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1. Michael Williams Sensei
Just a quick reminder that Michael Williams Sensei will be teaching again on Saturday 4th June (10:30 – 12:30). And greetings from Hamburg …from Elisabeth Andel.
2. Grading coming up
Our next club grading is coming up on the last Saturday in May (28th May). Excitement is building as class practice becomes just that little more focused and intense. There will be five 1st kyu demonstrations and two second kyu demonstrations, as well as a full progression to 6th kyu. It shows what great depth we have at Griffith Aikido.
Quite a number of former members have expressed interest in coming along to our grading to see old friends progress. All are most welcome to attend. There will be food and drink afterwards and members have been encouraged to bring a plate (a full one for those not familiar with the custom). If you are bringing a plate please advise Jutta so that we can adjust our catering.
3. Other Arts – Iaido (I = being, AI = harmony, DO = way)
Iaido (ee-eye-do) is a Japanese budo art involving a real (or almost real) sword in solo practice. Katas start and end with a sheathed sword, and hence involve the drawing and sheathing of the sword. The fact that all kata begin and end with the sword in its scabbard is because Iaido is a defensive art. Iaido is ultimately practiced without ever drawing the sword from the scabbard.
Each kata requires good posture and movement, correct grip, and proper cutting. Even though practice is against imaginary opponents, it is still critical to understand how the movements apply to real opponents.
The blade is drawn and cuts in the same motion. Each Iaido kata consists of the draw, one or more cuts, cleaning the blade and returning it to the scabbard.
As is the case with many internal arts, the greatest of all foes is the Ego. As a true Budo, Iaido is a battle with the self, a cutting away of all redundancies. The practitioner seeks to mobilise his entire being, to unite intention, action, and the sword.
Despite its origins, the goal of Iaido is not to teach the taking of life, but instead to teach how to give life. Iaido instills natural, accurate, and agile body movements that are logical and effective. Students strive to achieve power, precision, and perfection in their form.
4. Thought for the week
Following the hugely successful planning meeting last weekend, here is a timely reminder from page 41 of The Art of Peace.
“All life is a manifestation of the spirit, the manifestation of love. And the Art of Peace is the purest form of that principle. A warrior is charged with bringing a halt to all contention and strife. Universal love functions in many forms; each manifestation should be allowed free expression. The Art of Peace is true democracy.” O Sensei