Over the years, Ali Sensei has traveled with me not only in the U.S. but to Mexico, Mongolia and South Korea, Morocco and Egypt, etc. to help me do seminars in these countries. Not only do I still appreciate his support for those trips we took together, I also cannot thank him enough for his leadership and guidance for very rare and meaningful experience of traveling to countries in central Asia, such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, soon after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, for a series of Aikido seminars and keiko sessions.
He is one of my friends beyond Aikido. During this trip, not only did I get to learn “the recent happenings in the world of Aikido in Turkey”, but I also was given a chance to do ‘keiko’ at his dojo on the day of dan-rank promotion announcements, and I appreciate the very interesting time I was able to spend with him and everyone else. Thank you once again to everyone!