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Updated: 6 days 11 hours ago

Obituary: Hiroshi Somemiya Shihan (1932-2020)

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 07:51
Obituary: Hiroshi Somemiya Shihan (1932-2020)
From: Michael Leung posted on 21. Sep 2020, 06:51am

It is with great sorrow and deep regret that we have to announce Hiroshi Somemiya Shihan, 7th Dan Aikikai, passed away peacefully at home on 11th September at the age of 88. Somemiya Shihan is the Patron of our Dojo, Hong Kong Aikido Kan, a role he kindly took on following the passing of his close friend Kenneth Cottier Shihan in June 2008. He was also the former General Secretary of the International Aikido Federation (IAF) and Head of Overseas Department at Aikikai Hombu Dojo. Somemiya Shihan contributed greatly to the development of Aikido across the world, especially in Hong Kong and in other countries in Asia. [More details in forum thread]

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    Patty Saotome Sensei Passes Away

    Sun, 09/20/2020 - 11:17
    Patty Saotome Sensei Passes Away
    From: Jun Akiyama posted on 20. Sep 2020, 10:17am

    I have received news that Patty Saotome (7th dan shihan, Aikido Schools of Ueshiba) has passed away. She was a longtime student of Mitsugi Saotome (8th dan) since 1975 and taught at various dojo including the Sarasota Aikikai Dojo, Aikido Shobukan (Washington DC), Chicago Budokan, and the ASU Aiki Shrine (Myakka City, FL). She was instrumental in translating her husband’s work into English including for his book “Aikido and the Harmony of Nature” for which she also edited and did the photographic work. My condolences go out to her family, friends, students, and loved ones.

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    Interview with Former New York Aikikai Instructor Ruth Peyser

    Mon, 09/07/2020 - 15:26
    Interview with Former New York Aikikai Instructor Ruth Peyser
    From: Jun Akiyama posted on 7. Sep 2020, 02:26pm
    URL: https://maytt.home.blog/2020/09/07/interview-with-former-new-york-aikikai-instructor-ruth-peyser-supporting-gender-equity-and-th

    Here is a recently published interview entitled "Interview with Former New York Aikikai Instructor Ruth Peyser: Supporting Gender Equity and the Independent Coalition of USAF Women’s Petition" that discusses Peyser's signing of a petition calling for gender equality in the United States Aikido Federation and her being subsequently "expelled" from New York Aikikai. From the interview: "My first meeting with Yamada Sensei lasted less than a minute. He told me he was very angry that I had signed and shared the petition, and he didn’t want me teaching at his dojo. I taught at New York Aikikai for about thirty-three years. Obviously, I was extremely upset, and I wanted to talk to him about it. As I opened my mouth to say something, he told me that he didn’t want to hear a word I had to say and left the room. The following week, I received an email expelling me from the dojo."

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    Linda Lee Vecchio Passes Away

    Sun, 08/23/2020 - 21:54
    Linda Lee Vecchio Passes Away
    From: Jun Akiyama posted on 23. Aug 2020, 08:54pm
    URL: https://www.gofundme.com/f/official-funeral-funds-for-linda-vecchio-aikido

    I just got word that Linda Lee Vecchio (7th dan) has passed away. Vecchio received her shodan in 1969 and continued to train and teach aikido for over 45 years. She was a long time student of Yoshimitsu Yamada. From this GoFundMe page to help fund her funeral, her family writes, “She lived her life only to do better, be better, and show the world a woman can be strong and handle any task a man can do. She loved to prove that point.  She never turned away from anybody asking for help.  Not only did she teach martial arts, she taught how to live life; how to be strong in mind not just body.“ My condolences go out to her family, friends, students, and loved ones.

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    USAF "A Message from Yamada Sensei 2020_08_09"

    Wed, 08/12/2020 - 17:33
    USAF "A Message from Yamada Sensei 2020_08_09"
    From: Jun Akiyama posted on 12. Aug 2020, 04:33pm
    URL: http://usafaikidonews.com/a-message-from-yamada-sensei-2020_08_09/

    Yoshimitsu Yamada has posted a message in response to the "complaints on social media by aikido practitioners about how women have been treated unfairly" on the USAF website: "A Message from Yamada Sensei 2020_08_09". From the posting: "Gender discrimination in aikido is something I never believed in. I have tried to remain fair and open minded in my aikido career. I consider people’s rank, experience and integrity to be very important. I personally view my students, women and men, the same and have given equal opportunities to all of them, on the mat, for promotions, to teach class and to open their own dojos. [...] We all should thank Doshu for giving us an opportunity to enjoy aikido equally. I want all of you to concentrate only on practice, not other stuff; just feel lucky to be a part of aikido society."

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    RIP Peter Gardiner of Iwama Dojo and Scotland

    Wed, 08/12/2020 - 17:33
    RIP Peter Gardiner of Iwama Dojo and Scotland
    From: Steve Mallon posted on 12. Aug 2020, 04:33pm

    Just heard of Peter's passing at his apartment in Kuramae Tokyo. Condolences have been noted by some fellow students on his Facebook Page. A committed student who settled in Japan in 1984 and kept up his practice until just a few years ago. His second wife Miwa was also an Aikidoka at Iwama

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    It Had to Be Felt #71: Yamada Yoshimitsu

    Sun, 07/12/2020 - 20:49
    It Had to Be Felt #71: Yamada Yoshimitsu
    From: Jun Akiyama posted on 12. Jul 2020, 07:49pm
    URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25797

    Here is the latest It Had to Be Felt essay, this time on Yamada Yoshimitsu of the New York Aikikai. This essay was written by David Ross. From the essay: "For those who have never trained under the direction of Yamada Sensei, he is noted for his big and expansive techniques. His emphasis is on the ability to develop kokyu - breath power and extension - but when you grab him it feels like grabbing nothing until he starts his movement. Then things change. He brings his uke into accord with his movement. Technically, this is often referred to as the power of attraction - inryoku. I have often heard him say: 'Aikido has two directions up and down - so Relax!'"

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