Nippon Kan’s 15th Annual Fall Volunteer Project


Oct 15th, 2005

Warm up exercises before the work begins; a Nippon Kan tradition.

Warm up exercises before the work begins; a Nippon Kan tradition.

On October 15th, Nippon Kan staff, students, families and friends spent the day at our 15th annual community service project “Put the Beds to Bed”. This project is part of a city-wide program adopted by the Denver Parks and Recreation department that originated at Nippon Kan. This year was the fifteenth year that Nippon Kan students have gathered to turn the flower beds for winter in Civic Center Park, a historical park located between the State Capitol building and the City and County building downtown. About 80 students along with friends and family made quick work of the project, having all of the flower beds turned before noon!

Homma Kancho said about the project, “The practice of Aikido does not have tournaments so if a dojo becomes large in size, there are not a lot of opportunities for instructors and students and their families and friends to communicate with one another. Having parties is one solution, but working on community projects together is a healthier, more productive way to spend time together outside of training.Nippon Kan students have a nickname along with a reputation at the Denver Parks Department. Our nickname is the “Nippon Kan Army” and our reputation with the Parks Department is one of a group that works hard, fast, and with incredible teamwork and spirit. This year is actually took the “Nippon Kan Army” less than three hours to turn all of the flower beds. All of our volunteers worked hard to beat our record time from last year, and we beat the record we did!

This idea has been applied to Nippon Kan General Headquarters operations, and has provided avenues for Nippon Kan to grow and develop in a healthy way. It has been good for Nippon Kan students as well as the community who have benefited directly from the many service projects Nippon Kan is involved with.

This idea of service to the community has become a fundamental part of Nippon Kan, and is part of the foundation for AHAN, the Aikido Humanitarian Active Network and its many community projects around the world.

As part of our service to our own community, today we turn the flower beds with the Parks Department and tomorrow is the day for our monthly meal service for the homeless at the Denver Rescue Mission.

Motion and sweat…this is Nippon Kan style. Always, do something!”