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�� 2003 - 2005: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : Victoria, Canada
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e-Newsletter: ISSN 1712-235X
Spring 2005
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Happy Anniversary! Aikido classes began at the Gordon Head Elementary School in March 2004. As usual, Spring comes early here in Victoria, BC, Canada. Watching everything blossoming back to life is simply breathtaking.

As I look back, I appreciate the students that have come and gone, and am reminded how challenging Aikido can be. The enthusiasm of learning something new often becomes difficult especially when things like scales and finger exercises have to be practiced. I have certainly grown and learned a lot from you as my students as well.

I often use metaphors and analogies from other disciplines because they seem to illustrate the point so clearly. Yes, drills are not often fun. Having been in the army myself, I remember hours in the hot, humid tropical sun with my full uniform on, our company being drilled on the parade grounds by the company sergeant over and over again. Repeating the same drill over and over again can be tedious. The results are intangible; and the benefit of hindsight is very revealing. Classes are growing, and so are your abilities. I look forward to sharing more in our classes. Come Summer, we will have our very first Aikido Warrior's Camp at Gordon Head Recreation Centre. So prepare yourself.

In the meantime, sing with nature, play in the sun, and enjoy the beauty of Spring.

In harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.

Ueshiba Aikido (Victoria)

in this issue
Thank you CBC-TV
It is finally coming...
Power Vs Force

Founder of Aikido
Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei


Congratulations to Jonah Shaw, who took his 12 kyu grading on March 4. Well done!

Gordon Head Elementary School:
Grading will be on April 26, during your regular class.
Do hand in your forms by April 5.

Gordon Head Recreation Centre:
Grading will be in May or early June. The date will be announced soon.

For more information about the Aikido Grading Tests, please check the Ueshiba Aikido website.

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Thank you CBC - TV

I would like to thank Dale Drewery, Shannon Lowry, Heather Smith and their crew for spending two hours with us on Friday 18 March. We had the privilege of being included in the CBC programme B-Connected, a new series that covers community activities. It was an honour.

Thanks also to Gordon Head Recreation Centre for allowing CBC to do their recording, and the parents for allowing their children to participate in the video shoot.

The transmission date is not confirmed. As soon as I am informed, I will share the information.
You will also be able to view the clip on the CBC TV B-Connected website when it is ready.

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It is finally coming...

The Ueshiba Aikido patch will soon be ready. When it arrives, you will be able to purchase one to sew it onto the left side of your Gi and wear it as a member of Ueshiba Aikido, Victoria. It took me a year to find someone who would produce the patch at a reasonable price.

The price of each patch will only be $5.

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Power Vs Force

As a Sensei of Aikido, my first duty is to ensure the safety of my students. Being non-aggressive, Aikido classes are conducted in a harmonious environment, repeating drills so that students internalise the movement and techniques in a peaceful manner. Because of this, thoughts of the effectiveness of Aikido techniques arise quietly in the student. This may occasionally surface when the student challenges his or her partner, or even their Sensei. Some just decide to leave the class altogether. When a student resists a technique that I am applying, the first instinct is to be gentle as one would be gentle with one's child. That is the covenant between the teacher and the student. This is sometimes taken as a technique's ineffectiveness. Aikido is Budo, as stated by the founder O Sensei. It is not a sport. And so, until the student learns to flow with the technique and be able to take good ukemi at high speed, the application of techniques will match the ability of the class and the students.

Part of Aikido practice includes the eventual development of personal wisdom. It is the same with any path one chooses. All philosophies and teachings will ultimately lead the sincere acolyte to an understanding that will be very profound and very personal. It reminds me of the many stories of students who seek martial art masters only to serve under them as a house or dojo servant for a number of years - seemingly not learning any tangible techniques. The mettle of the student is certainly tested. If a student goes the distance, with patience and trust, the journey often surpasses expectation.

"Doing without doing" is a famous Zen saying. "To be victorious even before the battle begins" is an expression O Sensei would use. Intention and beingness may not seem measurable or quantifiable. However, I came across a study that was actually made about this level of activity and its effects on the individual, the environment and the community. The book is titled "Power Vs Force" by Dr. David Hawkins. I am in no way promoting or endorsing the book. But if you are that way inclined, Dr. Hawkins provides, in his study, interesting data about personal inner development affecting external circumstances.

You don't need to use force in applying Aikido technique, but they are nonetheless effective and powerful. It has always been my knowing that the techniques are only as effective as the person who wields/applies them. That is why Aikido, as practiced in our dojos, begin with the person first - through discipline, etiquette and humility. As the student matures within, all the other aspects will fall into place.

With that I wish you a most wondrous Spring, and a meaningful Easter.
See you in class.

(� March 2005 : Rafael Oei)

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Ueshiba Aikido 1576 Burnley Place Victoria British Columbia V8N 5A5 Canada
Rafael Oei Sensei . Voice: (250) 818-0284 . Email: rafoei@shaw.ca

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�� 2003 - 2005: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : All Rights Reserved