Dojo News for October

October 1, 2017
In September Sabrina, Rosa, Mara and myself flew to NM to attend the Women’s Friendship Seminar that had been organized by Kristina Varjan Shihan.  This was the third camp to be organized for women, the first two were in the early 90’s at the instigation of Chiba Sensei.  But this one was a little different in that of the 40 women who came, many were from organizations other than Birankai (the first seminars took place pre-Birankai when we were then part of the USAF Western Region).  There were young students, old students, young teachers and old teachers from all over the country.  All the teachers were given a class to teach.  The venue was a retreat center outside of Santa Fe on the site of a monastery for Carmelite nuns. It was peaceful, beautiful and the food was fabulous!
There was a supportive feeling amongst the women, focused training and there were two evenings set aside for discussion.  We are all looking forward to doing it again next year.
Looking ahead:
  • October 13-15:  Our seminar with Alex Peterson Sensei is coming up in two weeks and a number of people will be coming from out of town to attend.  RC has put out an email with a plan of action.  Please give him your usual great support.
  • Saturday, November 4:   Daiwa will be holding a one-day seminar to commemorate Jack Arnold’s passing.  Classes will be from 1 pm - 5:30 pm.  Let me know if you are interested in attending and we can put together a car-pool.
  • December 8 - 10:  San Diego Aikikai will be hosting a seminar with Juba Nour Sensei.  See bulletin board for flyer and details.

Dojo News for August

August 1, 2017
We are all back from Summer Camp and the consensus seems to be that it was a particularly good one!  Our special thanks go to Jan, Julian and Joanne who put in a tremendous amount of work and time prior to camp to ensure that it ran smoothly.  Our teachers this year were a core group from Birankai which included two of our shihan, Senseis Kristina Varjan and Dennis Belt and three shidoin, plus Jenny Flower Sensei who came over from Greece.  There was lively training and opportunities to practice with students throughout Birankai.  For those who were interested, there were additional conditioning and low impact classes.  To add to the experience, the food was varied and surprisingly good (!) and everyone got to enjoy a couple of evenings to socialize and party.  It has been confirmed that Summer Camp will be held again at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for the next two years Starting with the 2018 Summer Camp scheduled to start July 20th. 
I would like to mention that many meetings take place during the Camp: the Senior Council, the Teacher’s Council, the Examination committee and of course Birankai’s Board of Directors, a couple of whom spent 20+ hours in meetings overall!  We are all part of a dedicated group steering this ship that is Birankai and looking out for the welfare of all our members, from our youngest students to their teachers and their dojos.
My thanks also to Norm Wight Sensei and our other teachers who kept the dojo going while such a large group of us were gone.
Dates to look out for:
  • Saturday, September 16 - Testing.  If you have any questions about whether or not you should test, please speak to me or one of our teachers. There will be opportunities for preparation and free practice organized in advance of the test.
  • Thursday, September 7-10 - Women’s Friendship Seminar, Santa Fe, NM.  I believe there are still a few more spaces to fill if you are interested.
  • October 13-15 - NCA  will be hosting a seminar with Alex Peterson Sensei. Once again, RC will be coordinating this event so please give him your support.
Please make sure that you consciously hydrate well before classes during this hot weather.   It is necessary to drink water in advance of class and not wait until you are dehydrated to do so.  It is too late!