I paid a visit, after 3 years, to Sombato Tapanya Sensei, who is not only a psychology professor at Chiang Mai University, but also an Aikido instructor at a university dojo as well as Renshinkan dojo at his house.
Sombato Tapanya Sensei has been practicing Aikido for over 30 years, and there are many Aikidoists who have learnt Aikido from him and been highly influenced by him.
He has been a wonderful supporter of the mission of AHAN’s WWY (We are With You) initiatives at Bilay House, and he has graciously agreed to allow Miss. Pom Sensei and Miss. Bee to participate in AHAN WWY activities at Bilay House.
During my visit, I had wonderful opportunities to practice with dojo members of 3 different dojos in Chiang Mai. I greatly appreciate the opportunities and the hospitality that I received from everyone.
A dojo (道場) is “a place on the road (道の場)”, and it is where people from different directions on different roads come together before heading out on their own road again.
It’s not a place at all where a fortress should be established and only plans to expand the fortress are discussed within it.
While there are far too many Aikido organizations these days that bears descriptors like so-and-so Association, Federation or Union, I extend my respect and appreciation toward Sombato Sensei for his continuing dedication to continue teaching Aikido rather freely and flexibly to his students with a wide spectrum of interpretations coupled with and backed by his integrity, life experiences and thoughtfulness.