Blevins Sensei’s Farewell Class at Kiryu Aikido, September 28, 2013

After almost 10 years of teaching nearly every Friday and Saturday class, on September 28th, I regrettably taught my last regular class at Kiryu Aikido in Colorado.

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Next week, I’ll be starting a new job in San Luis Obispo California, and looking forward to the opportunities and adventures ahead as my family and I begin a new chapter of life.

After the regular class ended, I wanted to spend a little time with each of my students individually. To commemorate this special day, I threw each of them in a farewell round of joyful jiyuwaza. Check out some of the photos at the end of this post, plus more photos and videos on Kiryu’s FaceBook page (https://www.facebook.com/kiryuaikido) and Google+ page (http://gplus.to/kiryuaikido).

I will continue to oversee the high-level decisions and management of Kiryu Aikido, which I created in 2003 as a place to practice safe, strong, serious Aikido based on traditional techniques, weapons, and a solid foundation of ukemi.

I’ve designated the day-to-day teaching, operations, and carrying forward of the Kiryu spirit to Les Steveson, Senior Instructor, and Kara Stewart, Instructor. Les-san has been my deshi since 1999, and Kara-san since 2006. I know they will do a great job in continuing our mission.

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I will teach when I’m town visiting family or on business, and I look forward to seeing the dojo continue to grow and thrive.

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Comments (3)

Les StevesonOctober 11th, 2013 at 10:14 am

This was a wonderful class, but a sad class. I have known Andrew-Sensei for over 14 years and have been studying with him the entire time. His friendship, guidance, patience and leadership will be missed. I hope to continue the martial spirit of Kiryu Aikido that was instilled upon me by him.

I believe that Andrew Sensei’s spirit will live strong within the dojo. We wish him and his family the best and look forward to his return, as well as a road trip :)….

kstewartOctober 11th, 2013 at 10:55 am

Andrew Sensei, thank you for sharing your talent and your passion for Aikido with your students for so many years. I am thankful to have found you and Kiryu at the very start of my Aikido journey. I will miss your teaching so much, but I hope you know that your teaching has become an integral part of me and I daresay other students as well.

Your gifts of time and dedication have been priceless, and I cannot think of a better role model for a true martial artist. You live what you’ve learned and you illustrate what you teach.

Les-san and I are committed to continuing what you created and sharing it with many others in the future.

You will prosper in the next chapter of your life! May you and your family enjoy every minute of the journey. And yes, there will be a road trip! 🙂

Be well, Andrew Sensei, and thanks for everything.

Andrew BlevinsOctober 11th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Wow, wonderful comments. I appreciate both of you guys stepping up and helping keep the dojo going. I know Kiryu students are some of the best people in the world and they will get a ton out of training with all the great people staying. We will also get more students and I know you all really see the true value in hard practice and the path Kiryu has taken.

Good luck and I will be back as much as I can =)

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