We must improve ourselves.
Kawaraban No. 65
by the Head of Tendokan, Kenji Shimizu
'KEIKO' means training, and training to improve oneself. Most students come to the Dojo in their free time, afterwork or on weekends. This may seem ordinary but in Europe there are many who give Aikido a higher regard.
For them work is a means of making a living and knowing what's important in their life means continuing to train in Aikido
Eghardt Hemkemeier is one of these people, he is my apprentice who came over to Japan last year from Germany. (2006)
Eghardt is fortunate enough to travel around the globe as the chief contra bass player of the NDR Simphony Orchestra of Hamburg.
He is also an executive of Tendokan Germany, he leads his dojo 'Seishinkan' with more than 100 students.
Even as a top rate musician he regards Aikido as being higher than his work.
For his visit last year (2006) he spent 10 days in tokyo to observe Keiko morning and night. He spared these days after his performances in Tokyo.
Unfortunately he wasn't able to physically train due to an injury from a car accident, perhaps others would have gone home being in this condition.
Aikido teaches us the mind set of knowing or reading the opponent, however it is difficult to create this understanding just by repeating keiko only. What's vital is one's daily personal growth to aquire courage, which is the basis of the technique, you can't just do so by repeating the same moves. The essential point is the attitude toward Keiko.
In recent days I find myself giving instruction to elders who hold higher degree black belts. No one in particular acts bossy but I feel I want them to be more dignified, as those who have trained for many years in Aikido ought to, and the real Senpai (seniors) should be respected by the more junior members based on their personal magnetism and not only on their power and technique.
Here, I'd like to remind people of the presence of the late Shigeo Kamata Sensei (Professor Emeritius of Tokyo University and Buddhist scholar).
Despite his busy schedule, he used to come to the dojo frequently. He used to give instruction to others sometimes strictly and sometime gently.
I believe that everyone hopes to have a better life and we're learning it through Aikido. The fruits of Aikido are the moments you feel glad that you've trained in Aikido. I hope that you all will aquire that feeling of improvement.
© by Tendokan