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Put a rock into the pond!

by Michael Wefers

This year we will be celebrating a double anniversary. As of this year Shimizu Sensei has been teaching his Aikido in Germany for 25 years and for 10 years his students have been practising within the Tendoryu Aikido Association Germany Registered Society (TAD).

How shall one express the meaning of these events in a few words?

When I think of my last visit to Japan, I especially recall an excursion with Sensei to the mountainous region of Hakone. There we were sitting at a temple near a carp pond.

In the Japanese culture the carp enjoys a high reputation. The breeding and cultivation of this fish have been brought to perfection in Japan. Valuable specimen can be sold for the price of a classy limousine.

It is said that an especially easy and effective way of breeding carps is to put a rock in the middle of their pond. The carp will swim around this rock and become powerful and resistant. If there is no rock in the pond, the carp will swim only short distances and become weak and sick.

Budo, and especially for us the Aikido of Shimizu Sensei, has a similar function. Those who have made Aikido a part of their, lives know the meaning of direction and orientation. For 25 years now Shimizu Sensei has given us in Germany an orientation in which we can grow and develop. He is »the rock around which we swim«.

We present this anniversary publication as an expression of our thanks and respect for his untiring work here in Germany and also as a tangible token of our closeness with the Tendoryu Community at home and abroad.