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sempai-jeff
08-12-2016, 01:21 PM
Hello there. My name is Jeff.

I have been studying Aikido for about 10 years. My training was more aggressive in the early years, when I would attend 2 or 3 nights a week.

These days, I live in a rural part of Virginia, in the south west part of the state. We are in the town of Floyd. If you know it, you know it is beautiful here.

I sought membership on this forum because, tragically, we lost our sensai last week. He was Nidan Tom Simpson Sensai.

I an currently a Nikyu, however, the last time that I saw him, he was going to begin the process of preparing me for my Ikkyu test. He passed away barely a day later.

Our school is tiny, and I was his highest ranking student. Now that he is gone, it is falling to me to maintain the school. I in no way feel ready to do this... but I have reached out to his sensai, Paul Linden Sensai of Columbus, and other local Sensais in the vicinity.

My objective is to prepare myself for shodan and beyond as aggressively as possible now. I am here for as much guidance and help as I can find, to that end.

Thanks for letting me join this community, and I hope that I can be as much a giver as a seeker here.

Domo!

rugwithlegs
08-12-2016, 01:34 PM
I am sorry to hear of your loss.

There are several good dojos in your area, though maybe none of them close.

Good luck

akiy
08-12-2016, 11:20 PM
Hi Jeffrey,

Welcome to AikiWeb. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your teacher. I hope your dojo is able to continue as does your training.

Please feel welcome to ask questions here in these Forums, as there are many people with lots of experience. I would recommend starting new threads for specific questions so people can respond to them individually.

Best,

-- Jun

Janet Rosen
08-13-2016, 12:06 AM
Jeffrey, I'm so sorry for you losing your teacher and how it affects your own training and the dojo itself.

I have experienced having my teacher (and our dojo founder) pass unexpectedly - a more established dojo (35 years open at the time of her death over 5 years ago) but still.....it is a huge blow.

I'm glad you have established contact with other dojo in your region, and hope we are able to also be a support to you.

Peter Goldsbury
08-13-2016, 05:55 AM
Hello there. My name is Jeff.

I have been studying Aikido for about 10 years. My training was more aggressive in the early years, when I would attend 2 or 3 nights a week.

These days, I live in a rural part of Virginia, in the south west part of the state. We are in the town of Floyd. If you know it, you know it is beautiful here.

I sought membership on this forum because, tragically, we lost our sensai last week. He was Nidan Tom Simpson Sensai.

I an currently a Nikyu, however, the last time that I saw him, he was going to begin the process of preparing me for my Ikkyu test. He passed away barely a day later.

Our school is tiny, and I was his highest ranking student. Now that he is gone, it is falling to me to maintain the school. I in no way feel ready to do this... but I have reached out to his sensai, Paul Linden Sensai of Columbus, and other local Sensais in the vicinity.

My objective is to prepare myself for shodan and beyond as aggressively as possible now. I am here for as much guidance and help as I can find, to that end.

Thanks for letting me join this community, and I hope that I can be as much a giver as a seeker here.

Domo!

Hello,

Please accept my condolences.

Your late teacher had the rank of nidan, so I assume that he would not have conducted your 1-kyuu test alone. Is that right? I ask because I am curious about the grading system established by Mr Simpson. Does it follow the rules or customs of Aikido Schools of Ueshiba? Sorry to ask these niggling questions, but it is unfortunately the case that if you run your own dojo, you will need to learn some aikido politics, however distasteful this may be.

In the USA kyuu tests seem to be the preserve of the local organization. In my own dojo, here in Hiroshima, I am independent of local aikido organizations and have a direct link with the Aikikai in Tokyo. For my students this link starts with the very first kyuu test (which depends on the age of the student). Apart from the adults, we have a group of about 70 boisterous children and so for them the links starts with 10th kyuu, when they receive a diploma signed by Doshu. They also become members of the Aikikai and receive a membership number. They go on from there and it is very gratifying to follow them as they mature and progress up through the ranking system.

For myself, I never took a kyuu grading test. My very first test was for shodan, about 9 years after I started aikido, for which I was given about one hour's notice and which took place at a spring gasshuku led by Yoshimitsu Yamada, from the New York Aikikai. (This was in the UK.) The test took about 45 minutes and involved weapons and randori against 4 attackers. I passed and later received a yudansha book together with my diploma. So I do not really worry so much about tests and testing, though in the US this seems to be quite important.

You mention that in the early years you trained 2 or 3 times per week. I assume from your post that you have cut back and my advice is that you go back to your earlier schedule, or more, now that you are technically responsible for your dojo. When I was a student at the New England Aikikai in the mid-70s, I trained pretty well all the time that the dojo was open. So much so that the coin laundry was a frequent destination.

Best wishes, and, as Jun stated, feel free to comment and question. Finally, have you ever heard of SHU-HA-RI? It is a training and teaching concept found in a number of Japanese arts. The latest exposition I have read is in a book by Mitsugi Saotome Shihan. The Japanese title of the book is 『伝承のともしび』and I think there is an English translation. The book was published by Stanley Pranin's company in Japan.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

jimbaker
08-13-2016, 07:16 AM
You might have to do some driving.

You’re sort of between two USAF dojos, in Charlotte and Hillsborough, NC, within a 2 1/2 hour drive. My dojo is about a 5 hour drive, on the other side of Virginia.

You can make it an expedition, going with a couple of other students sharing the driving and gas. Both dojos would welcome you and help you work towards your next test.