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Western Aikido Association Workshop: Reflections

Western Aikido Association's Spring Gasshuku
Western Aikido Association's Spring Gasshuku
Photograph taken by Paul Rest

Over forty instructors and students attended the Western Aikido Association’s Spring Gasshuku. They came from from many Western States. The workshop led by Robert Frager Sensei and Koichi Barrish Sensei offered one insight after another into the Founder’s art.

For example, Frager Sensei pointed out that Aikido is both a horizontal as well as a vertical art. He explained that continuing to move in one fixed way doesn’t allow for the full expression of O Sensei’s insights into Aikido. One needs to see that moving and including this reality of including both the horizontal and vertical is truly the way to approach standing on the Rainbow Bridge.

Barrish Sensei brought insight after insight from his Shinto background, showing how these Universal forces from the moment of Creation were all present in what O Sensei taught. And, that these energies, these same forces are still present today. And not only that but we can work with, understand and experience them in our own lives and especially while on the mat.

All in all, from this writer’s standpoint, even with sore knees, this workshop was on a high level never experienced before. And it will take many weeks to absorb and understand all the incredible information and insights given by both Senseis'.

When the Western Aikido Association was created, it was decided in the beginning that what was taught would not be all vanilla, all one approach to Aikido. And indeed there were many contrasts between the way Frager Sensei and Barrish Sensei expressed the art. But they both agreed, it was the same love, the same truth and the same core teaching of the Founder.

The next workshop will be this Fall. The dates and information will be published here.

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