At the end of class last night, Shihan started reminiscing about summer camp. He talked of workouts in 100 degree heat, odd hours, shodan testing, cold showers, rustic conditions and the like. He also talked about life long friendships formed in the crucible of training. Wonderful meals prepared by teams of tired volunteers. Late night conversations on every topic, sometimes even Aikido. The campfire night with all the skits. Walks to the lake, after lunch swims. Mostly he talked of time with Suenaka Sensei, not just the classes in the dojo, but getting to hear about Sensei's experiences in Hawaii, Japan, and Okinawa. All the stories that make up so much of the history and what a gift it is to have the opportunity meet one of the students that trained under O'Sensei.
Life is busy and camp seems far away, but last night's conversation was a reminder of one of the highlights of training in Wadoki Aikido. Gasshuku 2014 is only four months away.