From The Walking Dead

The jo staff work they are doing isn't anything that looks familiar. But listen to the words and it is Aikido.

To My Larger Aikido Family

To my larger Aikido Family:
First a quote from Tohei Sensei, please read it with mindfulness:
"The Absolute Universe is One. We call this Ki. Our lives and our bodies are born of the Ki of the Universe. We study thoroughly the principles of the Universe and practice them. We are one with the Universe. There is no need to despond, no need to fear. The way we follow is the way of the Universe which no difficulty nor hardship can hinder."

I have experienced a great loss this week. One of my sons died last Wednesday. Some of you knew about it already. I am not making light of it in any way. I am wounded in a way what I will carry with me the rest of my life. All of you can imagine what a loss like this is, you can, and it is as terrible as you are imagining.
We had the service yesterday. I had written something and wanted to read it, but did not want to completely lose it and so i had a friend standing by to take over and read if I needed them to do so. But before I entered the building, I consciously reached out for Ki, deliberately drew in energy from the universe, and I had a strong image of Cheraw, specifically the lake.
There was a sense of the limitless energy available to all of us and I moved centered through the rest of the day. I read my own words, I was present and clear eyed to speak with people, meet grieving family and friends and made room in my heart for their pain and loss as well.
I believe that this is a direct gift that all of you gave to me, starting with Suenaka Sensei, the Shihans I have gotten to know, especially my own instructor, Pasour Shihan, but including every one of you without regard to rank or time. There is a power in Aiki and in Aikido that we speak of, try to teach, but I have experienced personally this week a glimpse of the vastness of it.

Aikido is not just the waza or the ukemi. It is the concepts enclosed in our motto and in the words of our Founder, it is what we touch when we dance with the power of the Universe in our practice. It is Love.
Thank you all.
Mark Harrington Sensei

Culture Day at the Meiji Shrine

November 3rd is the annual Culture Day at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. One part of the day is a koryu,
a demonstration of Japanese traditional martial arts. These arts are defined as ones that predate the Meiji Restoration of 1868.

Here's a short video with some clips of the Koryu.

Aikido is a Gendai budo, an art that was developed after 1868. It has certain features that the older arts do not, a belt system for rank being one of the more obvious.

Seminar in Buffalo, NY

It was my first time visiting the Kin-Tora Dojo in Buffalo N.Y., as well as my first time attending a seminar at another dojo. I was hosted by a friend from that school and had a wonderful place to stay, good company, and great food.

Suenaka Sensei had traveled from Charleston, S.C. to lead the seminar and it felt like a day at summer camp. It was too short and it seemed like a surprise when it was over. This was a big trip for me but I would look forward to the opportunity to do it again next year.

In A Moment

We go along, living our lives, not realizing how fast it can change. The spouse of one of our members missed a step last night. It caused her to roll her ankle, wrench her knee, and then as she fell, she badly broke her wrist. Recovery will take some time, the wrist will require surgery, and currently nothing is normal.

It made us all reflect after class tonight, talking of people we know that have experienced life changing injuries doing relatively common things, most of them related to falls.