November 22, 2006
Dear Homma Gaku Sensei who we respect,
Hello and how are you? This is Seok Yeong-Min from the Suncheon Hoyeon Dojo, the place to which you travelled so far by train in order to give your seminar. Thank you for giving us your time, even when you were busy.
We spent a lot of time in preparation, but if we have been rude or failed to follow the correct protocols in any way, I would like to apologize for this one more time with this letter. In my heart I will remember and treasure the love and advice about managing a dojo you shared with me, and it has given me new courage and strength to make greater efforts working for the propagation of aikido in this area.
The time you spent with us has left myself, my wife and my students with feelings and memories that we can’t forget. Even though you have returned to America, we still talk about you, are moved emotionally, feel pride and are moved with laughter. Thank you so much for giving us a new vision of aikido as much more than just a martial-art, as a way to expand our minds and work for the benefit of society. If (?) until now I have just liked aikido as a martial-art as I practiced it, now I want to do the kind of aikido that truly puts love into practice and become that kind of budouka. Although we were the ones supposed to prepare and give you a present(s), you give us many presents of the kind that can not be expressed i! n words, so for our part we are both very sorry and also extremely grateful. You behaved towards us like a father figure and explained in detail the things we didn’t know, and the only words I know to say in regard to this are “Thank you”.
We really want to express our gratitude. Please do not forget us (no matter what) and if the opportunity ever does present itself in the future, we would love to invite you again. It is as if we still have your benevolent and humorous presence with us right now. What you showed us through your aikido and through your actions and attitude as an instructor moved us and made us realize “Hey, this is what a budou teacher really should be!”. I will try hard to use the teachings you have openly imparted to me and the love you have shown us to work for the sake of the world. Thank you one more time and I love you. (Kono kankokugo no “I love you” wa eigo no “I love you” to nuansu ga chotto chigaimasu. Hen na imi nanka wa zen! zen nai desu.)
Suncheon Hoyeon Dojo