Little House In Ise


48th All Japan Aikido Demonstration

Day by day for the last two weeks the mats at Aikikai Honbu dojo have grown crowded as Aikidoka from all over the world trickled into Tokyo. They have come to view and participate in the 48th All Japan Aikido Demonstration at the Nippon Budokan.

Unlike previous years, this time I attended only as a proud papa and spectator. My main goals were to watch my daughter perform (my son had a science fair) and meet Ueda Shihan from Ise. Since I went with my daughter we arrived about three hours after the event started and then spent the better part of an hour trying to find her again (I lost the whole group right away) I didn’t actually watch much of the demonstration at all. Once the kids were sorted out, I received a phone call from Sensei and met him in front.

Having seen fewer demonstrations this year than at any event previously, I wasn’t able to take as many pictures as I would have liked. The few that I did take I’ve posted below.

After the demonstration, I met Ueda Sensei and the Mie-ken Aikidokai group at the Tokyo Prince Hotel — the one below the Tokyo Tower. After a bit of wandering we found a nice izakaya there in Akasaka. Over dinner, Sensei’s perspective and wisdom flowed with the beer. As usual, when spending time with him I felt as though I should have been taking notes. His ideas about Aikido, life and education are fascinating.

Two younger men sat with us at dinner and sensei quizzed them about the demonstrations. He asked the younger of the two, a new shodan, what he had been watching at the demonstration. The young man replied that he had been watching and trying to learn waza. Sensei responded that that he was crazy to try. Rather than waza, he said, manners and behavior of the uke were paramount. He said to watch how they bow. Remember how the give and receive weapons. He was especially adamant that just observing how the more senior teachers sat and stood should be food for thought.

Later on, when discussing education, sensei mentioned that he was now of an age that no one scolded him anymore and he missed it. His point was that when a teacher or parent scolds their child they are showing that they care. They are providing life lessons and, sadly, once a person reachers a certain age, the mentors in our lives seem to disappear. Becoming an adult capable of self direction and self correction is what growing up is all about but, even so, a friendly slap on the back followed by a “WHAT were you thinking when you did that?” is something that one eventually learns to miss. He told me that he hoped Doshu would scold me more.

The next day we stopped at Tully’s while his students attended Doshu geiko. He very kindly said that though we only meet once a year, it feels far more frequent than that. I agreed but do wish that I could speak with him more often. As always, I appreciated the time sensei gave me and I take his words to heart. I will endeavor to incorporate his wisdom in my life.

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9 Comments so far
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[…] No último sábado participei do 48˚encontro de todos os dojos do Japão e acabei participando da demonstração junto com o dojo da organização que foi anfitriã do SOPP. Comprei um dogi novo quando cheguei mas como ele não chegou a tempo, usei um emprestado que era tamanho pequeno, mas com mais experiência. 🙂 Algumas fotos da apresentação deste ano achei publicadas aqui. […]

Pingback by Augusto Cuginotti » 3 semanas de Japão

[…] demonstrations (get the 2009 edition here). Eric wrote a bit more about last years event, and again this year. Me at the 2009 All Japan Aikido […]

Pingback by 48th All Japan Aikido Demonstration « avparker.com

I like the part about watching how the senior students do what many may call the more menial stuff. I have been studying Aikido for six months, and after watching the higher ranks fold their hakama so carefully after each practice, I have started to follow suit with my gi and white belt. I don’t know if my iriminage has improved, but something with my aiki has I think! If you have time please feel free to check out my blogsite about learning Aikido here in Japan. I’d love to visit other dojos in Japan if time ever permits. I look forward to more of your posts.

Comment by Zacky Chan

Hi Zacky-san!

Welcome to the wonderful world of Aikido! I notice from your blog that you seem to be in search for answers to serious questions. From my very remote vantage I can only warn you that Aikido, as most other serious endeavors, may offer you only a progression of more questions… Good luck!

Yoroshiku!
e.

Comment by Eric Holcomb

Dear Eric,

Greeting from Chiang Mai, Thailand. Thanks again for posting. After I returned home from Japan, things that keep me up with aikido at Hombu is your blog. I still have no plan to visit Tokyo any time soon.
Anyway, Thanks a lot. 🙂

Kop

Comment by Kop

Thank you for this good post!

Please,take post about 49th All Japan Aikido Demonstration in the next year!

Best Regards!

Comment by Russian Aikidoka

I certainly will!

🙂

e.

Comment by Eric Holcomb

[…] No último sábado participei do 48˚encontro de todos os dojos do Japão e acabei participando da demonstração junto com o dojo da organização que foi anfitriã do SOPP. Comprei um dogi novo quando cheguei mas como ele não chegou a tempo, usei um emprestado que era tamanho pequeno, mas com mais experiência. Algumas fotos da apresentação deste ano achei publicadas aqui. […]

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