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I've finally got the details and the specifics ironed out for our trip to Japan, to visit the World Headquarters for Aikido at the dojo where the grandson of O'Sensei teaches.
It's so exciting to get to go and learn Aikido from the top Aikidoists in the world. I'm soo excited, and so is Mike and Chris.
I've planned it out so that we can train many hours a day, and be able to visit some wonderful historical places in and around Tokyo.
I used to walk to the honbu dojo (world headquarters) everyday. It was a 30 minute walk from Shinjuku station, everyday. That's a 1 hour round trip walk and worth every minute.
I used to pass a small temple on my way everyday. It has a beautiful statue of a dragon. It was my favorite spot to pass on my way to train. And boy would I train. I had some incredibly wonderful times at the Honbu Dojo, I have met some of the most incredible people while training there.
I remember one Friday night, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of the founder and late Dosshu, came up to me to show me kotegaeshi. He was already pretty old and I was worried I might hurt him in my attack, but attacked hard anyway. He threw me effortlessly, which was not so impressive to me anymore, but what truly impressed me, more than anything that I have every experienced in Aikido, was when he pinned me, it really felt like I had a ton of weight, and I mean a ton in pounds of pressure, smashing me to the mat. I thought this little old guy was going to put me through the floor.
Honbu Dojo is the mecca of Aikido. I truly wish and hope that anyone that is really interested in Aikido, tries to make the trip one day.