Friday, October 25, 2013

Affiliation - Why it Matters

I e-mailed our new location to Pat Hendricks Sensei in San Leandro and she was pleased to hear we had a space to practice. Pat-sensei also asked me to let her know after our first class so she could help us get set up and formally affiliated with the California Aikido Association.

As a dojo, affiliation puts us on the map and adheres us to a standard for practice, rank, and testing. When you receive rank at Kinjo Dojo, it will be recognized at aikido schools all over the world that are tied to Hombu dojo in Tokyo, Japan. But more importantly, because of our connection to Pat Hendricks Sensei, you will be able to train at any Iwama-style school and have familiarity with their practice, both open-hand and weapons.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of that last part. There are Iwama-style seminars going on all the time we can attend as a group and further our practice. If you travel or move to another town, you can look up an Iwama-style school, walk in the door, and pick up where you left off. For students interested in intensive training, the option is available to do uchi-deshi at Aikido of San Leandro, our parent dojo.

We are not an island of aikido practice with a unique style. Our dojo is part of a large family of aikido schools throughout the world that faithfully follow the teaching system developed by Morihiro Saito Shihan and continued by his son, Hitohira Saito Shihan.

As chief instructor at Kinjo Aikido Dojo, I am honored to be able to carry on that tradition and share what I have learned over the years.

See you on the mat soon!