Aikido Institute was invited to participate in Lick-Wilmerding High School’s “Walk With A Purpose” day on April 26th. The main focus of Walk With A Purpose is to take a day to address ideas and issues that our community and the world at large face such as social justice, gender equality, violence, youth issues and more. This year the theme was "self reflection, solidarity/liberation and building community.”
LWHS instructor and AI student Eric Friedman invited AI dojo-cho Stephen Kilmer and Monday evening instructor Jacob Clapsadle to lead an introduction to aikido class for a group of twenty students.
As Eric explained: “First, I find that the students can get bogged down in heady discussions and don't get a chance to be in their bodies. Which leads to the second idea that the practice of Aikido (as I understand it) is centered on connecting to others, resolving conflict, and building self awareness. So I thought the students would enjoy an experience where they can learn to approach conflict and resolution on a physical level. Also I think it would be fun!”
If your school or organization is interested in an Aikido demo and/or class, please contact us.
On April 29, 2017, we celebrated Tai Sai and the grand opening of our new dojo space with a special training led by Bill Witt Shihan, and joined by Hans Goto Sensei and Hoa Newens Sensei. It was a great, energetic class, and we got to test the limits of our mat space with a packed group of dojo members and friends.
Witt Shihan mentioned the importance of being able to adjust one's technique to take up a smaller mat area. The example of a phone booth as a physical space in which to do a technique provided a fun visual!
We had a blast being able to host our closest friends from the extended dojo community, including folks from Davis, Marin, Mill Valley, and Reno. We also got to see old dojo members who dropped by to train and/or hangout, and it felt like they've never been away.
During kanpai, we were reminded that Witt Shihan, Goto Sensei, and Newens Sensei all taught at our dojo at some point, which is significant. Witt Shihan was dojo-cho for period during the early years when the dojo was on College Avenue in Oakland, and Goto Sensei taught during those early years as well. Hoa Newens Sensei was a huge part of our dojo, as dojo-cho and co-dojo-cho with Kim Peuser Sensei over many years until he moved to Davis and started his dojo there.
Our deepest gratitude goes to all that helped us on our journey of change and transition, which culminated in this day of celebration of friendship in Aikido.