Catastrophes Have a Way to Haunt Us When We Least Expect Them.

K L

On April 25, 2015, Nepal earthquake of 2015, also called Gorkha earthquake, which registered a moment magnitude of 7.8, struck near the city of Kathmandu in central Nepal.  The death toll from the catastrophe reached over 8,500 with over 20,000 people injured.  Many World Heritage sites in the region sustained various degrees of damages as well.

Since Aikido Nippon Kan had been conducting Nippon Kan Aikido training for the Nepalese Army Rangers (Note: the practice of Nippon Kan Aikido has been expanded to all Nepalese Army since then.), AHAN, the Aikido Humanitarian Active Network, an arm of Aikido Nippon Kan for Humanitarian Activities, launched various humanitarian support initiatives soon after the devastating earthquake had struck the region.

The biggest and longest standing initiative of all that AHAN started, which is still actively managed today, is the WWY (We are With You) campaign which provided much needed support for children and elders soon after the earthquake.  The WWY campaign started to protect children, who were displaced by the earthquake and were temporarily sheltered on the Army Rangers Base along with 10,000+ others, by providing a decent and healthy environment to ensure their well-being and for them to grow healthily.

The WWY initiative was started and has been led by an elite group of Nepalese Army Rangers who were Nippon Kan Aikido instructor candidates.  The WWY initiative opened the AHAN Nippon Kan Aikido Dojo on the Base for the purposes of offering children classes on triage and Nippon Kan Aikido as well as for other activities that promoted a positive attitude and instilled confidence in children.  The WWY initiative also worked with children to help recover local villages from various damages caused by the earthquake by helping locals clean up the mess.  The WWY initiative won much praise for helping lessen a sense of anxiety that was permeating not only among children, but among adults and the elderly in the local communities.

The WWY initiative is still led by elite members of Nepalese Army Rangers, and it is still active by promoting the practice of Nippon Kan Aikido through Enbu (演武) performances and through other humanitarian activities.

We believe there is much value in continuing with the WWY initiative, not only not to forget the devastating effect of the past natural disasters which tends to fade in our memories, but to remain prepared with a positive attitude for when the next catastrophe may fall upon us.

Two Japanese proverbs that help us remain on our toes are:

  1. 「災害は忘れたころにやってくる」= Catastrophes have a way to haunt us when we least expect them.
  1. 「備えあれば患いなし」= One can never be too prepared.

Our condolences and prayers are still with the deceased by the Nepal earthquake of 2015 and with those who are still endeavoring to recover from physical and emotional scars.

Our deep respect and much gratitude go to the past and present leaders of Nepalese Army troops, Rangers and their members and the Nepalese Army Rangers Nippon Kan Aikido Lead Instructor WO2 Gurung for their selfless contributions for helping local communities and the future of Nepal through the WWY initiative.

Our sincere THANK YOU! goes to everyone at Aikido Kobayashi Dojo in Japan and the Mr. & Mrs. Kizaki, the founder and owner-chef of Sushi Den in Denver, CO. for their immediate financial and emotional support that they provided immediately after the news about the extent of the earthquake went around the world.