In keeping with the theme of this seminar, Calhoun Sensei has asked that our own instructor, Ron Myers Sensei teach part of the seminar.
Thanks and Seminar Review
First, many thanks to everyone that attended the seminar. You made our first seminar a smashing success.
We had over 30 people attend. A dozen were from the U.S. Yoshukai Karate dojo here in town including their Sensei and Honbucho David Koda. Calhoun Sensei brought along a like number of Aikidoka from Pensacola, FL. Other attendees were from Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Auburn and Atlanta.
The mat was very crowded. I'd never planned on having the kind of turn out we had. This seminar started as a friendship gathering between Calhoun Sensei's dojo and our own. Then it took on a life of its own. Somewhere along the line we realized that we'll be out of town (for my shodan exam) for our two year anniversary in our current location, so this seminar also served as a celebration of that event.
Fortunately, other than occasional mild bumping into each other, the crowding wasn't a problem and only served to create a feeling of good energy. We mostly worked in groups of three to alleviate the crowding and also so that we could always pair the Karateka with an Aikidoka. This worked out very well.
After some words from Calhoun Sensei, Myers Sensei took the first class. It was vintage Myers Sensei: detailed, point by point, examination of several different techniques from a single attack. The attack that he chose was katatedori. We did ikkyo omote, shihonage and a tenkan kokyunage.
Calhoun Sensei's class followed a brief refreshment break. Calhoun Sensei is a very open, expressive person who deeply loves Aikido. His technique and his teaching methodology radiate those qualities. Calhoun Sensei worked up from the katatedori technique of tsugiashi-ing forward and taking uke down by pointing to the place where uke's "third leg" would be and then sinking. From there it built up to a complicated series of hand motions that tied uke's arms up in knots and made him vulnerable to both koshinage and something like a jujinage done projecting forward rathering than circularly.
After the seminar class, we convoyed to the local Barnhill's Buffet for lunch which turned out to be a good choice. Everyone looked pretty beat at lunch, BTW.
During his opening remarks, Calhoun expressed the feelings that many of us hold. That Aikido is too large, too broad, too deep for any one tradition to contain it. Our job is to respect and *value* each other's Aikido and to take joy in our diversity. In that way and only that way can we have a real form of unity.
Calhoun Sensei went on to give life to an idea that I talked to him about during my last trip to Pensacola; that we in this area should have a friendship gathering at a different dojo with a different set of instructors each quarter.
We're in the initial stages of setting up the first of these. I'll post the details at they firm up. I hope to see some of you there!
Sounds like you had a great seminar. I congratulate you, your teacher, and everyone else who made the seminar a success. May you have many more seminars like this at your dojo.
Domo, Domo Arigato (Say that with an Elvis accent)
I had several goals for this seminar. Far and away the most important was addressed by Calhoun Sensei in his remarks.
There are issues to be solved:
o If we fly in a Sensei, say from the SF Bay area, I feel we'll have to put on a five class seminar (two days or two days plus Friday evening) to justify the fee we'll have to charge to cover the Sensei's travel expenses and give them a small honorarium.
o Then, because our dojo being at a Christian church we'll have to rent a facility because Sunday would be nixed.
o Mats would be a concern in any case.
Both might be covered by leasing my daughter's gymnastics facility. We could handle almost 50 people. Anything over 30 would be economically viable.
Etc, etc. I'm sure you're familiar with all this with three Aikido-L seminars under your belt now.
On the plus side, Montgomery is cheaper to fly into than high-demand destinations and lodging is way cheaper than most places. We're only two hours from Atlanta, where there are quite a few Aikido dojo. We have one of the nicest Shakespeare parks in the country. What a great place to have a weapons class! See http://www.asf.net/fordfoundation.htm for a picture, http://www.asf.net/ASF.html for the homepage.
Dang. I'm gushing. I guess you can tell I'm excited.
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