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

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