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Old 09-13-2008, 06:29 AM   #1
Randy Sexton
Dojo: Aikido of Lake Keowee
Location: South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 187
An Old Guy Went to Summer Camp

Firtst of all, I have only been in Aikido for over 18 months so I am new to the Aikido mat but I have been training in the Martial Arts since I was 14. In all those years I have always been a student some place and have had 7 different instructors and have even been an instructor in my own dojo. I have observed how frequently people come and go. In the past 6 months particularly I have searched my own heart and asked what is it that I seek. The question is easy but the answer is hard. I started originally to learn to defend myself from bullies and to defend others after watching my mother being physically abused by my stepfather in drunken rages. As the years went by I began to search for self-discipline and self-control. Exercise and stress reduction became more important. As the years have continued, I realize that I am indeed on a journey of spiritual awareness and growth through my training in the "Martial Way."
I have found myself in the recent past also asking the question where are the poor who would love to train but can't afford the $50-$100 on a monthly basis. Train or eat. Not to mention the cost of the equipment and dogi. Where are the older students and the handicapped who long for the opportunity to use Aikido as a way of personal growth?
This summer I attended the Summer Camp in the Rockies with the ASU and met some of the kindest and most open people I have ever met. The warmth and welcoming I felt was touching beyond words. Ikeda Sensei personal charm and warmth and humor was so heart warming and Saotome Sensei himself spent time chatting with me and I felt like the old gentlemen who went to O'Sensei in his 70's and was welcomed with open arms. The stories I heard about people opening up their hearts and their dojo to accept those older students and those with little money and those with physical and mental limitations was inspiring! I walked away from the experience with many things to consider but the greatest of these was this thought: I must continue my spiritual jouney through the martial way and I must open my heart to Everyone regardless of age or limitations and help guide them to experience self-discovery through this martial way and especially through Aikido. Keeping their limitations and needs in mind. Never condescending but always encouraging them to search for their limits and grow beyond them. I look forward to the day I open my own dojo and hope I am as wise and warm and accepting as those I have met and will meet as I continue my Aikido journey. That is what I learned at summer camp. That is what I am learning from all my friends from around the world on this website.
Thank you all!
Doc (the old guy)

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will"
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:23 AM   #2
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,224
Re: An Old Guy Went to Summer Camp

Onegaishimasu. Hmmm. Sounds like 'satori at summer camp'.
Thanks for sharing this story.

In gassho,


- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:09 PM   #3
Dojo: Sully near Cardiff in Wales
Location: Cardiff
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4
Re: An Old Guy Went to Summer Camp

Thats a great story and it sounds like you have found true aikido. There are many aikido clubs in the uk and I suppose around the world, that spread this attitude and I feel that this is what O sensei might have been on about. Aikido is a journey and that journey takes different paths as you grow and change. O sensei said that aikido was the art of love and it looks like this world could do with all it can get.

Thanks Pad

Always practice the art of peace in a vibrant and joyful maner
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:33 PM   #4
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,888
Re: An Old Guy Went to Summer Camp

Its great being the "old guy".
We appreciate so much more.
Looking forward to "again" doc to doc.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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