I recently acquired a new DVD put out by Aikido of Santa Cruz. It documents the training at the July 2007 Aikido Summer Retreat in Santa Cruz. The DVD highlights the instruction given by Motomichi Anno, 6th Dan from the Kumano Juku Dojo in Shingu Japan along with selections and interviews with Mary Heiny Sensei, Jack Wada Sensei and Linda Holiday Sensei, senior teachers who also trained in Shingu.
My first response to this video is that it would be a fine companion video for Sunadomari Sensei's book, Enlightenment Through Aikido. More than mere technical instruction the classes offered by all of these teachers focused on what Aikido should be, how we should feel about our training. Anno Sensei's classes emphasized the need to "open our Hearts" through our training. This was the central theme in Sunadomari Sensei's book as well.
What stands out in the work of all the teachers on this video is the feeling of joy associated with the practice. Beauty, expansiveness, clarity, flow, and effortless power characterized the technique of all of these fine teachers. Watching made me want to get right on the mat so, I too, could feel that flow.
There is interview footage interspersed throughout the DVD through which the American teachers shared their views about Aikido and their life long commitment to training.
The video is available from Aikido of Santa Cruz:
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