MORE NEW INFO
Firsty, Shimamoto sensei will be holding a lecture on Zen meditation 2 hours after the seminar.. If anyone has spare time after the lecture, this is a great opportunity to experience a Zen meditation workshop from a 2nd generation zen buddhist monk (and aikido shihan).. The cost is free or pay-what-you-can.. Link below
ZEN LECTURE LINK
Secondly, more background on Shimamoto sensei..
Katsuyuki Shimamoto Sensei, an Aikikai affiliated Shihan, is also a practicing Soto Zen-Buddhist Priest. A student of late Kisaburo Osawa Sensei, he practices a style of Aikido that is sometimes soft and fluid, and sometimes very sharp and direct. Born in 1937, Shimamoto Sensei teaches Aikido on the grounds of his family temple -- the Toyonaka Shosenji Temple in northern Osaka, Japan. When asked about how Aikido and Zen are related, Shimamoto Shihan explains: "One connection has to do with tension and relaxation. I tell my Aikido students to bring tension and relaxation into harmony. When we are rigid, or frozen, we cut ourselves off from our partners - but, when we are completely yielding, there is no attention or awareness with which our partners can engage. In Zazen practice, it is the same. The crossed legs, the upright posture, reaching for the sky - to maintain this requires a tremendous amount of tension. At the same time, the body needs to be 100% relaxed and the mind 100% free. And if we practice Aikido the same way we do Zazen, the waza will "work" -- we will experience harmony with our partners through movement. Through this process, we learn to respect harmony and to seek it in our relations with others. Also, in practicing this way, we show respect for the waza and the teachings to be found there." In the last 10 years, Shimamoto Shihan was invited by many dojos in foreign countries, giving seminars and workshops in Holland, Poland, Israel, Singapore, Canada and Australia. His energy and kindness also inspires many visitors from abroad to come to Shosenji Dojo in Osaka to study Aikido.