by Birgit Lauenstein
Many of the special moments in my life, are related to aikido and have often happened in extreme situations, like severe cold, exhaustion and scorching heat.
I often experienced such situations in Japan. It probably was because of the poor insulation of houses, that lets you feel the change of seasons very intensely, and makes you feel strongly connected to nature.
So I was able to absorb even more directly the peace and energy of theTendokan, the harmony of Shimizu sensei’s movements and his advices.
I remember the winds from Siberia blowing along the tatami and cooling them down. The ice-cold feet, the goose bumps underneath the dogi made even during early morning classes all fatigue disappear. There was a strong energy and everybody was training fully concentrated.
In Shimizu sensei’s presence there was a constant incentive to persevere. When you were struggling with breath, not wanting to give up, you could clearly smell the sweet scent of flowers in the warm spring breeze.
The hot and humid summer days pressed us down and practice became sometimes agonizing. Shimizu sensei, however, knew how to motivate us to carry on by telling us stories and giving small demonstrations.
With its refreshing cooling air, fall brought back our drive to work out. And with the stamina we gained in summer, we could improve our techniques further.
I want to thank Shimizu sensei for all the precious moments I have been able to experience through Tendoryu Aikido.