The Practice of Aikido is an act of faith, a belief in the power of nonviolence. - O Sensei
A Word from Sensei
The new year is upon us and just like that….we are already into February
( 二月)“Ni gatsu”. This time of year can
be very frustrating for many because of the weather and the fact that we are stuck inside. But this is just a change in scenery. To be physically fit and focused the mind needs to be fit and focused as well. Find this additional time of indoor solace to practice more and to practice harder. In Japan this time of month there are many festivals celebrated in order to keep the activity up and mind alive. One festival is the lantern festival. Every year on Feb 3rd, 3000 lanterns are lit up at Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara. This event has more than 500 years of history. On a dark night, the burning candles illuminating the nearby river and shrine will surely make you feel mystified and alive. There are different lanterns near the shrine, decorated to mark the coming of spring according to the old lunar calendar. On this day, beans are sold as good luck charms. I believe if one participates in this celebration at home happiness and life will be enjoyed.
Etiquette is a very important part of one's martial arts practice. When people first start out, they often feel uncomfortable with all the rituals and rules that they have to follow. Being uncomfortable often stems from not
understanding the role of etiquette in a dojo. Etiquette should be closely followed for several reasons, not the least of which is everyone's safety and learning on the mat. In Japanese society, respect and humility are traits that are held in high esteem especially in a martial arts dojo. Consequently, you should strive to adopt a respectful and humble attitude when practicing aikido. Anger and arrogance are seen as an inability to control one-self. Therefore, these attitudes are to be avoided. There are many aspects to dojo etiquette. As an Instructor both the basic and advanced guidelines need, be followed and passed onto the students.
Respect, courtesy, and common sense should prevail.
The chief instructor should be addressed always as "Sensei". Senior students who assist with class should NOT be called Sensei. Senior students should be called by their names or “Sempa”
The title "Sensei" should be used at ALL times towards the Chief Instructor in and out of the Dojo.
Always bow toward the altar picture when leaving or entering the room.
Always bow when entering or exiting the mat.
All students coming to practice should arrive early enough before class time
as to be ready at the proper time and not interrupt class.
We are closing in on our first year at the new dojo and I am getting very excited. I will be looking forward to new students and everyone in the dojo practicing very hard in anticipation of the May seminar with Demko Sensei. Let’s all pitch in and help make these two events successful. - Sensei
April 28 First anniversary of the opening of the North Coast Aikikai Dojo!
May 17 - 18 Seminar at North Coast Aikikai with Andy Demko 7th Dan Shihan and Salvatore LaCorte 6th Dan Shidoin
July 28 - August 3 USAF Summer Camp at Galloway NJ.
Mindful Stretching to Pre- vent Injuries When Oﬀ the Mat
How many times have we been encouraged to practice our strikes, blocking exercises or Jo Kata at home to improve our Aikido time on the mat? In addition to these basics, regular stretching increases and maintains a healthy range of motion, improves posture and eases pain. Whether you’re a martial artist, runner, body builder, corporate CEO or
aging baby boomer, stretching offers a boat load of optimal health and performance benefits.
As we age our natural elasticity decreases, making stretching even more important for our health, wellness and vitality. So put aside your furniture (only if it works for your family!), sit thyself on the floor, and revisit our ground stretches. Actively engage the muscles you’re seeking to stretch. Breathe calmly and evenly. Give yourself permission to take each stretch near the edge of your comfort zone, and stay awhile. Breathe into the sensation of your stretch.
CAUTION: Do not force a stretch. Overstretching can lead to strains, hypermobility and instability that can take you away from doing that which you love, like practicing Aikido. Welcome this time to be present with your magnificent body systems. It is a treasure! - Linda Baron
Outside Dojo of the Month
The outside dojo for this month is Two Rivers Aikikai in Portland, Oregon.