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Today we had 5 (6?) new uchideshi from Germany. They are all students of Jirka Friedl Sensei. It is interesting to me to be connected to how the uchideshi treat 'my dojo'. Having been an uchideshi when the dai sempai at the time had very high standards for the kohai uch' I have a different perspective on the practice. Jirka Friedl Sensei had also been a very vigilant uchideshi, and I'm sure he will impart the importance of what it is to give one's self to the dojo. Before he arrived however, I saw some of them just sitting while others were cleaning and preparing for class. It was tough to see the lack of interest in taking on what it is to be an uchideshi. It was probably ego related but I took it upon myself to go to the sempai UD and ask him if there was anything I could do. He gave me a few tasks and I think they got the gist. I respect Jirka Friedl sensei and have always thought highly of every one of his students when they have come for an uchideshi-ship at this dojo. I'm sure this goup will prove themselves very worthy of the same impression. Maybe they're jet lagged.
Saturday we all got together and put a new canvass on the mat. Everyone was stretching and anchoring. Nathanael and I were turning to one another and saying things like 'Quick! First tae no henko on the new mat!'
The new cover comes just in time for the 20th anniversary. We've got an amazing itinerary...
10am - 11:30am: Pat Hendricks Sensei Weapons class
11:30am-1pm: Lunch (potluck)
1pm-4pm: Demos and Open House.
Special Class with Bob Nadeau Shihan
Lecture Presentation by Stan Pranin Sensei
Mini classes by Senseis: Danielle Molles Smith, Kayla Feder, and Louis Jumonville
Demos by Sensei: Stephanie Yap, Michael McVey, and Eric Winters
Demos by Sempai's: Bill Essig and Scott Hassler
I'm so eager for the 21st to arrive.
What does this have to do with the philosophical end of aikido? Well I guess it is more my connection to the community aspect. I enjoyed seeing so many people get together to do our own twist on a barn raising, this is the type of community I would like to be immersed in. Those who step forward and come together for the betterment of the group. I know that there are plenty of other venues for such an experience, but mine is aikido. The tennet of harmony is made manifest in our 'play' and 'work'. Yes, not in every instance, not in all moments are we perfect, but our intent is there.
As for the anniversary itself, it is awesome to see so many people coming from so many different places to celebrate the tenure of ASL. There are students com