Joe Cavazos wrote:
I would like to thank Sensei Jorge Garcia for the following:
1. Accepting the offer to show us Kato Shihan's aikido,
2. Bringing several of his students to a foreign country, and
3. Allowing us to see the similarities and common principles in two different styles of aikido.
Jorge has a very strong aikido style. His ukes were utterly fantastic! Jorge has trained those teenage students that accompanied him extremely well. They were very well mannered and respectful - as was their Sensei. Despite the vast differences in the styles, we were able to pick up and focus on the similarities that make aikido a unique martial art.
Jorge Sensei took a 12 hour bus ride with 5-6 teenagers and some of his "older" students from Houston to Monterrey, Mexico, then a 12 hour bus ride back. Our instruction was 90% in Spanish and there were no complaints from his students.
If you ever have the opportunity to stop by and visit with Sensei Jorge in Houston, you need to. There is some extremely interesting footwork and hip movement that produces some extremely focused power.
Jorge, thanks again for the weekend that you and your students were able to share with us.
I also want to thank Joe Cavazos Sensei and Eliseo Munoz Sensei for their hospitality and kindness. I would have posted a more elaborate post earlier but I was on a computer that was different and I was having a lot of trouble typing so I made my message short.
These men in in the Tanaka Ha group were extremely kind and truly espoused the teachings of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. They spoke of Aikido as a family and among themselves, the love and friendship was evident. Even the members who were not assigned to give us hospitality went out of their way to be kind to us. One of their practitioners, a pediatrician took his evening off to take us to the mountains and to give us a guided tour of the city. He did other kind things like going early Sunday to make his hospital visits and then come to pick us up at the hotel so we wouldn't have to use a cab. These men just have a wonderful spirit.
I was impressed with the Aikido of Munoz Sensei. He has beautiful clean Aikido and his appearance and demeanor changed when he came on the mat. Precise and lovely are the words I would use to describe what I saw. He is around 65 years of age and I found myself wanting to be able to look like him when I am that age. Joe Cavazos Sensei is a tall man, about 6"5" who is extremely fast with his hands and deceptively subtle in his movements. I enjoyed feeling his technique very much and I was impressed that even though Joe is a big man, he uses a no strength in what he does and that is most commendable. It shows the power of this art and the egolessness of a man to resist the natural tendency to use the strength of the body versus the hidden power of the technique. These are men who upon meeting them, you feel like you have known them all your life.
Our group had a great time. The young people and adults were so excited to be there and experience a taste of Mexico. The hotel was excellent and the area was wonderful. There are shops and many things to see there and the prices were low!
The view of the city from one of the mountains was spectacular and I hope to return and see some more of the natural wonders that are there that we didn't get to see.
All the instructors present were impressive in ther demeanor and spirit and showed the years of training they have had from the great teachers they have studied with. Their students were dedicated and a joy to work with. We didn't want to come home and the weekend ended too fast.
Thanks Joe and Eliseo Senseis. We had a wonderful time.
Best wishes always.