Shukan News 25th April

Monday 25th April 2011

ANZAC DAY lest we forget!

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1. Cherry blossom time in Japan

kyoto-sakuraIt is cherry blossom time in Japan, a country recently stricken by earthquakes and tsunami.

A cherry blossom is the flower of the cherry trees known as sakura. It heralds the arrival of spring. Sadly, the flowers last only a few days and then they fall from the trees and are swept away with the wind.

Cherry blossoms flower at different times throughout Japan. The cherry blossoms begin blooming in January in Okinawa and they are at their peak in late March to April in Honshu region. In Hokkaido, cherry blossoms usually become in their peak in May.

As part of the nightly weather forecasts, the Japanese Meteorological Agency tracks the sakura zensen (cherry-blossom front) as it moves northward up the archipelago with the approach of warmer weather.

sakura-tokyoHanami (cherry blossom viewing) has been a Japanese custom since the 7th century when the aristocrats enjoyed looking at beautiful sakura and wrote poems. Sakura is a symbol of Japan.

It is said that there are over four hundred varieties of cherry trees in Japan. The most popular kind of sakura which can be viewed everywhere in Japan is somei-yoshino (Yedoensis). Japanese cherry trees do not yield fruits like other cherry trees.

2. Human Echolocation – is seeing believing?

One of the many benefits of Aikido is the sharpening of awareness and sensory perception. Blindfold work is quite difficult but it makes a noticeable difference. But this is nothing compared to what you will see in this video.

But this excerpt from Horizon – Is seeing believing? makes me feel quite humble about my small achievements. Daniel is totally blind with no visual memories. Incredibly, he has taught himself to navigate (in this case riding a bicycle) by echolocation.

Echolocation is inbuilt biological sonar used by bats and dolphins to navigate. In this case, Daniel makes a clicking sound with his tongue. The sound waves bounce off the surrounding objects and creates an image in his mind.

The entire Is Seeing Believing? program aired on SBS a week or so ago. I enjoyed it then and I hope you enjoy this 10 minute segment now.

To see the full article and video – follow the link below:

3. Beginners course starts Tuesday 3rd May 2011

martial-arts-in-brisbaneIf you are looking for martial arts in Brisbane, then give Aikido a try at Griffith Aikido.

Arrive at 6.30pm on Tuesday 3rd at our NATHAN dojo

Enjoy your 4-week introduction to the Art of Peace. Quiet location, plenty of parking! For directions go to

We know what its like to be a beginner so you will have your own mat space and your own friendly instructor for the duration of the course.

What is Aikido? Check out the action videos on this site. For everything you need to know to start, download “A Beginner’s Guide” on the right hand side panel of this page.

Please visit the ‘Payments’ page on this site to pay by Pay Pal. The Beginners Course costs $70 for the month ($50 for students), the same as regular training.

We are a big club with lots of friendly helpful people and excellent instructors. We are open to everyone and encourage females and older people to learn Aikido.

CONGRATULATIONS to our April Beginners Course graduates!! Our 5 new (and very keen) members who undertook the March Beginners Course will graduate next Thursday night with their 7th kyu grading.

4. Thought for the week

To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace. Morihei Ueshiba