Aikido News 2011‎ > ‎

The little dojo that could

posted 20 Dec 2011, 02:52 by Dan James
Well we are just about to close up the dojo for the year (well for one week anyway) and its worth looking back of the year to see what we have been upto. Its been a year of change, firstly bringing on Alison sensei to teach an additional class brought with it the responsibility of being able to offer a more complete opportunity to study aikido. This brought the responsability of developing our own members, rather than a kind of drop in centre for the aiki-afflicted and ronin from about the traps, and doing a better job of looking  through the lens of Maruyama sensei's syllabus. In due course Alison and Danny undertook training as nationally recognised coaches through the Australian Jujitsu Federation and the Australian Sports Commission, and later on Eric and Anthony joined the ranks of formal instructors with the club (though we view everyone as instructors in our normal practice). 

During the year we had the opportunity for lots of wider experiences in Aiki. Locally we had a joint Systema Australia-Aikido Republic seminar with Andrew Seyderhelm's school, a visit from Will Reed sensei by way of a seminar (hosted by Cleveland dojo and organised by Anthony) and a seminar at Brisbane Aikikai. Within our own school seminars with Michael Williams Sensei and our annual schools seminar with founder Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei. Further afield Alison and Eric had the opportunity to practice in Hawaii, attend the Hirosawa Sensei seminar in Sydney and Danny managed to check out some dojo in Melbourne (hello Catherine Sensei) and take in some practice with Okajima Sensei in Osaka, he was also spotted on ABC Catalyst with some rather dubious sword work.  In the small spaces in between Chris Rady, a lineage holder in Nakayama Ko-Aikido shared a little of his art, John Ward sensei was a regular guest sharing his knowledge and love of weapons together with experiences from a Daito Ryu master, whilst living abroad in Lao. Vicki's teacher Chicko Sensei also visited from the Sunshine coast which was a treat.

We took a break mid year for a mid winder retreat with good friends Brendan and Kristy in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, complete with outdoor dawn Misogi (what were we thinking?) and the gastronomical delights of the Naughty Chef, all under the watchful eye of Andrew Sunter Sensei who made the trip up (thankyou sensei)

Away from the dojo, 2011 was a tumultuous year with the Brisbane floods, earthquakes in New Zealand and in Japan, we were all affected in some way (unfortunately some more so ) and were reminded of Maruyama Sensei's ' If I hold positive thoughts in my mind good things are likely to happen'

During regular practice in the dojo throughout the year we have often had a two to one ratio of Yudansha to Kyu grades which has made for a high and quite authentic level of practice which has seen our newer students thrive in what is quite a challenging environment. Our December trial of Ronin Shugyo was a success, with the dojo straining at the seams with the many Yudansha tempered only slightly by the Kyu grade enthuasium. We congratulate all our members for their contribution to the training environment, thankyou to  those that graded, those that didn't and especially Vicki and Keita on fine Shodan's

2012 opens (pretty much) with guest instructor,  Andrew Sunter Sensei on Friday 6th Jan. We will continue Ronin Shugyo on the last Tuesday of every month and after receiving several nikkyo's from visitors we have relented and offer the class at a visitor friendly rate.

Looking back at last years windup (Merry XMAS and happy new year 2010) its great to see the dojo and everyone growing in Aiki together and an enthusasium for learning Aiki shared by all at the dojo.