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

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 2013

1.0 Practicing Aikido For Peace!
It is becoming a yearly occassion, since the opening of the new location of the Hagukumi dojo in 2009, that Yamashima sensei, 7th dan Aikikai, comes to The Hague each September to mark the anniversary of the opening. Yamashima sensei was there in September 2009 already to give an official opening seminar. The organisers, Paul Jungschlager and Robert van den Bosch have joined this yearly occassion conveniently at the same time with the United Nations day of peace (on the 21st of September). Therefore, around that day, Yamashima sensei will be giving Aikido seminars in the name of peace in The Hague, Rijswijk and Leiden. Click the image here-below to see the training times and locations:
Yamashima Sensei, 7th dan Aikkai in the Area of The Hague 20 - 22 September 2013
For information regarding locations and trainings, please contact the Hagukumi dojo (

2.0 Enso Japanese Zen Calligraphy
Zen Circle (enso) by Hakuin
"Hamamatsu of Enshu
is a tea-growing district
I want to marry off
my daughter there
to pick fine tea leaves"
Translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi
(Many thanks to Professor Addiss for helping finding the translation).
A Japanese calligraphy practice, known as "enso" is the Zen practice of drawing a circle in just one brush stroke. The circle drawn has many significations. For example, the circle can represent: the all encompassing universe, the moon, emptiness, the continuous repetition of life. Some books about O-Sensei, founder of Aikido, depict circles drawn by the founder with a point in the middle. It is not necessarily the traditional enso practice. O-Sensei had possibly another signification in his drawing. Interestingly, the point in the middle seems to be of importance as our focus in Aikido is on the center. The movement of Aikido is very much circular and concentrated within that circular movement is the center of our bodies. It seems this could be O-Sensei's adaption of enso in some way. 
I further interpret the brush stroke as corresponding to each practice being one opportunity (such as the expression "ichi go ichi e", meaning one meeting one chance). Furthermore, the brush stroke is a continuation and not broken into stages. Signifying commitment to the circle being draw and connection throughout the movement (very significant in what we try to practice in Aikido). I also notice how the circles are not perfectly drawn. In some way it is an expression of the perfection of our imperfections when we commit ourselves to the practice of a movement or an exercise.
I apologise to those knowing in the art if my interpretations are far away from the true meaning of the art of enso and and O-Sensei's adaptions.