by Stephan Schmid (Deggendorf / Germany)
I have waited so long for January 9th. It has been the start of my long Japanese adventure. Unfortunately I could not travel earlier, so I could participate in only half of the kangeiko week. It was worth it - without fail. Be it alone the experience to practice together with ninety other aikidoka in the Tendokan. And a first highlight was the kagamibiraki. A traditional Japanese Shinto ceremony.
During this stay I want to practice as much as possible whereas sightseeing has a lower priority to me. Sometimes it is hard to get up and be in the cold dojo from 6 o’clock in the morning and get prepared for the common practice. It is especially hard at the moment, as a Siberian cold weather front has firm control over Tokyo - unusually much snow and frozen water pipes included. Before the keiko starts it is ‘samui desu’ (I feel cold) or ‘kouri no you’ (icy), but after the first bow you will get atatakai (warm) soon.
Of course the exercises are not only meant for warming up, they are an opportunity to learn. Aikido is a never ending path, that you have just to follow. Steady repetition and great attention. There is a strong support from Sensei, but each student has to prepare himself to be ready for it.
It is remarkable to see how new students are integrated into the practice and into the Tendoryu group. And also to see the commitment and enthusiasm of the older students. If you need some more motivation, you’ll get it in the Tendokan. Participating in all classes and appreciating each second has been the right decision.
I am looking forward to all the other classes – instructive and sometimes arduous – and many more delightful talks in English, Japanese, German and if necessary with hands and feet.
I already want to express my gratitude to everybody for the warm welcome.
Especially Shimizu Sensei, Wakasensei, Nagai Sensei Birgit - and each member of the big Tendoryu family.
See you soon on the tatami Stephan