So its a new year. Time for some reflection.
It has been four years since this blog started. It is no longer a priority in my training. I do still see it as a valuable resource in my development. I have been going back and correcting and updating old posts. I plan on continuing to blog, but have it be more infrequent yet more in depth posting.
My little group in Austin is thriving. I have a few devoted regulars, a pool of of semi regulars and a whole host of people that periodically pop in. We train hard and get by. They seem to like the class. I love it.
The quality of our practice continues to slowly climb. I am pushing the group past its comfort zone on issues I see. Ukemi continues to be a problem I am drilling on. As a group the quality of balance breaking and precision is up 100 percent since last year. By and large I think I am doing a good job teaching, as I am consistently improving both my technical understanding and my pedagogical approach.
The aikido class is thriving. Students are getting it. People are showing up an hour early to work on specific aspects of their training. I cannot be happier.
The Daito Ryu class is starting slow yet steady. New students are coming in. The refocus on Daito Ryu mechanics is really working to improve my game.
Systema breathing and body work have become an important part of my study. I am looking forward to learning more and studying deeply.
My judo practice has been lax the past six months. After a few sessions with Matl Sensei lately, I plan on refocusing on learning his method. I am blessed to share space with his genius.
My teachers in budo impress me. My teachers of a few years now; Nick, Brendan, Zdenek, Russell, J.W. and Jack continue to be my best friends and light my path with their friendship. New teachers like Arseniy, Howard and Joe are exciting additions to my development team. I have not had enough hands on time with him, but Pat is cool too.
The students of my art are my best friends and my inspiration. All of them challenge me daily. I love them and the group we make together.
Last summer was a blast. On one trip I trained with the Denton Dojo, Windsong, Lawton Tactical, Enso Center, Ginjukai Daito Ryu, Seattle ASU, and I met numerous other artists. Awesome. Life changing.
An organization has turned against me. I have heard a high ranked teacher instructing members to not interact or train with me. I find this puzzling on many levels. I love my memories with them dearly. Alas, the world is large enough for people to walk their own paths. May their lives go well. There is no animosity on my part. Everyone with a positive attitude no matter their political affiliation is free to train in my dojo.
I am not a fighter, a warrior or a champion.
I am a student and a humble teacher. I hope to be a healer and a community builder.
Life is good.
Kenichi Sawai: Taikiken. Meiji Jingu, Tokyo
6 hours ago