Dear parents and students,
Greetings on this Easter Season!
It is beautiful Spring and another year has gone by. Easter was once again celebrated at home. For those who observe and celebrate Easter, it is a time of renewed hope; of transcending seemingly insurmountable challenges. This is the joy and promise of Spring - of new birth, and new beginnings.
How quickly the year has whizzed past. With all that's happened, it has certainly given us ample time and opportunity to reflect on our own lives and the quality of our relationships with family, loved ones, and friends. The year continues to throw a host of challenges at us, and have changed the lives of so many.
One thing that the global pandemic, and other crashes and downturns over the years have illustrated, is that we really do not know what tomorrow will bring. It is easy to be lulled into taking the future for granted; resting on the comfort and assurance of a scheduled calendar, the familiar routine, commitments to keep, and appointments to fulfill. When these are disrupted, or taken away, how do we respond?
From the martial perspective of the "beginner's mind", without the benefit of physical practice in a dojo to physically remind us, the challenge of meeting and responding to each moment and encounter singularly without preconceived expectations becomes an introspective exercise. Although we are able to still engage in personal physical practice of the movements and techniques by ourselves at home, it is now a mental practice of perseverance and transcending each challenge that we face daily. It has been a challenging year for me too. Many who have lost jobs, livelihoods, and loved ones will emerge from this pandemic changed, and to a new life. This intangible and unseen opponent augments the perspective that O Sensei had long asserted; that the real opponent is oneself: in one's attitude and responses.
Moving forward, Gordon Head Recreation Centre is currently preparing for their Summer program. Our annual Aikido Warriors' Camp has been included. Just as it was last year, the camp will accept a limited number of participants, the focus will be on weapons, and most of the activities will once again be outdoors.
Barring any further surprises for the province, the recreation centre has also scheduled the May/June classes for the youth, and will include outdoor adult classes. With social distancing requirements still in place, classes will continue to focus on our weapons curriculum. If anything, we should be more erudite with our weapons after all this.
The class schedule is:
Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:15 pm to 7:15 pm - outdoors
Tuesdays 4 pm to 4:45 pm (under 7 year olds)
Tuesdays 5 pm to 6 pm (mixed levels)
Thursdays 4 pm to 5 pm (beginners)
Thursdays 5 pm to 6 pm (mixed levels)
AIKIDO WARRIORS' CAMP
July 26 to July 30, 2021
9 am to 3 pm
Please click here to register.
As always, when attending classes at the centre, please ensure that you:
- bring your own masks that will be worn throughout the class
- sanitize your hands before and after classes
- stay home if you feel ill, have a scratchy throat, or a runny nose
- and bring your own jo and bokken, if you have them.
In the meantime, I have added new videos under "Tanto Dori" in our online Glossary. The techniques shown are performed slower than the actual speed to allow you to absorb what is happening and to observe the execution of the technique. Here is the link to the Glossary: http://www.ueshibaaikido.com/Glossary.htm
Finally, to the youth currently registered for classes, I will see you in the Dojo.
And although adult classes may be starting again I will continue with the virtual online sessions if the little adult online group would like to continue.
Thank you for your continued support, interest, joy, and dedication to Aikido practice.
Be well, stay healthy, and hope to see you soon once again.
With peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.
Ueshiba Aikido Victoria
© Ueshiba Aikido Victoria: April 2021