October 7th-12th, 2010
When Homma Kancho and attending uchideshi alumni visited Mindanao, Philippines to supervise the construction of the new AHAN Mindanao Learning Center, they also visited Aikido dojos in Illigan City that Ava Sensei is involved with to teach and work with students in Aikido; an art that is blossoming under the care of Ava Sensei and her dedicated student staff. Below are a short series of reports describing events of their week in Illigan!
Teaching and Demonstration at the Mindanao State University (MSU IIT)
Aikido is now part of the university curriculum at the MSU IIT and it is very popular with students there. Many students who previously trained in Karate, Kempo and Taikwondo have taken to practicing Aikido as part of their university studies. Link here to a video of Homma Kancho’s demonstration at MSU IIT.
Teaching at the Illigan Facility for the Deaf
Aikido classes are instructed by AHAN Mindanao Coordinator Ava Yancha Sensei at the Illigan Facility for the Deaf twice a week. The classes are instructed in sign language with the help of specially skilled volunteers. After teaching at the facility, Homma Kancho observed, “Teaching here is a special challenge because words are not an effective tool for communicating here. The students learn by observing the instructors movements carefully and they are very perceptive in detecting an instructor’s thoughts and feelings in their movements. I learned to pay attention to their reactions and their expressions. It was a very good experience for me. I hope Ava Sensei and her students will continue to teach at this very special place.”
AHAN Turkey Coordinator
Teaching at Mindanao Aikido Dojo
During the rainy season in Mindanao, the falling rain is a daily event. During our practice at Mindanao Aikido Dojo, instructed by Ava Yancha Sensei, we practiced during a downpour so heavy that it was even hard to hear! The students however paid the rain little mind; concentrating instead on their practice. It rained so hard during one practice that the electricity shorted out, plunging the dojo into darkness. My fumbling attempts to find the light switch were rather embarrassing as students went about the business of lighting candles so that practice could continue! The candles made for an interesting mood in the dojo as students carried on as if nothing had happened. I reflected on the resiliency of these students. If this had happened in my “developed” country of Japan it would have made the evening news!”
Nippon Kan alumni uchideshi-Japan