It was a wonderful feeling to see so many turn out for a one-day seminar in honor of the memory of Kanai Sensei. We had people from at least 6 different dojos from Jacksonville (UNF Aikido Club), Palm Beach Aikikai, Florida Aikikai, Miami Aikikai, Gold Coast Aikikai and Aikido Institute of Miami.
The seminar was broken down into 5 separate classes with each sensei teaching. Peter Bernath, 6th dan of Florida Aikikai, opened the seminar. He taught techniques from shomenuchi and gyakyu hanmi katatetori with some Kanai flavored techniques thrown in. Then Penny Bernath, 5th dan of Florida Aikikai, followed and featured the teens testing for 5th as her ukes, which she did not go easy on. Their ukemi was great. It was wonderful to see Penny showing her support of these young adults. Many of them started over 5-6 years ago and some couldn't even remember how long they have been training. Gus Gustavos, 4th dan of Miami Aikikai, closed the morning classes. Gus focused on techniques from morotetori and he threw in some Kanai flavored techniques as well. After a two hour lunch, Richard Wagner, 5th dan of Palm Beach Aikikai, taught a weapons class. I sat this one out. With all those jos flying around, I was amazed no one hit each other. He first taught a short jo kata then had people pair up for two and three person kumitachi. Finally, Christina "Wee-wow" Dumlao, 4th dan of Gold Coast Aikikai, closed the seminar. She focused on techniques from katatori with various openings. First, she demonstrated from suwari waza then we did standing techniques.
Testing followed the classes. This testing was more special than usual. Of the 11 testers going for 5th kyu 9 were teens who have come up through our kids program. Peter Sensei reflected on how we may have lost someone close to us and how we have come together to remember his life that we also need to look ahead to the future and support the teens entry into the adult program. All of the teens did a wonderful job in their tests as well as the two other adults testing for 5th kyu. In addition to the 5th kyu tests we had one adult test for 4th kyu. She did a wonderful job. (I should know because I took ukemi for her.
All in all, the seminar was wonderful and a lot of comaraderie was felt between dojos in remembering Kanai Sensei. His presence was definently with us that day.
In Loving Memory of Kanai Sensei,