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Doka of the Day - April 11, 2021
The Way of our Kami!
The clear and those red and white,
The Way of Aiki is one of the divine techniques
To which only a narrow gate does lead.

                              - Morihei Ueshiba

AikiWeb Aikido News
2021 Aikikai Hombu Dojo Kagami Biraki Promotions List
Posted 1/10/2021 8:31am [from Jun Akiyama]

Here is the 2021 New Year's Kagami Biraki promotions list from Aikikai Hombu Dojo. Who would you like to congratulate? Let us know in a comment!

It Had to Be Felt #71: Yamada Yoshimitsu
Posted 7/12/2020 8:49pm [from Jun Akiyama]

Here is the latest It Had to Be Felt essay, this time on Yamada Yoshimitsu of the New York Aikikai. This essay was written by David Ross. From the essay: "For those who have never trained under the direction of Yamada Sensei, he is noted for his big and expansive techniques. His emphasis is on the ability to develop kokyu - breath power and extension - but when you grab him it feels like grabbing nothing until he starts his movement. Then things change. He brings his uke into accord with his movement. Technically, this is often referred to as the power of attraction - inryoku. I have often heard him say: 'Aikido has two directions up and down - so Relax!'"

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Water Oak Aikikai - portable kamiza

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Sensei Mona Lisa

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Donovan Waite Sensei Passes Away
Posted 2/22/2021 3:21pm [from Jun Akiyama]

I have just been informed that Donovan Waite (7th dan, Aikido Institute of Philadelphia) has passed away, The United States Aikido Federation has posted onto Facebook, "We were notified of this tragic news today and at this time, we have no other information to share. Our hearts go out to his family, students, and friends throughout the world. There are no words to express the depth of this loss to the aikido community. We will always hold him in our hearts and in our practice." Waite started aikido in 1969 and received his shodan at age 14 and served as uchideshi to Yoshimitsu Yamada at the New York Aikikai for over 10 years. My condolences go out to his friends, family, students, and loved ones.

Seminar: Jan 16, 2021: Aikido Bridge Seminar (Zoom)
Posted 1/01/2021 9:05pm [from Lisa Tomoleoni]

Jan 16, 2021. Join us in celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Aikido Bridge Seminars. The Bridge Seminars began in San Diego at Jiai Aikido. Jiai will host this celebratory seminar on January 16, 2021 over Zoom. All affiliations, dojo, and styles are welcome. See our website for further information:

Obituary: Hiroshi Somemiya Shihan (1932-2020)
Posted 9/21/2020 7:51am [from Michael Leung]

It is with great sorrow and deep regret that we have to announce Hiroshi Somemiya Shihan, 7th Dan Aikikai, passed away peacefully at home on 11th September at the age of 88. Somemiya Shihan is the Patron of our Dojo, Hong Kong Aikido Kan, a role he kindly took on following the passing of his close friend Kenneth Cottier Shihan in June 2008. He was also the former General Secretary of the International Aikido Federation (IAF) and Head of Overseas Department at Aikikai Hombu Dojo. Somemiya Shihan contributed greatly to the development of Aikido across the world, especially in Hong Kong and in other countries in Asia. [More details in forum thread]

Patty Saotome Sensei Passes Away
Posted 9/20/2020 11:17am [from Jun Akiyama]

I have received news that Patty Saotome (7th dan shihan, Aikido Schools of Ueshiba) has passed away. She was a longtime student of Mitsugi Saotome (8th dan) since 1975 and taught at various dojo including the Sarasota Aikikai Dojo, Aikido Shobukan (Washington DC), Chicago Budokan, and the ASU Aiki Shrine (Myakka City, FL). She was instrumental in translating her husband’s work into English including for his book “Aikido and the Harmony of Nature” for which she also edited and did the photographic work. My condolences go out to her family, friends, students, and loved ones.

Blog Article: Interview with Former New York Aikikai Instructor Ruth Peyser
Posted 9/07/2020 3:26pm [from Jun Akiyama]

Here is a recently published interview entitled "Interview with Former New York Aikikai Instructor Ruth Peyser: Supporting Gender Equity and the Independent Coalition of USAF Women’s Petition" that discusses Peyser's signing of a petition calling for gender equality in the United States Aikido Federation and her being subsequently "expelled" from New York Aikikai. From the interview: "My first meeting with Yamada Sensei lasted less than a minute. He told me he was very angry that I had signed and shared the petition, and he didn’t want me teaching at his dojo. I taught at New York Aikikai for about thirty-three years. Obviously, I was extremely upset, and I wanted to talk to him about it. As I opened my mouth to say something, he told me that he didn’t want to hear a word I had to say and left the room. The following week, I received an email expelling me from the dojo."

Linda Lee Vecchio Passes Away
Posted 8/23/2020 9:54pm [from Jun Akiyama]

I just got word that Linda Lee Vecchio (7th dan) has passed away. Vecchio received her shodan in 1969 and continued to train and teach aikido for over 45 years. She was a long time student of Yoshimitsu Yamada. From this GoFundMe page to help fund her funeral, her family writes, “She lived her life only to do better, be better, and show the world a woman can be strong and handle any task a man can do. She loved to prove that point.  She never turned away from anybody asking for help.  Not only did she teach martial arts, she taught how to live life; how to be strong in mind not just body.“ My condolences go out to her family, friends, students, and loved ones.

USAF "A Message from Yamada Sensei 2020_08_09"
Posted 8/12/2020 5:33pm [from Jun Akiyama]

Yoshimitsu Yamada has posted a message in response to the "complaints on social media by aikido practitioners about how women have been treated unfairly" on the USAF website: "A Message from Yamada Sensei 2020_08_09". From the posting: "Gender discrimination in aikido is something I never believed in. I have tried to remain fair and open minded in my aikido career. I consider people’s rank, experience and integrity to be very important. I personally view my students, women and men, the same and have given equal opportunities to all of them, on the mat, for promotions, to teach class and to open their own dojos. [...] We all should thank Doshu for giving us an opportunity to enjoy aikido equally. I want all of you to concentrate only on practice, not other stuff; just feel lucky to be a part of aikido society."

RIP Peter Gardiner of Iwama Dojo and Scotland
Posted 8/12/2020 5:33pm [from Steve Mallon]

Just heard of Peter's passing at his apartment in Kuramae Tokyo. Condolences have been noted by some fellow students on his Facebook Page. A committed student who settled in Japan in 1984 and kept up his practice until just a few years ago. His second wife Miwa was also an Aikidoka at Iwama

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