Re: General News: Aikido Yuishinkai World Seminar Series 2004
World Tour Update
Maruyama Sensei and those accompanying him on the World Tour are now in
Edmonton, Alberta Canada, the 6th venue on their trip. So far, the tour has
been a great success and created many new bridges between people from
different countries, cultures and styles of the art.
The World Tour has been an exciting journey for all of those involved in
bringing the vision to fruition. It began with Maruyama Sensei©ˆs wish to
bring his message of ŒI am mind itself©ˆ, to the world. This simply means
that by training our minds to be positive, we can create more joy, peace and
potential in our lives. Thus began the challenge of organising a world
The internet was an instrumental tool to introduce Aikido Yuishinkai and the
founding premise of ŒAikido without Boundaries©ˆ. The response from our
website was overwhelming and within a few months, a committed team of
instructors from 10 countries came forward to host seminars. Some knew of
Maruyama Sensei from earlier days and many were simply drawn to the concept
of aikido without the politics, boundaries and obligations that politics can
create. It is interesting to note that the question of who they were or had
been affiliated with never came up in our correspondence. It is hoped that
by Œopening the dojo doors©ˆ and breaking down the barriers between styles it
will create more freedom for aikidoka to explore, expand and develop their
own journey on the road of Peace.
Open doors lead to open minds· Open minds can create new ways to meet
challenges in our lives and in our world. Ten venues, ten weeks of suitcase
living·double·triple checking itineraries, arrangements and dozens of other
now forgotten details, goodbyes said and flights boarded. Bon Voyage!
Williams Sensei left a week early to teach a seminar to the Singapore
members on the way. Frankie Chan, Michael, Janice and all the Singapore
cowboys/girls were wonderful hosts. He enjoyed with trepidation, the
national pastime of eating copious amounts of exotic delicacies including
fermented, preserved eggs and unmentionable anatomical bits of other
creatures! Congratulations to all those who received dan promotions during
the seminar, including Frankie Chan, Head Dojo Instructor, now 4th dan. We
look forward to seeing them all again in Byron Bay in September.
The first seminar of the World Tour, hosted by Franco and Beatrice Bertossa,
took place in Pianoro, Italy. It was extremely well-organised and classes
averaged 150 students at each class. Half of those attending were women!
Everyone was so well looked after and a special trip to Venice was arranged
where they were able to visit many of the smaller canals not generally
available to the public. The Italians were wonderfully receptive and trained
with much fun and laughter.
The next stop was Haigerloch, Germany where the seminar was hosted by
Bernhard and Erika Boll. Haigerloch is an interesting area steeped in
history with Hohenzollern Castle and Lake Constance nearby. Erika Boll
practices a special kind of healing with bells. The students there soon
warmed to Maruyama Sensei©ˆs friendly, casual style. Maruyama Sensei and
Williams Sensei soon became known as ŒThe Smiling Sensei©ˆs.
Peace begins with a smile.
If in our daily life
We can smile, it we
Can be peaceful and
Happy, not only we,
But everyone will
Profit from it. This is
The most basic kind
of Peace work.
__ Thich Nhat Hanh__
Next on the itinerary was Utrecht, Holland. The warm and receptive students
were a pleasure to meet. This seminar was co-hosted by Esther Van den
Broek, Aalt Aalten and Will Stoelman, all aikido veterans of many years
experience. Dutch hospitality was wonderful. Stoelman Sensei received the
promotion of Chief Instructor and 7th Dan from Maruyama Sensei.
Another Wednesday arrives and the group depart for the UK seminar, hosted by
Denis and Pam Burke. A warm welcome greeted the travellers. The students
were so receptive and open to Maruyama Sensei©ˆs teachings. Williams Sensei
has stayed on in the UK for 2 weeks to visit family and meet with several
other aikido instructors who want to join Aikido Yuishinkai. Congratulations
to Denis Burke who was promoted to 7th dan during the seminar.
Maruyama Sensei presents his philosophy and techniques in an articulate and
easy to understand format. His classes flow with cadence and rhythm. Like an
orchestra conductor, he is sensitive to each individual while creating a
class cohesiveness which fosters learning. His aikido is always evolving
and there are always new concepts and challenges to grasp and develop.
Aikido Yuishinkai strives to return to the source of O©ˆ sensei©ˆs teachings,
embracing all who practice with a spirit of positive mind.
A huge thank you to all the host instructors who have made this trip
possible. Through trust, communication and a shared vision to set aside
politics and focus on O©ˆsensei©ˆs dream, the World Tour has been a fantastic
success so far. There are still 5 venues to go, including Vancouver, San
Francisco, Hawaii, New Zealand and back to Œhome base©ˆ·Australia.
Maruyama Sensei, Mrs. Maruyama, Williams Sensei, Elisabeth Andel and Sid
Monthule have been great ambassadors for aikido. Both on and off the mat,
bonds have been formed and relationships will continue to grow and develop.
The candles have been lit and it will be inspiring to see how Aikido
Yuishinkai evolves and expands as time goes by. The foundations have been
laid for a very strong organisation in the UK and throughout Europe.
ŒAikido without boundaries©ˆ has provided the opportunity for new unity for
all aikidoka regardless of style or background. The vision has become