A life in testing

Fessenden photo
Charlie Fessenden in Eagle, Colo., 2006.

By Todd Fessenden, Vail Aikikai

At its most basic, fundamental level, testing plays a key role in ensuring the consistency and integrity of any practice whether martial arts, academics, business, medicine or virtually any established system. Testing within our practice functions as an assurance that the core fundamentals are intact and documents continual progress and growth.

This is true as well for any of the aforementioned endeavors. Rigorous testing goes into every product released to the market, any educational institution, any medicine produced, vehicles, airplanes, weapons, clothing; in essence anything of value has been tested. It is important that benchmarks be set in an effort to ensure results are measurable. I believe that the test requirements established by Chiba Sensei and the Birankai Teachers Council Continue reading “A life in testing”

New seminar video

Birankai Aikido instructors gave some powerful seminars this past weekend across the U.S.

Today’s clips include Bernadette Vargas at Aikido of Albuquerque and Robert Savoca at New England Aikikai. Birankai Midwest also gathered this past weekend for a weapons seminar at Fox Valley Aikikai — more clips coming soon.


Regional reverie

This coming weekend my dojo is hosting our Birankai East Coast Regional Seminar, and I’m about to go nuts. Details are buzzing through my brain like gnats: Who can put up visitors? Will we have enough gluten-free options at the potluck? Will the pole-dancing class next door to the seminar be a distraction?

Not to mention that we just moved Fire Horse Aikido this past week to a new location, with all the craziness that entails. Can people find the new place? Will we have enough tape? Why does every dojo space we find have some kind of leak?

But every time I start to lose it, I have to remind myself that we have the basics: people to train with and a place to train. This weekend – on both East and West coasts – Birankai Aikido practitioners will gather on a mat and practice. That’s all that really matters. Who cares about pole dancers?

In that mode, I’ll be posting new video this week from instructors scheduled to teach at upcoming Birankai regional events. By gathering to practice Chiba Sensei’s Aikido with spirit and commitment, we’re keeping Birankai strong and honoring his ongoing legacy.

Today I’ll post new video of Mike Flynn Sensei of Thistle Aikikai, who is slated to give a seminar at Alameda Aikikai Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 8 and 9. The Birankai Aikido Northeast Regional Seminar will take place at Aikido Hartford this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Next weekend, Nov. 14-16, features Birankai events including seminars with Darrell Bluhm Sensei at Clallam Aikikai, Alex Peterson Sensei at Aikido of Albuquerque and the Midwest Regional Weapons seminar at Fox Valley Aikikai.

Pack up your gi bag and weapons and see you there!

Liese Klein