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This weekend, Thursday through Monday, 14-18 January, 2010, I will be participating in my first big seminar at another dojo. It's the Aikido Bridge Friendship Seminar, at Jiai Aikido in San Diego. The featured instructors are Frank Doran Shihan, Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan, and Christian Tissier Shihan. What a privilege! Several other students from Aikido of San Diego will be attending, too. I'm looking forward to training with them, and to meeting new friends there. At least one of my Aikido friends from Facebook will be at the seminar. I may be posting to my blog in the evenings, but only if there's time after dealing with the critters and getting enough sleep.
The following weekend is our dojo community service project. On Saturday we will be doing a work day at the ranch where our Retreat is held. That should be a fun time.
On January 31st Sensei is offering an Aikido In Focus workshop on Ukemi. These workshops are only 2 hours, but those I've done so far have each provided a great opportunity to explore some aspect of one's Aikido. I'm really looking forward to this workshop.
Next month, on February 6th, I'll be taking my exam for promotion to 5th kyu. I've started reviewing the techniques, and working with my mentor, and of course training at every opportunity. I don't feel entirely lost, but will certainly need every moment of preparation I can squeeze in before that date!
March 21st brings another Aikido In Focus workshop with Dave Goldberg Sensei. I'll also be going to a non-Aikido thing, the App Masters conference by User Interface Engineering, later that same week. Maybe I'll wear my "Don't Make Me Think" t-shirt to both.
In April, Robert Nadeau Shihan, my teacher's teacher, and a direct student of O Sensei, is coming to Aikido of San Diego for a 3-day seminar the 9th through 11th. I was fortunate to be able to participate in the seminar when he visited last year, and am excited about getting to work with him again.
May 7-9 I will be participating in a horsemanship clinic with Kathleen Lindley. Kathleen spent a year on the road (as basically an uchi deshi), training and teaching with Mark Rashid, the horseman and author who introduced me to Aikido. It would be helpful if I were to be working reasonably well with Rainy by then, so we can best benefit from our time with Kathleen.
May 15th brings another round of exams at the dojo. I will surely not be testing that time around (well... unless I blow it this time!), so I just get to watch and learn.
May 22nd will be our dojo's annual Spring Picnic. The Spring Picnic was the first dojo event I went to, shortly after I first started training (on May 5, last year). It was a great chance to get to know everyone a bit, and I'm looking forward to this year's, too.
Whew! It's going to be a busy and fun few months ahead.