I’d like to quickly mention somethings before the start of this week.
1.) On July 9th of this month I went to Santa Cruz, California to sit in on Motomichi Anno Sensei’s 80th Birthday. Anno Sensei, 8th Dan Shihan is one of the last remaining first generation aikidoka who studied under O’Sensei. That week he had made his 20th (might be more, I can’t remember off the top of my head) appearance at the Aikido of Santa Cruz Summer Retreat.
Keep in mind, this man is 80 years old (as of May 2011) and who has been training in Aikido since his 20s. Anyway back to the story so since I was busy with school, work, and homework I was only able to come to his birthday party on the night of the 9th. I was genuinely surprised he recognized me! I waved to him just before the presentation started, he smiled and waved back. I guess knowing that I am only one of perhaps tens of thousands of students he has met over the years made the moment better.
Honestly I don’t know why I keep on being drawn to this master. He’s not your John Wayne type. He certainly not a tough-guy type nor is he one to seek or be comfortable in the spotlight. Quite a humble sensei; “friendly”, “nice”, and “down to earth” are common adjectives used to describe him. Standing at 5’3″, he does give off a slight cartoon-ish presence (to me anyway).
So here I am at his dinner and throughout the night it’s a rather mature affair. Wine, cheese, few meat dishes, the whole 9 yards. fortunately for me there was a full stocked bar in the hotel that the party was at and I helped myself with a couple of beers. So comes the ceremony and guest speakers who praised Anno Sensei. It was mentioned that he was awarded the 人間国宝-Ningen Kokuhō (Living National Treasure) by the Japanese government a couple of years back. My own sensei gave his own short speech regarding Anno Sensei (who was one of his teachers in Japan, by the way).
The dinner/ceremony went on for another 2 hours before it ended. Honestly I came only for Anno Sensei. As I’ve mentioned before I can’t explain why I’m drawn to this master, perhaps my youthful and aggressive energy could use some calming influence every once in a while in the form of a martial arts master.
…though I prefer it in a women 😉
2.) I recently found out I was nominated in a Top 40 martial arts list!…in Tae Kwon Do.
Wait what? Did someone miss the translation somewhere? You can view the list and page here, I’m number 28.
I appreciate the free publicity and all, but seriously Tae Kwon Do? You can’t get any further from Aikido! Hah, in any case I will thank whoever put me on the list, however I will advise said person to do some research. I wonder what the Striking Thoughts has to say about this (he’s number 3 on the list).
Alright that’s it for now, till next time ladies and gents!