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📰 REVIEW: AKI USA 20th Anniversary Seminar By Scott Shapiro

aikido los angeles martial arts teens Oct 17, 2016

There are other aikido dojo closer to where we live in Los Angeles. What first drew me to Lia-sensei was her transmission of the Japanese style. As someone who spent time in Japan, I really appreciated this: it wasn’t just that she used Japanese for the  names of holds/throws and counting, but that she cultivated Japanese manners and attitude.

As my son started practicing aikido, I really came to appreciate her teaching style. If I had to summit up in one word it would be – respect. Even though she was working with children, she treated them with very serious respect of who they are and of who they could become. My son really responded to this.

When Takeda-shihan, Numata-sensei, and Satoshi-sensei came from Japan for the 20th anniversary seminar, I realized immediately where she acquired this attribute. My son is 11 years old, the youngest by decades at the seminar, but he was treated with such respect and seriousness. To watch all these teachers and advanced black belts training with him as if he were almost an equal was truly touching.

Lastly, I really appreciated how much Takeda-shihan and the other teachers emphasized the “ki.” Throughout the seminar, I realized that my son was receiving a spiritual training as much as a physical one. Of course, it is only in the West that I would need to make this comment and it would stand out so much – for in Japan, they are one.

I’m so grateful to Lia-sensei for establishing Aikido Kenkyukai USA; and for Takeda-shihan, Numata-sensei, and Satoshi-sensei for coming over from Japan; and for Jean-Rene-sensei from Canada to share this with all of us. I offer you all a deep gasho.

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