parents and students,
Thank you for a tremendously enjoyable and meaningful Autumn Term. As another year comes to a close, I appreciate your attention, enthusiasm, interest, and participation during class. Thank you, also, for all your well wishes and Christmas gifts. My family and I appreciate all the support and encouragement we've received from you.
Classes will resume from Tuesday 5 January.
Class information can be found at www.ueshibaaikido.com/%20/Notices.htm
Please let me know if you have a new address, or have changed your phone or email contact information. Just email the information to me and I will see that the information is updated. You may email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Nicholas Glover, who successfully graded for Sho Dan; the third student holding a Sho Dan in our Dojo. Mitchell Gaucher also just underwent his Ni Dan test, as will Nicole Oei in the new year. All the best to them. All yudansha gradings (Dan grade levels) go through my sensei, Chang Shihan, and through Aikikai World Headquarters, Aikikai Hombu Dojo, Tokyo - the body who certifies all Dan Grade Levels worldwide: the only Dan level certificates that our dojo recognises.
As our dojo progresses and more students rise to yudansha level, I remind students that each senior student will bring to their practice their own personality, talents, strengths, knowledge, skills, and abilities. Try not to compare or judge. I also remind students that while Dan level students (yudanshas) are to be respected as senior students, not all Dan level students are leaders, and not all leaders are instructors-in-training. These students are selected by the sensei of the dojo. Leaders may guide and share during class, as they partner with you during practice. Even if they were asked to lead a class on their own, should I be absent, they do not and are not qualified to teach. They may demonstrate the sabaki and techniques to be practiced, and then lead the class in practicing those. Only appointed senseis teach, and are responsibility and accountable for the progress of the students and the dojo. It is sometimes difficult to understand the difference. As mentioned in my book, senseis may be instructors, but not all instructors are senseis; just as not all yudanshas are leaders, and not all leaders are instructors-in-training.
It is exciting to see the dojo grow and progress. While we celebrate each students' achievement and hard work, we are mindful of remaining compassionate and humble. Appreciate and be grateful for the journey, the lessons, and the friends that we meet and make along the way. The higher we go on the path of Aiki, the more sensitive and thoughtful one should be, as we learn to blend with each other and the flow of energy that surround us.
I look forward to an excellent 2016 with you.
Have a most blessed, relaxing, and joyous Christmas season, and a meaningful New Year!
you in the Dojo.
peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.
© Ueshiba Aikido Victoria – OWH Industries: Dec