century samurai era.The participation in my first game was a subsequent stepping stone on the road to Sumarai Game™ facilitator certification. Already, in 2011, I flew to Petaluma (near San Francisco) to participate in the falicitator course and, in order to complete this course, I must participate in some games and invite Lance Giroux (the game's director in charge) to run a course in my local area with my assitance.Even though, with the facilitators course behind me, I had a few clues about how the day was going to unfold, I had not expected the game to be so intensely fun, life-teaching and inspirational as it was. A bit more about the game. The Samurai Game ™ (by George Leonard) is played between two armies by way of random/natural selection within the group of participants. The game is a simulation of samurai battles of Japan in the 15th century though there is no physical violence nor contact during the game. A battle takes place and challenges are made between samurai of opposing armies. A challenge is symbolic of a dual between two samurai warroirs and will either be by way of testing physical strength, balance, coordination, aesthetic prowess and, possibly, luck at times. A challenge lost would, more often than not, lead to the “death” of the losing soldier (“death” is symbolised by the soldier lying still on the ground). A leader (or Daimyo) is selected within the armies themselves and, once selected, the leader/Daimyo will select his or her second person in charge (assisting the leadership), a century (who will keep a look out and report about in-coming enemy samurai, and ninja (who may get to infiltrate the enemy lines and make mischief). The other army members are samurai soldiers with the capability of undergoing challenges. An oath will be sworn, in allegance to the Daimyo, by each soldier of the army and the Daimyo will go on to make a speach and outline a strategy. Once both armies have gone through this process and outlined their strategies, a battle can begin. Central to the running of the battles and ensuring that there is progress, a war god (or fate of war) is present. The war god can be compared to a referee. However, the general task of the war god may be considered non-typical for a referee since the war god is allowed to be arbitrary, capricious and unfair. Certified facilitators of the Samurai Game(TM) are the only people who can be war gods. The war god will announce the beginning and end of the game. Usually the game ends once one army's soldiers have all died and the only person standing in that army is the Daimyo. The winning army's Daimyo must then give an historical account of the battle that took place, not in biased terms, but with the samurai values of respect and honour towards the losing side.Throughout the game, people will “die” and reincarnate (at the war gods discretion) either by losing challenges or because the war god declares a person must die. Death that did not arise from a challenge is usually because a participant didn't follow a rule (though it may be the case that the war god might capriciously and arbitrarily order a person to die for no apparent reason, possibly for the simple reason that life sometimes is not alweays fair). At certain times (especially when the battlefield becomes full of dead bodies), the war god will announce all to stop any challenges and to bury their dead. The burials should be done ceremoniously, according to the samurai conduct, in honour of those who fell. Some rules are set expressly to challenge our habbits. For example, it is generally not permitted to smile or laugh during the game (except for ninjas who, on the war gods permission, may have the right to smile when making mischief) and it is not permitted to say “please” and “thank you” during the game.Such a description of the game, as given here-above, is provided in the build up to the battle as the facilitator guides the participants to understanding how to play the game. The day, however, does not begin with an explanation of the game. Instead, some concepts are explained by the facilitaor. The facilitator of this day in Lewes was Francis Briers, certified since 2009 with already a number of games now behind him. Francis was clear and informative in his facilitation skills and appeared to make a friendly and warm atmosphere within the group of participants.The day lasted from 10:00 – 20:00 of which the first half comprised preparations and exercises necessary for understanding the game's setting and context. Francis provided some information about the code of the samurai and their values (what the samurai stood for) which would have an influence on how one is supposed to try to behave during the game and we studied briefly some samurai anecdotes to inspire our ideas about how to act as a samurai. During the morning, we explored some exercises which would provide an advantage in the challenges through centering, relaxing and breathing and we looked at the concepts of “fight and flight” and “freeze and fold” scenarios, as responses to social confrontation, and how we could rather try to change our responses to “rest and digest” in such conflicting moments). After the lunch break, we practiced some of the challenges that could take place during the game (white crane, black crane, flying eagle, falling stick, running stick, balancing stick, paper scissor stone, Polish wrestling) and only just before the battle was going to start, did Francis describe the game and outline the rules of the game. The battle lasted about 2 – 3 hours and the last hour of the day was dedicated to debriefing and giving feedback about experiences during the game and how those experiences might apply to one's own reality and the life they live.What I found most interesting and impressive from the whole day is the way that the Samurai Game ™ allows people to feel they are in a safe zone where they can reveal their weaknesses and vulnarabilities. It was, in fact, a burning question I had after I finished the facilitators course in 2011. How do you deal with resistance? I have told several colleagues about the game and many of them feel negative about the idea of revealing some skeletons from the dark realms of their personas. During the game, however, I personally didn't feel any resistance about exposing my own weakness and, it seems, that the other participants were also okay with it.I believe that the reason why there is this safe feeling is due to the clever design of the facilitation structure. Participants are given three chances not to play the game but to opt out and participate only as an observer. At the moment of each chance, the particpant knows a bit more about the game and what they might expect and be expected to do during the game and therefore will be able to assess, as the expectations accumulate, whether or not the game is suitable for them to play. Such a progressive approach builds a lot of trust and, ultimately, puts the choice of whether or not to play, more in the hands of the participant so that they are not left to feel that they are cornered in any way. The first time a call is made for people to opt out is just before explaining the game and its challenges. The second time a call is made for people to opt out is after practicing the challenges. The third time a call is made for people to opt out is just before the war god announces the start of the battle. Because the game is a based on teams, the awareness of individuals' strengths and weaknesses on an individual and group level is important as the two armies try to select the most approriate challengees and challenges.As our battle progressed over the afternoon, the whole group from both armies became gradually aware of the talents that the people in the group had and there was a prfound sense of respect for all the participants at the end. It made me particularly aware how I too easily made prejudgements of the people there in the beginning of the day and how much I saw them in a completely different light after the battle was over.The genius of the game is the way in which it is able to bring out of each participant not only the awareness of each individual's behavior patterns and, with that awareness, an appreciation of how one makes decisions in life, but also makes apparent to each individiual and those participating, the sparkling talent, that each of us have, that may sometimes in life have got shunned or pushed out of the way.It seems, indeed, that the Samurai have not at all dissapeard though maybe the warriors of yesteryear have been reincarnated and cocooned within the personas of each individual who seeks to make a positive transformation in, and be a warrior of, the life as they know it today. After this amazing day in Lewes, I have witnessed that The Samurai Game ™ is here and it is waking up those warriors from their cocoons!I'm very excited about my next step in the Game.
Lawrence Warry, 19th of March 2012

4. One of Ernesto Sensei's Famous Recipes.
As well as being a famous Italian sensei from Holland, not many people know the other secret talents of Ernesto sensei, one being his large repetoir of cooking recipes. Here is one such recipe courtesey of Ernesto Sensei. As they say in Dutch, Eet Smakelijk!


1 chicken.
4 onions.
1 clove of garlic.salt.pepper.
1 large carrot.
1 green and 1 red pepper.
2 teaspoons paprika.
1 pinch cayenne pepper.
4 large potatoes.
1 can sweetcorn.
4 spoons of oil.
4 small bananas.
i.Cut the chicken into 4 or 8 pieces or the chicken into cubes.
ii.Brown the pieces on all sides in oil.
iii.Then lower the heat and add the chopped onion and garlic added.
iv.Add the paprika and cayenne pepper and stir a few times around.
v.Add the thinly sliced ​​peppers, sliced ​​potatoes andthe sliced ​​carrot with some salt and a dash of hot water.
vi.Cover the pan and cook all together gently and continuously.
vii.Then add the corn cobs and cook to warm through.
viii.Peel the bananas and fry on both sides in butter until lightly brown.
ix.Serve the stew in a warm dish and lay the banana on top.

5. Japanese Word Chuushin/中心

Chuushin literally means "Center". Depending on the context, the word can have various deviations of meaning. Chuushin can mean, for example, balance, core, emphasis, heart, innermost feelings, and pivot (to name but a few). Chuushin can also be used to describe the act of focussing or giving something importance.
In Aikido, the term Chushin-ryoku (中心力 chūshin-ryoku) means "center of power" whereas Chushin-sen (中心線 chūshin-sen) means "center line", often used in the context of the centre line of the body when cutting with the bokken or sword. The same centre line is necessary for the correct alignment of the hand as an extension of the body's power in avoiding excessive force of the shoulders in Aikido.
Just as it is important in Aikido to keep our centre line and center of power in our hanmi and movement, it is also important to keep our training central to our daily routine in order to develop a momentum of practise and habit. Through centralising and focusing one's practise in this way, a person can develop their Aikido more as an art than as a recreation and the satisfaction of study becomes greater. Please practise Aikido in this central way and please become a great Aikidoka!

6. Announcements/Dates to look out for ...
2nd of April: Birthday of Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba
15th of April: Aikido Teacher Level 4 exams, Holland.
21st of April: Birthday of Shihan Masatake Fujita
25th of April: EPO Aikikai Aikido Club Receives Ladavas Sensei and Yamashima Sensei (click here for facebook information page).
(20th - 26th of April): Local clubs receive Yamashima Sensei for private classes.
26th of April: Memorial of passing away of O-Sensei.
29th of April: Aiki Shrine Festival, Iwama, Japan 
26th of May: 50th All Japan Aikikai Embukai.
2nd of June: Aikido Teacher Level 3 exams, Holland.
31st of May - 3rd of June: Masatake Dojo, Israel, receives Shimamoto Shihan, 8th dan Aikikai.
Whole month of June, I'll be in Israel assisting the cause of AWB (Aikido Without Borders).
7th - 12th of July: CABN summer school with Mori Shihan, 6th dan Aikikai.
24th of July: Ze'ev Erlich sensei, 5th dan Aikikai, comes to the EPO for an extension of our 10th anniversary celebration.

7. O-Sensei Quote ...

If your heart is large enough to envelop your adversaries, you can see right through them and avoid their attacks. And once you envelop them, you will be able to guide them along the path indicated to you by heaven and earth.