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!


Comments (2)

Kara StewartDecember 29th, 2008 at 7:08 am

Thank you for a great year of practice, Andrew Sensei!

This is an amazing journey and I am so grateful for Kiryu Aikido and the wonderful people in the dojo.

You mentioned that there wouldn’t be classes if students didn’t show up. Yes … and there wouldn’t be classes or a dojo without your commitment and dedication to teaching us and being there, and the commitment of other instructors to teach on the rare days you can’t make it.

I really appreciate this dedication and commitment that is part of the feeling and culture of Kiryu Aikido. Thank you for your help, and for everyone’s spirit, helpfulness, and friendship.

Here’s to a great year of practice in 2009!


John PriceJanuary 8th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Thank you Sensei for another wonderful year of practice. Every year I learn so much and realize I have a long, long way to go.

It’s been a pleasure being part of our little dojo for a good part of these 5 years. We have a great group training together.

And like Kara-san says we wouldn’t be here without your guidance and teaching.

Here’s to the new year and whatever it may bring.


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