Apologies to my readers, I have been off training and playing with family for the past week. Time to get back to the normal life and training.
2009 was a great year in the development of my budo training and connections. I enjoy the idea of New Year's resolution. I think it is a very Budo idea, after all should not we use every tool at our disposal in the search of improvement?
One year ago I made resolutions that totally changed my practice.
I decided I was open to finding new teachers and I was going to pursue more groups to train with.
I love my oldest teacher, Russell Waddell. He gave me some of the greatest teachings I have ever received and is one of the finest Aiki thinkers out there. However, 2009 I found myself interested in adding more ideas and influences to my journey.
I started my search for new teachers by writing Nick Lowry Sensei from the Kaze Uta Budo Kai. We started a email conversation that led to phone calls whick led to a seminar. Something I believe I have failed to mention on my blog is that because of this resolution the KyuRyu AikiBudo Dojo is now a proud member of the Kaze Uta Budo Kai and we are enjoying being part of a larger family of like minded budo nerds. Last week I made my first trip up to the planet dojo in Oklahoma and had a blast.
I was talking to Nick and was telling him how much I wanted to pursue my judo training and he mentioned there was a superb teacher in the Austin area I had never heard of before, Mr Matl. With Nick's suggestion I headed up to Round Rock last February and restarted my judo with his group. I was impressed with the soft throw judo and quality people up there. It only took me one lesson and I proudly call Mr Matl one of my teachers. He is the one teacher I have made this year that I have not invested enough time in training with, but his ideas now permeate my approach and thinking of my practice.
Matl Sensei knowing I am a Aiki man kept trying to push my towards a man he shares his school with, Brendan Hussey. I was usually too tired after Judo to stick around and train with Hussey's group, but eventually Brendan got his hands on me. From the first workout session I realized Brendan's work was something I had to have influence me. Brendan has done more to free my mind from the constraints of 'style' and 'system' than any artist. I have experienced more dimensions of Aiki thinking in my last year with Hussey sensei than my whole career combined. He is truly a original thinker, standing on the shoulders of his teachers and flying to places few have gone to. I am blessed to be carried along for the ride and helping to shape his thinking through my own ideas and practice.
And besides the teachers I have laid my hands on this year, other teachers have strongly influenced my path through the blog o sphere this year. Patrick Parker Sensei dishes out daily wisdom. Ikigai Way hits home runs with his blog. L.F. (Thoughtful Sensei) Wilkenson challenges my understanding and offers interesting perspectives. Sean Ashby and Kyle Sloan are my brothers in budo, the next generation of great teachers and my bestest buddies even though I have met them only a few times. Rick, head cook at Ding's Kitchen is a must read as well.
And then there is Dojo Rat, subversive-communist-hater-of-Chuck-Norris. I am keeping my eye on that guy.
Thanks Senseis. 2009 was great.