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

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 2013

1. Note from the Editor.
Hello everybody. Whilst I cannot say that this blog is a favorite read for everybody, I couldn't help noticing that we have almost got 15,000 page views so we definitely have some visibility from the Aikido (and possibly non-Aikido) world. I'm thankful that people have taken some time out to review the page and, even if it was not what you were looking for, it is much appreciated that you spent some time to read what is on this blog which is simply a record of sharing Aikido experiences around the world with friends. Many thanks to you, the readers!
This month's post reports on my adventures to Poland and an Aikikai group in Krakov who just so happen to be also co-lead by Paul Olesiak, a Samurai Game (TM) facilitator who became certified 7 years ago together with Paul Bernas with the official facilitator training with Lance Giroux.
I'd like also to announce some great Aikido events coming up in May/June with Yamashima sensei, 7th dan Aikikai, and long serving student of the late Yamaguchi sensei and a great seminar taking place in Israel with 8th dan Shimamoto shihan. When I recommend seminars and events, it is because I have experienced a learning value, a social value and a happiness value that I have received from the trainings of the respective teachers. It is as simple as that. I just want to make it clear that I have no aiki-political agenda with regards to these teachers. Feel free to experience these seminars and make up your own mind.
But first, my report from Krakov, Poland ...
Lawrence Warry (editor).

2. An Aikikai Aikido Group in Krakov, Poland.I feel fortunate to have met a very friendly but also hard working group of Aikidoka in Krakov, Poland, whilst I was visiting the beautiful old city for my company. In my free time on a Friday evening, I headed to the training venue of the Aikido club of Pawel Bernas and Pawel Olesiak, both 5th dan leaders of the Krakowskie Stowarzyszenie Aikido group and both Samurai Game facilitators.
That evening, I followed the class of another Pawel (Paweł Cedrowski, 3rd dan aikikai). Is every guy doing Aikido in Poland having the name Pawel? If so then it's easy to remember everybody's name :-).
You can find the group's website here:
My first remark I made to myself is that the class was about 50% populated by women which already impressed me even before seeing their Aikido. I later found out from Pawel Olesiak that the reason was that a lot of people had left the city for the weekend and Friday evenings are usaully quieter. Nevertheless we had a good number of women in the class and this was, to my mind, a sign of strength in the club.
The class of Pawel Cedrowski sensei was strong and one could immediately notice the influence of Christian Tissier shihan. When one visits a foreign dojo, one must keep an open mind and accept that there are many different ways of training. I liked Pawel sensei's firm but friendly approach. He kind of showed the effectiveness of the techniques which left me no doubt that they could be used powerfully, but nevertheless he took care that we were practicing safely and at the same time martially. So, with a lot of sweat and a tired but satisfied body at the end of the lesson, I felt happy to have practiced Aikido with this experienced group of Polish Aikido people and I left having a lot of respect for the way they are training.
The next morning I met up with Pawel Olesiak for coffee and we talked enthusiastically about the Samurai Game (TM) for which I have recently been certified a facilitator. Pawel is a number of years further down the road of facilitating this training and it was useful and educational to listen to his experiences and pick up some tips about how to promote it. I'm really thankful to Pawel for spending time (on his father's birthday!) to join me for coffee and a talk in the lovely Jewish quater of Krakov (the so called Kazimierz).

Finally, I emailed Pawel and Pawel to ask them some questions about their Aikido and their dojo.
Hereby a little interview with Pawel Bernas and Pawel Olesiak of Krakowskie Stowarzyszenie Aikido. Thank you again for your time:
Pawel Bernas, 5th dan Aikikai
Pawel Olesiak, 5th dan Aikikai
When did you start Aikido?
Paweł Bernas – 1987
Paweł Olesiak - 1983
How did you get interested in Aikido? Paweł Bernas – Reading an article in the Newspaper. First was Karate and Jujutsu then Aikido
Paweł Olesiak – In 1982, I heard about Aikido from my school teacher. He was also an aikido instrucktor
Who have been your Aikido influences? For both of us our influence is Christian Tissier shihan.
What do you hope to bring in the future with your Aikido practice? For me personally it helps me in my private life and my business life. “Masukatsu agatsu” (overcoming oneself) this is what interests me more.
Is it to improve technique? Yes it is, all the time. Eeffectiveness of the technique. Let's say the martial dimension is very important to me.
To improve your community? I’m not seeing so big a picture. If aikido helps some people feel safer, more concentrated, more present or even more efficient in the life they live I’m more than happy.
In other words, for you, what aspects of your life and your community are you developing with Aikido practice? From the physical point of view I would simply say a healthy body. Form other sides: A good relation with yourself and other people (I think it is important to look at where do we meet together instead of where can I block you?).
It was a pleasure to meet you all and do hope it wont be the last time I can come to Krakow, practice Aikido with you and talk about the Samurai Game (TM). Domo Arigatou Gosaimahita!

3. Yamashima Sensei Agenda Updated
This week (13th - 18th of May), you can practice with Yamashima Sensei in many different venues in the city of Paris, France. See the information here-below on the postes (sorry to those readers who don't speak French, it is in French but it shouldn't be too difficult for you to grasp the essential information!).
During the week.

During the weekend.

I recently received an up to date version of Yamashima Sensei's agenda all around the world. You can find this updated agenda here (click to make bigger):
Just to give a quick indication for this month, Yamashima Sensei will be heading, after Paris, to Sweden and Finland and, in the middle of June to Hawaii. from the end of June and during July, Yamashima Sensei will again be in Europe (in the following order: Manheim Germany, Geneva and Castricum Holland). See the spreadsheet for more details.

4. Shimamoto Shihan in Israel (30th of May to 3rd of June 2013).
Here is a reminder about last month´s post from Ze'ev Erlich about Shimamoto Shihan coming to Israel again for the fifth year running (taking place this year on the 30th of May to the 3rd of June). Hereby, a link to the post:

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