Shukan News 14th Feb

Valentines Day edition Monday 14th February 2011

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1. Did you know?

In Japan, Valentine’s Day is observed by females who present chocolate gifts (either store-bought or handmade), usually to a male, as an expression of love, courtesy or social obligation. A handmade chocolate is usually preferred by the receiver, because it is a sign that the receiving male is the girl’s “only one”.

On White Day, celebrated one month later on 14th March, the converse happens: males who received a honmei-choco (本命チョコ, “chocolate of love”) or giri-choco (義理チョコ, “courtesy chocolate”) on Valentine’s Day are expected to return the favor by giving gifts, usually more expensive. Traditionally, popular White Day gifts are cookies, jewellery, white chocolate, white lingerie and marshmallows. (From Wikipedia)

2. New additions to the Club Library

The Griffith Aikido club library is available for members 5th Kyu & above. Please take the opportunity to utilise this valuable resource; we have an array of Aikido & Martial Arts Books and DVD’s waiting to be read. Remember our training doesn’t stop once we step out of dojo and we should look to further enhance our knowledge & understanding of Aikido through books & other resources.

We have some new additions to the library which are well worth the read, otherwise ask one of the seniors or myself for a recommendation – Narelle

  • Enlightenment Through Aikido by Kanshu Sunadomari

Prior to World War II, Kanshu Sunadomari was a direct live-in student of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. A valuable historical reference for Aikido enthusiasts, this book collects short articles drawing on 60 years of study. Focusing on the heart and spirit of Aikido, quotes from the founder are featured along with the author’s personal interpretations of how Aikido can provide lessons about inner tranquility, focus on life’s journey, and help foster world peace.

  • Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman – Miyamoto Musashi.

Miyomato Musashi was the child of an era when Japan was emerging from decades of civil strife. Lured to the great Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 by the hope of becoming a samurai – without really knowing what it meant – he regains consciousness after the battle to find himself lying defeated, dazed and wounded among thousands of the dead and dying. On his way home, he commits a rash act, becomes a fugitive and brings life in his own village to a standstill – until he is captured by a weaponless Zen monk.

  • Aikido Shugyo: Harmony in Confrontation by Gozo Shioda

(As recommended by Michael Williams Sensei)

The publication of “Aikido Shugyo” in the English language is a watershed event for Aikido enthusiasts everywhere. Gozo Shioda, one of the most talented students of the art’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, is the author of this fascinating tome that recounts his career and philosophy as an aikido teacher. Besides describing the events of his exciting life as an early pupil of Ueshiba in the 1930’s and his wartime and postwar experiences, Shioda offers a host of insights into the psychology of the fighting arts and survival in a world of conflict.

3. Real nature of martial arts and their benefits

Aran drew our attention to this interesting article from the Aikido Journal, written by Stanley Pranin. He questions the definition of modern budo and argues that “budo arts were thus far removed from the martial systems developed by the samurai of an earlier era having been devised in a peaceful age.”

On the subject of comparing martial arts and determining which martial art would prevail in the event of a match up, Stanley Pranin writes:

“My view is that an attempt to test one’s martial ability in a match increases the risk of serious injury and therefore defeats the purpose of martial arts training entirely. Why learn to defend yourself against bodily harm by studying a martial art and then willingly subject yourself to a situation where you run a high risk of injury?”

On the subject of the real value of martial arts in today’s society, he writes:

“I sincerely believe that the real value of a martial art in our modern world lies not in the specifics of techniques taught in a particular school. These will vary greatly from style to style. Their importance as life tools lies rather in their usefulness in developing calm, fit, and alert people, keenly aware of their surroundings and capable of adapting to the presence of threats to their health and well-being.

Read the full article at

4. Please help us out at Griffith Uni market stall on Thur 3rd March

Please show your Aussie volunteer spirit by helping us out on our ‘Griffith Aikido’ club stall at the Griffith University market day on Thursday 3rd march 2011. The university asks us to do this 2-3 times a year as part of being a registered university club. In return, we as a group, receive significant concessions. The purpose is to actively promote club activity on campus to new students. We only need 4 hours of your time on that day and it would help your club enormously. Contact Chris Cobban (our aiki-teens instructor) at

5. Pay Pal – page redirection problem fixed

Members who have paid via Pay Pal over the past week have reported an error message after completing their Pay Pal payments. We can assure you that your payment was processed successfully. We have now put in place a redirection to a Thank You page after you complete your payment. If you cancel your transaction before completing it, you should be redirected back to the Payments page. If you experience any further problems please let us know.

6. Cheese and crackers for the soul

“If you would contract, you must first expand. If you would weaken, you must first strengthen.” Lao Tzu