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Dennis Hooker

Registered: August 2002
Location: Orlando Florida
Posts: 456
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Registered: September 2004
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 371

History is said to be written by the winners, those who prevail and leave their stamp on the recorded memories of what actually happened. Well, there was a host of winners in Orlando, Florida in February, 2010.

All who attended this past weekend of training, interaction, conversations and the sharing of sweat, effort and inspirations, were all indeed winners. They each and every one left their indelible stamp on the minds, hearts and psyche of all who chose to attend and participate.

Yes, there were top level instructors present, not only on the teaching schedule, but on the mat itself, including Shihans Clyde Takeguchi, John Messores, Greg O'Connor and Todd Jones. They contributed mightily to the tone, authenticity, and the welcoming spirit of the joy of training to everyone there, even those who watched from the side. Dennis Hooker Shihan, in great pain and obvious discomfort, was inspirational, not only in his powerful presentations on the mat, but with his dogged determination to support all the others by observing the training way beyond the limits of his challenges. Domo, Hooker Shihan!

This event is past now, but the purpose for it lives on. This amalgamation of top level Aikido teachers may well mark the beginning of the end to regional thinking, exclusivity of memberships, and to the history of unfounded, unfortunate, and illogical prejudices against any one "not doing their style of Aikido". Even further, was the amazing support given by those veterans of Aikido training and leadership, who chose to attend and mingle with those they have not met for years, on the common ground of honest and joyful training. Old friendships were rekindled, new friendships forged, and a new attitude of "oneness of Aiki purpose" was revived.

This is an event that all promise to reenact next year. Even more, there has begun conversations that this example be used to foster more local gatherings of Aikido groups, dojos and their faithful supporters throughout the months and years to come.

This is testament to the dreams and vision of the Founder, the late Doshu, and to the efforts of the early pioneers of Aikido, that the values and benefits of Aiki principles will prevail and be shared with generations present and future.
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