©™ 2003 - 2004: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : Victoria, Canada
All Rights Reserved
e-Newsletter: ISSN 1712-235X
Winter 2004
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How quickly another year passes. Thank you for an excellent Term, and welcome to our new students.

Congratulations to the first batch of Ueshiba Aikido (Victoria) students who passed their first Aikido Grading Test. The journey you have embarked upon will take you deep into yourself, as you discover the teachings of Ai-Ki. As we break for the holidays, remember that as Aikido students, you now carry the torch of Aikido.

Over Christmas, spare a thought for others. Share and give, rather than rush for that special goodie. You are now an example to your friends and family who may not know what Aikido is. You will find that the more you share and give, the more you will receive. And as you receive, keep the momentum of the flow going, and pass that on. It only takes a small gesture to begin to change your world.
Have a Blessed Christmas and an Enlightening New Year.

In harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei

in this issue
Classes will resume in January
Share a little on Aikido
The Next Grading Test
Reflection on Bowing

Classes will resume in January

These classes are on-going. If you have friends or family who may be interested in practising the fine art of Aikido, they are most welcome to sign up at the recreation centres.

Gordon Head Recreation Centre:
Thursday: January 6, 2005; 5:15pm (Adults)
Friday: January 7, 2005; 4:00pm (Children)

Commonwealth Place: (at Royal Oak Middle School)
Tuesday January 11, 2005; 4:30pm.

Gordon Head School:
Tuesday January 11, 2005;12:15pm
Only students of Gordon Head School may practice at Gordon Head School.


Sharing a little on Aikido

The first Aikido book written for early readers, "Let Me Tell You About My Aikido Class" is a colourful and simple introduction to Aikido.
Available at Bolen Books (Hillside Mall), Tanner's Books (Sidney), and Kata Trading (Herald St). You may also contact Rafael Sensei for copies.

Price: $12.00

Coming in 2005;
"Into the Spirit of Aikido: Small steps into the martial art of harmony" also by Rafael Oei Sensei.


The next Grading Test

The next Grading Test will be in April 2005.
The venues and dates will be announced in March.
Students must have at least 20 full hours of practice before being invited for the 12 to 10 Kyu tests for children, and the 6 kyu test for adults.

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


Reflection on Bowing

In this Advent Season, as we approach Christmas, we are reminded of loved ones and family. It is a time of renewal and of joyful feelings, anticipating the New Year (2005) with faith and hope. We express our gratitude and appreciation to loved ones, and for the year gone by.

Love, appreciation and gratitude are powerful states to be in. The three are intertwined and are never far from each other. It goes into respect and honour in its highest form: beyond duty and beyond coercion. With love comes compassion and humility too. But what does all this have to do with the simple act of bowing?

When bowing to the image of the Founder, O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, at the beginning of Aikido classes, it is a salute. It is also a gesture of humility by the student, demonstrating a willingness to learn and be corrected. It has no religious significance.

In Japan, bowing is a greeting; similar to shaking hands. It is also an acknowledgement of respect for the one bowed to. Bowing is not unique to Japan. Bowing is common in most cultures around the world. When Indians and Thais greet you with a bow, it has deep significance. For Indians, they may add the word "namaste" - acknowledging you as pure essence.

Over time, bowing without reservation and with sincerity transforms a person internally. Be consciously aware of yourself this holiday season. As you shake hands to wish "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year," notice if you execute a bow. The unconscious bow reveals how much you respect or appreciate the person. When it comes from the heart, the bow becomes a significant gesture of gracious love.

(Copyright: Dec 2004 - Rafael Oei)


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©™ 2003 - 2004: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : All Rights Reserved