View Full Version : Building Bridges; An Aikiweb Seminar

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Dennis Hooker
04-25-2005, 02:52 PM
Last year the Aikido-l and Aikiweb worked together to do something quite nice. That is sponsor a "Building Bridges" (for lack of a better term) Seminar with Ellis Amdur Sensei, Chuck Clark Sensei and myself. It was well attended, and even though I knew how it would turn out because I knew the other two instructors I believed it surprised even them in its congeniality and complementary teaching. The Aikido Journal is doing a big job by bringing together dozens of teacher and hundreds of their students to show the diversity of Aikido over a weekend but I think what was accomplished by the Aikiweb and Aikido-l was singular. I had hoped this would continue yearly around the country. Perhaps selecting one of us (although not necessary) depending on geographic location and inviting two other teachers to share and help build unity outside the traditional boundaries.
Working together on the mat to show how we can blend and harmonize with one another in an unstructured environment. We did not carve out little pieces of time to showcase our talents but learned and feed off one another to the delight and enlightenment of everyone. This venue was unparalleled as far as I know in the Aikido community. It certainly is not a duplication of what the Aikido Journal is doing. It is much more intimate and conducive to bounding than shows of tremendous talent which are of a different ilk altogether.

So how about opening this up to discussion on both venues and see if there is any interest in a future for this event. I had hopes when I ask Paul to work on the original concept then he got Susan and Jun on board and it turned out better than I hoped it would. Does it have life or was it a flash in the pan??

Dennis Hooker

04-25-2005, 09:14 PM
I would have loved to have made the "Building Bridges" Seminar.

But it would be great to have another chance at going. :) I hope it still has life.


Ellis Amdur
04-26-2005, 12:34 AM
I very much agree. What was most exciting for me was this. Were one to take three separate seminars with Dennis,Chuck and myself, they would very likely come away describing three very different movement styles/different technical parameters, etc. Yet, when the three of us were together, we found ourselves riffing on each other like three musicians in a jazz group. What was most moving to me was the mutual attempt to create an "aikido system" based on the three of our being together, so that the students, in transitioning from one class to another found themselves studying something seamless. I, too, had never previously experienced something like this - a synthesis in which each of us was willing to set aside some of our "best" moves if they didn't fit the mutual work we were creating. It'd be lovely to do something like that again, particularly with a chance to work with Dennis and Chuck.

Ellis Amdur

Chuck Clark
04-26-2005, 12:50 AM
As usual, Ellis, you and Dennis are both saying things that I would like to say about this subject. Aaron and I both enjoyed our experience during this "get-together" and would always look forward to being on the mat with you any time.

Planning this sort of thing is difficult these days as most people I know schedule at least a year in advance. It's a good thing we have these neat electronic gadgets to carry around with us because without them, I wouldn't know where and when I'm supposed to be or where I was when I got there...

04-26-2005, 08:36 AM
I'm sure this statement reflects the attitude of a lot of aikiweb readers/participants, "When and where? I'll be there"!

04-26-2005, 09:05 AM
Ya know, Connecticut is lovely this time of year...

04-26-2005, 10:00 AM
When and where?

How big a place and how long? Anyone interested in the west coast, southern California? I know, we are having the Expo here, but hey, I like convenience.

Keep me in the loop.

04-26-2005, 10:13 AM
Hey Lynn....How about Cape Cod!!! That is as far away as one can get from Southern Cal...

But it would definately be well attended no matter where it is held.

I hope to hear more info soon

Thanks Larry

John Boswell
04-26-2005, 10:18 AM
You know, speaking of bridges... why not start in the middle? TEXAS!! :D

Seriously though, I've read up on all three instructors, Hooker Sensei in particular, and would love to attend such an event as this. However, as was the case when we were associated with the AAA, flying out to either coast or far north just to attend seminars is rather costly on us Texans. Going to Florida or California would be a once in a 6-10 year ordeal for myself and many others.

BUT... should you be able to come to Austin or Houston or San Antonio (or Midland! ;) ) We'd be able to make an effort, as would many other Texans. Shoot! I'd go to Santa Fe, NM and from what I've seen they have MANY good dojo's there! And talk about beautiful country... :cool:

04-26-2005, 10:26 AM
I agree with John. Texas would be a great place for the Building Bridges seminar.


Janet Rosen
04-26-2005, 11:00 AM
Austin is mighty convenient for me (sister lives there); its centrally located with some direct flights from coasts and short flights from Dallas, and aikiweb columnist Ross lives there and is a great instructor who has taught at aikido-l seminars.......

04-26-2005, 11:07 AM
Maybe we could start by asking some of the cost saving questions, like:

How many people are interested?
Where are they from?
How far would they be willing to travel given how much money they are willing to spend?
Is there any place that could offer free or cheap lodging?



04-26-2005, 02:30 PM
I agree with John. Texas would be a great place for the Building Bridges seminar.

You know I have a nice big air conditioned gym on the southwest side of Houston that I would love to make available for this. I put it up for the Aikido-l seminar twice but lost out to other venues. Houston is pretty centrally located and air fare tends to be cheaper than Austin. I just hosted a week long instructors conference in Feb. with 50 people here.

I can't make the Aiki Expo this year anyway so I would love to arrange something. Since my Iaido students includes Aikikai, AAA and Tomiki teachers from around town, I think it's a good bet that I could get some cross style help and support.

but I would show up if it was in Austin too. :D
Conneticutt would be tough to swallow unless business really picks up. :(

04-26-2005, 05:36 PM
I'm in West Virginia and anything from Houston east to Cape Cod would probably be good. The West Coast is a bit of a stretch for me. A year's time for planning and saving would be great, too.


Janet Rosen
04-27-2005, 01:20 AM
Yeah, Houston works....

05-03-2005, 12:00 PM
Hi everyone,

I apologize for the delay in getting back to this thread. It's been a busy several days...

First off, I wanted to thank everyone, especially Dennis, Ellis, and Chuck, for their thoughts and support of last year's AikiWeb Workshop (http://www.aikiweb.com/workshop/") that took place in August, 2004. The event was, in my mind, very exciting, thought-provoking, and entirely enjoyable.

Yes, I would be happy in helping organize another one of these seminars.

Of course, I'm going to need help doing this.

So, let's keep discussing here what options we have within the AikiWeb community that would help us all realize another event such as the one we had last year. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts to see what possibilities there are...


-- Jun

05-04-2005, 12:18 PM
I guess it's been decided that the seminar would be in Texas, right? ;)


05-06-2005, 10:33 AM
Hi Bryce,

At this point, it sure looks like folks from Texas have been the most vocal in supporting the event!

-- Jun

John Boswell
05-06-2005, 01:40 PM

Kato Sensei usually returns to Texas in October. If an Aiki Web Seminar get-together is being planned for this year, maybe Houston? and we could encorporate having Kato Sensei involved as well?

Just a thought. That might be a little too complicated, due to obligations... just thinking out loud.

05-06-2005, 10:59 PM
The posts on Koichi Tohei and relaxation have been split off here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8070).

Now, back to discussing the AikiWeb Workshop!

-- Jun