2023 : A retrospection
This year got off to a good start with a visit to Guiyang from 1st to 10th February. Yang Yexin Sensei and his students from Aikido Kishu had organized an Aikido Winter Camp. I spent ten wonderful days there, practising in the beautiful Yuxiu dojo and otherwise exploring the city of Guiyang.
At the Aikido Kishu Winter Camp (I)
After being to Guizhou dojo a couple of times, each visit now feels a bit like coming home. The students are super nice and welcoming, and very dedicated to Aikido. I always enjoy my time with them on and off the mats. My hope is that someday we can organize an event where we can bring the students of our two dojos together. I am sure that they will get on like a house on fire!
At the Aikido Kishu Winter Camp (II)
Another highlight of this year was the seminar with Papu Siameja Sensei on 13th and 14th May (see the previous post).
Impressions from the May seminar with Papu Sensei
In August I had another opportunity to go to Guiyang, this time to attend the Aikido Kishu Summer Camp with Papu Sensei. Training sessions were on 19th and 20th August, and at the end of the seminar the students took their grading tests.
At the Aikido Kishu Summer Camp with Papu Sensei
Apart from these three major events, 2023 also offered opportunities to reconnect with the wider Aikido community: On 3rd October, Xing Yue Sensei from Shudojuku dojo visited our dojo and taught a class, like he did the previous year. And on 2nd and 3rd December, some of us attended the Beijing seminar with William Gillespie Sensei from Jikishinkai China. For most of us, it was the first seminar since the end of the pandemic, so it was a very special event. It was great to meet fellow Aikido students from other dojos, old and new faces, and train with them.
With Xing Yue Sensei at 27 Yard
At the seminar with William Gillespie Sensei
2023 also brought some changes to our dojo. I decided to close our dojo in Haidian district, and to start regular training at Zhengwu Guoshu, a martial arts school where we used to train temporarily in 2022, during the pandemic. The new location is in Dongcheng district, it is bigger and more suitable for regular weapons training. Training in 27 Yard continues as before. Taken both locations together, we offer now four classes a week, two hours each.
Our dojo in 27 Yard is beautiful both in summer and winter
As the last dojo activity of the year, we met on 29th December at Kuangkuang´s place for an Aikido video afternoon. My idea was to show a number of video clips, talk a bit about the history of Aikido and introduce some influential Aikido masters to my students. After that, we drank mulled wine, and had dinner together. And so, the year 2023 ended on a high note …
Aikido video afternoon
All in all, it was a good year for our dojo. All students made good progress, and our two grading tests in May and November were very successful. I was especially happy to welcome several new members into our dojo family. It is good to see that the dojo is growing and developing well.
More wonderful memories of 2023
2024 will be another eventful year for our dojo, so I am looking forward with some anticipation. I wish all my students good health, happiness, and of course good progress on the path of Aikido. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and your support!
Best wishes for 2024!