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Barbecue Party

Kawaraban No. 91


by Tendokan Head of Dojo Shimizu Kenta

On May 26th a Barbecue party took place at the roof top of the Tendokan building. For the first time we had some amusements at the roof top, and we really had a lot of fun when the weather was fine.

Participants were children of our youth group grading from 4th to 6th class of elementary school and children from the middle school, students and other persons, who emerged from the youth group. Including the supporting staff we were about 50 people. The reason, why we planned a barbecue party for this special group, was the intention to generate a strong relationship between the different generations. For the young students the Dojo can only be a location for Aikido training, therefore I hoped that at this opportunity they would learn how elder participants and adults practice Aikido and its philosophy in normal life. Generally that could not be explained easily with words, and this process is not easy at all, even if the parents tell the children their experiences directly.

For above mentioned reasons we asked the other members not to participate in the party, and primarily it was a party for the young students. From the beginning until the end everybody should enjoy this common activity.

This time we specially would like to mention the activities of the Tendokan student Mr. Akira Katou, whom we asked for his support. Mr. Katou is a specialist for outdoor activities, and starting with the preparation of the barbecue party until cleaning up he was really a great help.

I think that the children of the middle school will of course work like adults only in future, but now at least they could learn something for their future life by watching the good role model of the adults during their work.

Maybe those people, who from the beginning had to do the barbecuing – especially the students and the adults – had not enough time to eat themselves, but when we heard the children saying with happy faces: „Again, please!”, everybody was happy. Furthermore, the children of the middle school, who in fact only had eaten, attended the cleaning up, and that was a great help. Even in case of heavier work they did not complain at all. In fact there was a good cooperation as well when I was not around, and it was quite clear that the roof top was cleaner after the party than before.

Recently students helped me with the children classes, after I had taught the children groups about ten years alone. Before those students had been members of the children group. I tell them often that they should behave in a way that the children admire them, and I tell this myself, too.

The most important method how to teach the youth - and that is as well a part of Shimizu Sensei’s teachings – is that you should always try to improve yourself even further.

That is as well valid in case of normal practice. For example, you should not be satisfied that you have been practicing for many years or that you received the black belt. I think, we should keep in mind that we and those practicing with us are living ‘here and now’.

At this time’s barbecue party we were a little bit worried concerning the amount of meat, but it disappeared all of a sudden inside the stomachs of the children. Next time we will have to prepare twice as much!

© translated by Ichiro Murata and Peter Nawrot, 10/2014