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I had the great pleasure of attending a seminar given by Seiichi Sugano Shihan this weekend. The seminar was hosted by the Philadelphia Aikikai dojo of Henry Smith Sensei. There have been some very good threads on the Aikido Journal website about seminars recently, and I think that my experiences at this seminar spoke to some of the points under discussion. I also found this seminar unusual because of Sugano Sensei's recent history. Many of you already know that just less than a year ago (April 2nd, 2003), Sugano Sensei underwent surgery to amputate a foot due to complications from diabetes. He is now teaching with the aid of prosthesis. Seeing a part of this remarkable recovery was probably the most inspirational thing I have seen in my aikido career. I often say that my teacher shows me the true meaning of budo. Now I have another person who has shown this to me as well. I've started to review Sugano Sensei's DVD, and while his recovery is not yet complete, you can see just how far he has come.
I was only able to attend Saturday's classes this time...I will certainly try to make all available sessions the next time Sugano Sensei is in town. Henry Smith Sensei taught the first of the morning classes, and it was an excellent class in which to warm-up, start moving with a partner, and get to know some of the participants through Aikido. I especially enjoyed the warm welcome Smith Sensei, his students and the other participants gave me. Smith Sensei did some very