December 1-5, 2005
written by Jason Lowrey
AHAN Nippon Kan General Headquarters and AHAN Mexico Aikido,Take Musu Aiki (www.aikidomexico.com.mx) co-sponsored this third-annual fundraising seminar for children with cancer in Mexico. The seminar was held again this year at the Tecnologico de Monterrey (Technical University of Monterrey). AHAN Mexico Aikido has taken a very active and positive role as leaders in AHAN not only in Mexico but also as coordinators for AHAN Central America supporting projects in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
At this seminar in Mexico City over 100 students were in attendance under the instruction of Homma Kancho and Fernando Roman Sensei. Homma Kancho focused his teaching on the relationship between open-hand and weapon movement. This teaching was developed by Homma Kancho and is part of the foundation of Nippon Kan Aikido. Homma Kancho’s taught in a manner that was easily understood by all in attendance. Fernando Roman Sensei was also highlighted as an instructor at this seminar in support of his position as leader of AHAN in Mexico and Central America.
This year the seminar was structured simply and was well organized. The theme this year was to concentrate on the instruction and on raising funds for the Casa de la Amistad Foundation. In keeping with this theme, Homma Kancho stayed at the dojo with other students who had traveled to Mexico City to attend the seminar. Everyone slept together and ate meals together which enriched communication between students and instructors.
This contribution was made possible by the generosity and support of all attending students, the organization of AHAN Mexico Aikido Take Musu Aiki and AHAN General Headquarters who provided financing for airfare for Homma Kancho and his assistant. Homma Kancho also donated all of his teaching fees to this cause. Meetings were held with leaders of AHAN Mexico and other instructors to discuss future plans for AHAN activities in Central America, and guidelines for insuring stability and growth in these regions. Plans generated from these meetings will soon be announced.On the last day, the Founder of the Casa de la Amistad, Dr. Kunitake Tanaka and his wife Yoko, together with Foundation Director General Etelvina Garciduenas came to the seminar to participate in the closing ceremonies and to receive the donation of funds raised by the seminar. Dr. Kunitake and his wife Yoko have dedicated their lives to maintaining the Casa de la Amistad facility and caring for children with cancer in Mexico and their families. $2000.00 was raised by seminar participants and $1000.00 was also contributed by AHAN General Headquarters. The total amount was given to the representatives of the Casa de la Amistad to help support operations for the assistance of sick children in Mexico.
A long time uchideshi and dojo assistant at Mexico Aikido, Take Musu Aiki, is Ponce. Ponce has a brother that happens to be quite famous in Mexico. His name is Aleks Syntek, and he is a popular singer somewhat similar in style as America’s John Denver. After the seminar, Mr. Syntek invited Homma Kancho to his home for a tour of his studio. He showed Homma Kancho how recordings were made with synthesized instruments and demonstrated a variety of musical techniques. During their time together, Mr. Syntek promised his support for future AHAN projects in Mexico, pledging to help in any way he might be able to. Before we left, Mr. Syntek delighted everyone with a preview of his latest CD which he was dedicating to his new born daughter. The CD is scheduled for release in May of 2006.
This was my first experience traveling abroad with Homma Kancho as his otomo (assistant). I want to thank everyone at AHAN Mexico Aikido for a wonderful experience. I also want to offer special thanks to Ponce and Senior Jose for all of their help!