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How lucky I was to sit and witness the coming together of so many different skillful people. In the morning it was weapons at Chabot park. Everyone was training in an opening surrounded by eucalyptus and redwoods on a day of perfect weather. There was a lot of clacking of wooden weapons and varying ki-ai's. At the end we all circled up and introduced ourselves with name and dojo affiliation. So many people from so many different places. Nevada, Texas, Hawaii, So-Cal, Germany.
Later, back at the dojo there was a very entertaining children's demonstration, and then on to the adult sempai. It was really fascinating to see the unique physical signature of each demonstrator. Eric Winters sensei, Michael McVey Sensei, Bill Essig, and others were each highly skilled in their own right, but each had their own piece of what was passed from O'Sensei, to Saito Sensei, to Hendricks Sensei.
Still there were those who gave small classes. Robert Nadeau sensei, Jack Wada sensei, Kayla Feder sensei, Danielle Smith sensei, and Vince Salvatore sensei all came to contribute. They too had their own grasp of O'Sensei's teaching. It really reinforced to me that it's all legitimate, it's all aikido. Stan Pranin was there as well. He gave a lecture on O'Sensei and discussed a study that he was doing through old film and photos of O'Sensei. Wada sensei and Linda Holiday sensei performed a shinto purification ritual. Very cool. We all sat seiza and participated in spirit while Wada sensei and Holiday sensei each performed with surreal illiteration.
The anniversary lasted all day, and in the end sensei invited us back to her place and we all joyfully participated in the conviviality there. Near the end of the night, Russ Alvey sensei broke out his guitar and again sung a song he wrote as a gift for sensei. Then Jerka Freidl Sensei sung a song from long ago about being an uchideshi, then back to Alvey Sensei who had a few more songs. In the end we were all laughing and singing.
What a cool thing to be a witness to. Really, there were so many people who came together to make it happen.