Reflections of a beginning

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Over the weekend, a big group of us from Mugenjuku made it out to Osaka for Ando Sensei’s workshop. I was particularly looking forward to it, as I had trained at Ando Sensei’s dojo twice before, and I hadn’t seen him or trained with anyone from the dojo since starting the Kenshusei Course. My good friend Michiko from Tokyo (And Ando Sensei’s dojo) was also attending the workshop. I met her over a year ago on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, when she first told me about Aikido. She encouraged me to try it out when I visited Japan later in the year. And so I did last June. I had the opportunity to do 7 days of live-in training at Ando Sensei’s dojo. I really enjoyed my time and training there, and got a little taste of what Yoshinkan Aikido was all about. Months later, I made a big decision to participate in the Kenshusei Course with Payet Sensei. And now, nearly 3 months into the course, I had the chance to train once again with my friend Michiko last night at Mugenjuku. I was happy to show her my new “Aikido Home”. I also found that I appreciated all of the hard work and training that she’s put in to her Aikido over the past 5+ years, now that I’ve shed some of my own blood, sweat, and tears.

After Keiko last night, Payet Sensei was kind enough to invite some of us out for drinks. We had a good time listening to stories and anecdotes about Aikido and the awe inspiring lives of Gozo Shioda Sensei and Payet Sensei. And I also realized how I need to get back on my computer and start studying my Rosetta Stone Japanese again…

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