Bright, breezy autumn weather greeted attendees at a November 3rd ceremony dedicating the zendo of So’tekizan Korinzenji, “Patriarch’s Target Mountain, Shining Forest Zen Temple,” or Korinji for short. Korinji is a new Rinzai monastery near Madison, Wis. Zen priests, students and supporters from Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Utah – including a number of Birankai Aikido teachers – gathered together to witness the event.
Nearly 50 aikidoka packed the mat at Fire Horse Aikido in New Haven, Conn., for a Birankai seminar on Friday with George Lyons Shihan of Bucks County Aikido. Great training, great teaching and New Haven’s world-famous apizza!
Check out the video above of an entire class with Didier Boyet Shihan last year at Athens Aikikai — Boyet Shihan will be teaching a seminar at Multnomah Aikikai in Portland, Ore., Feb. 7-9. More info on the seminar here.
Below is newly posted video of Boyet Sensei from 2012 Birankai Summer camp in Bronxville, NY.
Or, Happy New Year! Birankai dojos across the country held special practices in waning hours of 2013 and early hours of 2014 to celebrate the coming Year of the Horse.
San Diego Aikikai rung in the new year with Misogi harai, zazen and aikido misogi. Aikido misogi is traditionally practiced at Hombu Dojo with 108 suwariwaza shomenuchi ikkyo, the number representing the multitude of worldly passions said to cause suffering in the Buddhist tradition. Members prepared soba, nishime, tempura and inari for the after-party.
At Fire Horse Aikido in New Haven, Conn., we did 108 ikkyo followed by yosenabe, oden, miso soup and a range of fine foods and beverages. Midwestern teachers gathered in Ann Arbor for New Year’s.
And check out this performance by the Brooklyn Aikikai house band at their New Year’s celebration, which lasted until 7 a.m. the next day:
Here are some of the New Year’s traditions observed at Aikido Hombu Dojo in Japan:
Etsunen-Keiko: New Year’s Eve practice. Read this report on the event from Birankai’s own Roo Heins in the Hombu Dojo newsletter.
Hatsu-Keiko: First class of the year with Doshu. This class is attended by most Hombu senior members and instructors, who practice with general members. You may end up getting schooled by a high-ranking shihan for an entire class! (Trust me, I know.)
Kagami Biraki: The “breaking the mirror” celebration held about a week after New Year’s. Members pound rice into mochi and then enjoy grilled mochi and sweet bean soup. Read about this event from the perspective of a Brazilian student in this item in the Hombu newsletter.
Kangeiko: Mid-winter training period where members are encouraged to train every day for 10 days. Read this report from Guillaume Erard and see the souvenir prizes for participating.