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Howard Popkin
08-23-2011, 08:47 AM
Hello,

I wanted to give a brief summary of the seminar held at Two Cranes Aikido, Hosted by George Ledyard that took place this past weekend.

First, The dojo at Two Cranes is unbelievable. It looks an feels what a dojo should look like.

Many thanks to George for putting this all together.

Thoughts:

Kimberly Richardson of Two Cranes Aikido,
A true Aikido Sensei in every sense of the word. Agile, soft, kind, great timing, and wonderful to work with. Fantastic to get to know her and her husband Dan. Looking forward to training with them again soon !

Kaizen Taki of Systema NW,
Just when you think you know how to put on a joint lock or throw a punch, you meet someone like Kaizen. His ability to walk about of just about any joint lock is scary, and that is before he hits you. Don't let him do that, it would be bad.....very bad.....but fun for everyone else to watch :) Seriously, Kaizen's technical ability to control his tension is what interested me in Systema in the first place, it's a bonus that he happens to be one of the nicest people in the whole world.

George Ledyard of Aikido Eastide,
Besides being an AMAZING Aikidoka, his uncanny ability to put constantly put great people in the same room makes him one of the obvious choices for the next generation of Aikido leadership in the United States. It is an honor to call him my friend.

Toby Threadgill of Shindo Yoshin Ryu,
This was my first meeting with Toby Sensei and clearly not my last. Watching Toby Sensei work was like seeing a top level surgeon. His keen sense of his body, developed through training was amazing. Most impressive, and almost as good as his sense of humor. My cheeks are still sore from this weekend.

Joe Brogna (although not one of the featured instructors) ,
When people meet Joe they always say, "wait, other people can do this too, not just Howard? " Joe is amazing, I learn from him all the time.

I would also like to mention that the people in attendance were FANTASTIC ! Doug Walker, April and Russ Qureshi, Nick Lowry, Kevin Lam, Arrow Pride, Jeff Strand, Edgar Johansson, Jason Mix, Milton Cadogan, Josh and Gina Drachman, and a host of other amazing people. The list is just too long, I could go on all day.

This was pivotal event in my budo life. I got a glimpse of how much more I still have to learn and that there are so many great people to take this journey with.

Looking forward to doing this again in 2013 !
Thanks again to George for putting this all together !

Best wishes,
Howard

Howard Popkin
08-23-2011, 09:08 AM
oy vey,

Please don't let me forget Janet......:D

GREAT MEETING YOU !

Howard Popkin
08-23-2011, 10:32 AM
Pics of the event on facebook !

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.10150343653180589&type=1

Toby Threadgill
08-23-2011, 11:41 AM
Hi,

A great time was had by all. Great budo and lots of laughing...and more laughing. Looking forward to a repeat in 2013.

Toby

Janet Rosen
08-23-2011, 12:30 PM
I have to say that during George's closing remarks Sunday I was getting pretty teary.

As some of you know, after many many years of changing dojos in SF, never quite finding the teacher for me, I ended up in a small town I really like that happens to have an aikido dojo I really like...only to have my teacher die unexpectedly late last year. While our little rural dojo continues to exist and do well thanks to her long-term senior students who are now instructing, I've had a very strong sense that my training from here on is really and truly in my own hands; it is up to me to seek out the best people I can learn from within time and budget restraints and bring back home the most I can cram into my brain/body to keep working on solo and at our dojo.

I'm not a very athletic person or wired well to "see and do." So to be in a dojoful of such amazing teachers and motivated students (many of whom are themselves teachers) and feel accepted purely on the basis of my own willingness to be present and learn was a tremendous gift. Y'all don't know how deep my appreciation runs.

Thomas Campbell
08-23-2011, 12:40 PM
Sounds like the Aiki Principles Seminar was a great event for teachers and students alike--showing that learning, sharing, hard practice and bad jokes are not mutually exclusive.

Janet, I had not heard about the passing of your aikido teacher, but the resilience of your dojo community is impressive. Of course, your remark--my training from here on is really and truly in my own hands--is always true, even when we have the privilege and joy of regular training with a skilled and open teacher. Sincere best wishes in your training path.

George S. Ledyard
08-23-2011, 01:45 PM
I have to say that during George's closing remarks Sunday I was getting pretty teary.

As some of you know, after many many years of changing dojos in SF, never quite finding the teacher for me, I ended up in a small town I really like that happens to have an aikido dojo I really like...only to have my teacher die unexpectedly late last year. While our little rural dojo continues to exist and do well thanks to her long-term senior students who are now instructing, I've had a very strong sense that my training from here on is really and truly in my own hands; it is up to me to seek out the best people I can learn from within time and budget restraints and bring back home the most I can cram into my brain/body to keep working on solo and at our dojo.

I'm not a very athletic person or wired well to "see and do." So to be in a dojoful of such amazing teachers and motivated students (many of whom are themselves teachers) and feel accepted purely on the basis of my own willingness to be present and learn was a tremendous gift. Y'all don't know how deep my appreciation runs.

Janet, You are precisely the kind of person I hoped the event would reach. No one sacrificed more to be there or was more joyous and excited throughout the weekend. I never saw you once when you weren't totally excited about what was being shown. It was an absolute pleasure to have you there.