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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 2013

From Japan to Israel to San Francisco to Seattle, this month has seen a busy travel agenda for me and given me the opportunity to train with some great teachers, such as Yamashima sensei, 7th dan Aikikai in Nerima, Tokyo, Japan at the special seminar at the beginning of the month, Shimamoto Shihan, 8th dan Aikikai of Osaka, Japan who gave a great seminar in Masatake dojo, Israel, Miles Kessler sensei, 5th dan Aikikai at the Integral dojo in Tel Aviv, Ze'ev Erlich sensei, 5th dan Aikikai at the Masatake dojo in Rehovot, Israel, and Bob Nadeau sensei, 7th dan Aikikai in City Aikido, San Francisco. This month has been for me, therefore, a blend of supreme Aikido influences which I am most grateful to have had the opportunity to see.

My trip to Israel took me again to Ramallah for Aikido Without Borders, headed by Miles Kessler sensei, and, this time I got Anna Sanner of Hannover, Germany to tag along with me. You can read about our one day adventure here on my blog which keeps track of my Aikido Without Borders activities:

In between all the trips I managed to squeeze in a demonstration with my local club, the EPO Aikikai Aikido Club, where we got together with 7 martial arts to display our practices. This was a succeful event for all the martial arts which help our community.
Photo from the Aikido Demonstration at the EPO, Rijswijk, The Netherlands on the 5th of June.
This month's guest post is by our friend, Ze'ev Erlich sensei, 5th dan Aikikai of Masatake Dojo, Rehovot, Israel. 


The monk who lives among us

By Ze'ev Erlich
Here is a nice Japanese proverb I found recently. It reminded me of something nice I read in recent interview with an Aikido master called Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei who is 8th dan, and was a direct desciple of the founder of Aikido.The proverb is:
大隠は市に隠る tai-in wa ichi ni kakru
"A great sage lives in a town"
Though a hermit may lead a pious life in a cave, in a forest or a lonely mountain, a trully great person, lives in crowded streets and is not affected by his surroundings. He can have a disciplined life in spite of his surroundings. From the book: Japanese Proverbs and Sayings.

Yamada Sensei lives and teaches aikido in the very heart of Manhattan (NYC).
Here are Yamada Sensei's words concerning the very same idea:

"I am not a very spiritual man. I should have followed the lectures of Nakamura sensei, I would probably be deeper. I am not a mysterious person, I try to practice and transmit something that is good for the body and the mind, but something rooted in everyday, real life. Zen meditation is good. It can be performed in the depths of the mountains, where nothing disturbs us, but the best place to meditate is in a busy street, this is where you need it. One day, I was in a temple and during a discussion, I told them that it was easy to meditate when one was alone in the world, but that it was a different story when at the heart of a busy street in New York. People got angry but it is in this type of place that relaxation and detachment are needed most (laughs). Always anchor things in reality so that it positively affects daily lives."

The full interview can be found at:

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