Keiko Osame 2008
2008 is almost over… Kiryu Aikido has completed its 5th year and we have just had our last class of the year (Keiko Osame). This class is to end the year with thoughts of our previous training and to start to think about what we will be focusing on in the new year. After five years of starting a dojo from the ground up there are a few ideas that went through my mind today were:
— A dojo consists of not just the physical space and the instructors, but it is an organism that is built from the values and personalities of its members. When you enter a dojo you can usually get a sence or feeling from the dojo from viewing how the members interact with each other and how classes run. At Kiryu Aikido we have been lucky to have a core group of people that have been around for the past few years. These people really add to the overall feeling of the dojo and I am proud to have these people as students.
— Viewing each students growth is an exiting and amazing thing. The first though I had was that seeing students grow each year is really a great benefit of being a teacher. As you see your student grow, learn, and adapt your ideas and Aikido to their experiences, body types, and style is a lesson in it self. The second thing I thought about is that when you view the jumps in learning between the newer students and the older students you can see the that as progress in Aikido your learning jumps lesson. The newer students when they come in have a hard time rolling and just getting the feel of what Aikido is. Then when they get the hang of that then learning all the new words and vocabulary is the next step. When the students have been training a longer time they still grow and their Aikido changes, but it does it in a different ways. In a way deeper understanding. However, this progression and path is just as important as learning to fall.
We started practice with the traditional bow for the end of year classes. We then continued with some basic exercises, and moved on to variations and henka waza. We ended with flowing sumi otoshi and hiki otoshi examples from
an uchi tenkan entry from shomenuchi. This ended class with the more advanced techniques to barrage our brains with the full application of ideas from kuzushi to just keeping the technique moving.
As the new year approaches I am grateful to be healthy and able to practice. I am grateful that we have a dojo. This dojo is not just the place we practice, but the fine people of Kiryu Aikido that have their own additions and aspirations to their own practice to keep us always learning and moving forward in the path of Aikido. You can’t ask for more!