East Coast Regional rocks

100_0602Birankai members gathered at Bucks County Aikido this weekend for a regional seminar that brought together teachers and students from across the Northeast and as far away as Michigan, Illinois, Florida and Washington. More than 76 people practiced and took part in testing and a truly epic potluck party.

Darrell Bluhm Shihan of Siskiyou Aikikai explored the concept of positive movement by nage in techniques to take the center.

George Lyons Shihan of Bucks County Aikido urged us to “trust the principles” of Aikido and put ourselves at risk as nage to draw a committed attack.

Visit BiranOnline on YouTube to see more videos by Bluhm Sensei, George Lyons Sensei, Patti Lyons Sensei and Robert Savoca Sensei of Brooklyn Aikikai.

Often invoked were memories of Mark Murashige Sensei and Jack Arnold Sensei, treasured Birankai teachers who both passed away in recent weeks. Their legacy of selfless teaching and joy in practice was alive on the mat in Bucks County this weekend.

Jack Arnold Sensei, 1929-2013

Jack ArnoldDear Friends, It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Jack Arnold Sensei, who died peacefully at home this morning with his wife, Melinda, and his students by his side.

Arnold Sensei’s passing came just after Aikido Daiwa hosted a wonderful seminar by Didier Boyet Sensei that was attended by 70 people and served as yet another confirmation of his incredible life work. Arnold Sensei attended the Saturday evening party in good spirits and was able to view the legacy of his dedication to Aikido.

He is loved and cherished, and we will all miss him.

The members of Aikido Daiwa

Aikido’s Big Questions

By Michael Márquez, Ventura Aikikai

Michael Marquez, right, with Tom Dullam at Ventura Aikikai.
Michael Marquez, right, with Tom Dullam at Ventura Aikikai.

Life and death. When thinking recently about what to write for this essay, this is the first thing that came to mind.

Certainly, I also considered the several years of training I have experienced: the effort, time, sweat, injuries, frustration and joy. I recalled the support of my family, my wife and two daughters, and their understanding of my evenings away from home training, my Saturday mornings at the dojo, my attendance at Summer Camps and seminars. Memories of arriving home late in the evening as my two daughters are getting ready for bed, spending a few moments with them as they smile, running to me as I walk through the door, sleep heavy in their eyes, and listening to them telling me about their day.

My wife asking me about my training after the girls are in bed, and listening to me as I try to explain the joy of having done iriminage well after struggling with proper entry, or finally taking a decent breakfall for kotegaeshi. My fellow Aikido practitioners, who patiently Continue reading “Aikido’s Big Questions”