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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 2013

1. Aikido's Role in the Community
Whilst not everybody comes to Aikido (maybe it's the white pants or the "black dress" that scares some people away or maybe people think it sounds too much like learning to fight or combat), Aikido can, nevertheless, go to the people. Much of what is learned in the dojo is for taking outside for use in society. That's not to say it is a preparation for the one in a million possibility that you may have to physically defend yourself against an attacking thug. It is more to say that the regular practice and spirtual cleansing in our practice is to bring order to our lives but also to emanate a good attitude and honorable way of living in our lives. 
With the Israeli Delegation, Shimamoto Shihan and wife Mama san in Zevenbergen, The Netherlands, Oct 2013
Shimamoto Shihan of Osaka, Tokyo Japan, who recently visited the Netherlands, is one who displays such an example of bringing Aikido to the community. As much as being known for his Aikikai Aikido 8th dan shihan position, Shimamoto Shihan is also a reknowned Zen priest of the community of Toyonaka near Osaka, and thereby, life in the dojo goes hand-in-hand with life in the community. 
It was a pleasure to meet Shihan and his wife and all my friends from Israel who visited the Netherlands for this seminar. Let's follow this beautiful example of bringing Aikido to the people.

2. Samurai Game(R) Report from 12th and 13th of October
Continuing on from this theme of brinigng Aikido to the people, one such tool that is useful for demonstrating how Aikido can be practiced by people, who may not ever go to an Aikido or ever want to do a martial art, is the Samurai Game(R), devised in 1977 by the late George Leonard. An event took place last weekend in The Hague with a very successful result. Needless to say, the driving factor of the game is the learning by playing approach and, in particular, how does one manage stress. Aikido trains us to respond and connect with the center and not with our emotions. The game can be intense and stressful and is thus a perfect opportunity to exercise centered responses and connections.
A total of 15 people played the game and the participants appeared to be impressed by the effect that the game has in learning by way of playing. 
More details about the Samurai Game in The Netherlands can be found on this facebook page (photos and a more reports coming soon there!):
Another public game will be held in The Netherlands in the first quater of 2014. Keep your eyes peeled for the announcements!

3. Aikido with a recently born baby. 
At the recent Zevenbergen seminar with Shimamoto Shihan, I was impressed with the demonstration of Ronen Miller, Adi Bar Zackay and their recently born baby (yes, that's right, I said recently born!). Whilst Ronen performed a couple of techniques, Adi securely held her baby as she fell backwards a few times and, at no point, did the baby seem disturbed by the movement. Afterwards, Adi, went on to perform her moves with the baby securely in her arms whilst Ronen was falling gracefully.
It was really a special moment in the Israeli's demonstration and the real star was their baby, Yoav Pinhas Millar! Never too young to start :-).

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