January-March Activity Report 2006.
January 26-Feb 8th, 2006
written by E Busch
The visit to Nepal was at the invitation of martial art groups organized under the Nepalese Government National Sports Council. This visit was Homma Kancho’s second visit to Nepal, and on this visit he conducted a three-day seminar for local Nepalese martial artists. Homma Kancho was accompanied by Nippon Kan Vice President-AHAN President Emily Busch Sensei, three Nippon Kan office staff leaders and four Nippon Kan graduate uchideshi (live-in students). On this trip, the practice of Aikido allowed for a very successful cross-cultural experience for all of us.
|A happy practice.||As the morning sun brings light, a crowd gathers outside to watch.|
Member-Secretary Mr. Kishor Bahadur Singh of the Nepalese National Sports Council paid an official visit to observe Homma Kancho’s teaching and after the seminar granted official sanction for the formation of a Nepal Aikido Association. This newly formed association was named by the board as Aikido Nippon Kan Nepal. Aikido Nippon Kan Nepal has been formed with sixty-six new student members.
|Nippon Kan delegation and Mr. Singh. (Center with topi hat.)||Nepal Aikido Association staff meeting.|
This association has been formed with the support of many outstanding individuals in Nepal that we all had the honor and privilege to meet. Nippon Kan Headquarters is currently making plans to send an instructor long-term from Denver to teach Aikido to members and students of the new Aikido Nippon Kan Nepal Association later this spring.
To continue support for the Drubgon Jangchub Choeling monastery that began with Homma Kancho’s first visit to Nepal in January of 2005, the Nippon Kan delegation hand carried four hundred pounds of school supplies and two computers on this trip to Nepal. The school supplies were donated by students and friends at Nippon Kan General Headquarters in Denver, and the computers were allocated from Nippon Kan’s used computer redistribution program. All of the school supplies and computers were donated to the Kathmandu branch monastery for their education and assistance programs for underprivileged and orphaned children.
|Carrying the donated supplies.||Opening all the bags.|
|Setting up the computers delights the young monks!|
Homma Kancho and the Nippon Kan delegation were
invited to visit the headquarters of the Choeling
Buddhist Learning Center about a two hour drive
outside of Kathmandu. The Manjushri Di-Chen Buddhist
has many branches
throughout Nepal, but this center focuses on
religious studies and the studies of all academics
as well. The
Nippon Kan delegation met with Ven Drubthob Rinpoche
and was given
a tour of the facility. The tour was highlighted
by a delicious ten-course vegetarian luncheon
more information visit www.drubthobrinpoche.org .
|Homma Kancho and AHAN President Emily Busch welcomed at the center.||Nippon Kan delegation with the young monks.|
The Nippon Kan student delegation did a great job on this trip to Nepal as ambassadors of good will and contributed greatly to all of the AHAN activities. Fortunately, our busy schedule did allow for time to tour the many historical sites and temples in Kathmandu and surrounding areas. AHAN Nippon Kan Nepal staff members Puja Rai, Dayangi Sherpa and family lavished us with kindness as tour guides, interpreters and shopping consultants! Thank you very much for making this trip an experience never to be forgotten.
After all of the projects had successfully drawn to a close, the delegation said “farewell” for now to Nepal. Next stop; New Delhi India.
Feb 3rd-8th, 2006
written by M. Gardner
After our time in Nepal had drawn to a close, the Nippon Kan student delegation left for New Delhi, India. This portion of the trip included a seminar that was organized at the invitation of Chief Instructor Paritos Kar Sensei of the New Delhi Aikido Dojo. The seminar was held at the Samskriti International School in the Camakya Puri Embassy district.
The seminar was a full two-day
event and was attended by Aikidoists from New Delhi,
and other parts
of India including Bombay. In India,
the practice of Aikido is not yet widely spread,
New Delhi area.
of the purposes of this seminar was to
introduce Aikido to a general audience,
and many members
of the media
including reporters from CNN.
|Practice.||Homma Kancho interviewed for television.|
One of the primary sponsors for the seminar was Mr. Shiv Vikram Khemka, Vice Chairman of the SUN Group, who is very involved in education and the promotion of Aikido in New Delhi, especially to the young adult community. Mr. Khemka was introduced to Aikido in the United States, and has practiced Aikido in Europe and Japan. Mr. Khemka, his wife and two children, all members of the Royal Families of India and Nepal helped in organizing and attended the seminar.
Paritos Kar Sensei, Chief Instructor
of New Delhi Aikido Dojo practiced at
Hombu Dojo in
for over fourteen years. As a student
at Hombu dojo, Paritos Kar Sensei was
Wanting to keep
his mornings and evenings free for practice,
he earned his living
passing out flyers outside of train stations
and crowded shopping districts for local
businesses. Paritos Sensei
has many stories
of life in Japan as a struggling young
|From right; Homma Kancho, Mr. Khemka, Mrs. Khemka, Paritos Sensei.||Paritos Sensei and Homma Kancho with sixteen donated bokken and jo’s.|
In 2002 Paritos Sensei traveled to Habarovski, Russia where he lived and taught Aikido for two years. He opened two dojos in Habarovski before returning to his homeland of India in 2004. Here in New Delhi, Paritos Kar Sensei has now opened New Delhi Aikido dojo which is off to a good start with dedicated students and a wonderful staff. As with all dojos in their beginning years, Paritos Kar Sensei and his students are working hard to form a solid foundation in their community. This makes for a mightier challenge in a city where Aikido is not widely known.
The efforts of Aikidoka such as Paritos Kar Sensei who work diligently on the “front lines” are to be appreciated, and Homma Kancho and the delegation gave their support by listening, offering advice, and helping in future planning. These “front line” pioneer instructors are doing the real work and living the real struggle. These discussions were an important learning experience for all of us.
In such a short time, good friendships were made. The closing of the seminar was an emotional one that everyone felt, and even Paritos Sensei shed joyful tears. Link here to an insightful account of the seminar written by a new student of New Delhi Aikido: http://www.aikikaiindia.com/page07-9.htm.
On this visit we learned that Japanese instructors do not visit India very often. We hope that in the future more support will be given to the “front line” pioneer instructors in India who are working hard to help the Japanese art of Aikido grow in their own country.
Today all over the world, students who have trained in Japan have returned to their native countries and opened dojos of their own. Mastering the art of Aikido in Japan is indeed an accomplishment, but assimilating this Japanese art with the customs, religions, traditions and economics back home can be a great challenge. Adjustments have to be made in each country for Aikido to be able to grow in each different native environment. These adjustments are sometimes very challenging and require a great deal of patience, persistence and ingenuity to achieve.
During this process of assimilation most dojos have modest beginnings, and in the times they need the most support, they sometimes are too small to attract the attention and support of headquarter dojos in Japan. It is sad that even if they are recognized they do not receive the support they may need to form a solid foundation when it is most needed.
Today India deservedly receives a lot of attention from many countries outside of Japan and the United States in the world market place, yet in our countries, we often do not have enough chances to truly learn about the culture and history of this vast country. Paritos Kar Sensei, his very talented assistant Yulia Pal and his students are doing a wonderful job through their practice of Aikido to understand parts of Japanese culture. Here we sometimes know little more about India than about its delicious curries and the practice of yoga! Aikido served as a bridge on this journey that allowed us to experience and understand each other’s cultures on a much deeper level.
short time we had in India, all
of us had many chances to experience
usually have a chance to experience,
and after the seminar we were
able to squeeze
in a trip to the Taj Mahal and
visit other historical sites and
in New Delhi. All too
soon, it was time
delegation to leave India, and
Homma Kancho and return to the
|At the Taj Mahal.|
|For us, the camels were quite a sight to see!||Bright beautiful sari’s worn by Indian women.|
We thank everyone very much for all of the gracious hospitality we were shown on this special visit. Next year in India is “The Year of Japan”, and many different government sponsored activities focusing on Japan will be presented. Homma Kancho plans to return to New Delhi for this exposition to assist in an Aikido demonstration with Paritos Kar Sensei.
Besides being a full-time Aikido Instructor, Paritos Kar Sensei, being fluent in both the Japanese and English languages serves as a translator, guide and business coordinator. As an Indian native, he is very knowledgeable about Indian customs and protocol and having lived in Japan and Russia for extended periods gives him quite an advantage in arranging trips for business or travel in India for Japanese and English speaking people. If you are planning a trip to New Delhi, it is highly recommended that you contact Paritos Sensei. Engaging his services as a guide or consultant is another small way to support Aikido and our new friends in India! Paritos Kar Sensei can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
written by S. Rooney
After the Nippon
Kan student delegation departed New Delhi,
AHAN Nepal staff
I, Scott (a
Nippon Kan graduate uchideshi)
left for the town of Dharmasala,
from New Delhi twelve hours
by night train followed by
by car up into the hills.
Dharmasala is the
current home of the Dalai
came to India in
exile from Tibet
Dalai Llama lives in upper
Dharmasala in a complex called “The
Palace” adjacent to the
Homma Kancho spoke of this visit.” This visit to Dharmasala is a private trip for me. I have always thought that if I was ever in India that I would like to visit here. I am very happy that this trip has afforded this opportunity. Out of respect I don’t believe my personal thoughts should be included in this activity report.
Written by Shaaeekh
This article was written by AHAN Nippon Kan Bangladesh coordinator Sarkar Almaji Al-Kamal Shaaeekh (Maji). Please also read Homma Kancho’s articles on Bangladesh and Nepal “Reflections from Frontline Dojos in Asia.”
My country of Bangladesh gained its independence from East Pakistan in 1971. There are one hundred and forty million people living in Bangladesh today. Bangladesh is a small country surrounded on three sides by India and our main industry for export is cotton apparel which is widely exported to the United States and Europe.
This past February, Homma Kancho from Nippon
Kan General Headquarters in the United States came to Bangladesh
visited two of
our Aikido groups here in Dhaka. Early in 2005, I read
on the Nippon
Kan website that Homma Kancho had visited Nepal. I emailed
Nippon Kan headquarters in Denver to find out when he might
again to Nepal in hopes of going there to attend his classes.
Homma Kancho himself wrote back to me and said, “If
I visit Bangladesh it only costs the price for one to travel
people can practice. I would like to visit you in Bangladesh”.
I wrote back to tell him we had no money to invite him, but
he assured us that funds could be made available to cover
expenses. Homma Kancho also replied “I would like to
experience and learn from your country. I would like to meet
with Aikidoka in your homeland”. When Homma Kancho
arrived in Dhaka on February 11th, 2006 we couldn’t
believe that he had really come to see us. We stood in amazement
as he stepped
from the plane and waved a friendly hello.
Homma Kancho quickly changed into a t-shirt and khakis pants and asked if we might visit the local markets. He told us that he always likes to start learning about a country at the markets where one can get a true feel for the lifestyle and heart of the people. Homma Sensei, small camera in hand and I hopped into a bicycle-drawn rickshaw and headed for the local markets in Dhaka.
|National transportation in Bangladesh; 300,000 rickshaws in Dhaka!||Homma Kancho on board a rickshaw.|
That evening, Homma Kancho visited Kazi M. Quasi Sensei,
owner and founder of the Black Belt Academy located in
area. The dojo founder, Quasi Sensei graduated from
a university in the United States and is currently an influential
man in the garment industry. Quasi Sensei opened the Black
Belt academy to the public on his own private property
for young people to learn the skills of the martial arts.
Quasi Sensei practiced Wado Ryu Karate in the United States,
Karate as well as Aikido are taught at his dojo.
|Second from left M. Quasi Sensei, Homma Kancho and me! (Maji)||Practice at the Paris school.|
Homma Kancho instructed at this dojo for three consecutive evenings. Each morning of those three days, we traveled by rickshaw at dawn to a private school in the Goran area where martial art practice is held on the outside grounds each day before school begins. The courtyard practice space was covered with cobble stone bricks that were laid unevenly and in bad repair, but this was the only area that was available. We were worried that the area would be unsuitable for Homma Kancho, but our worries disappeared when he told us “fighting is not done only on tatami mats”. The practice was a mixed practice of adults and children, and everyone enjoyed Homma Kancho’s teaching very much. This private elementary school was founded by Principal MD Achraf Hossan in 1970. The martial art club established at this school was founded to keep young people interested in healthy activities in 1991 by A.B Z. Nain Sensei who joined the school as the chief martial art instructor. Practice is held at school every morning before classes begin for an hour and a half.
My father, family and friends were all very concerned that Homma Kancho’s stay in Dhaka would be comfortable enough for him, and everyone tried very hard to make his stay an enjoyable one. Homma Kancho however made the job easy with his positive outlook and openness to experiencing our homeland. I think that he enjoyed our country and our life here very much.
Between morning and evening
practices, Homma Kancho asked if he might be able to visit
a local orphanage in Dhaka.
two visits for Homma Kancho, the first visit was to the
Dharmarajika Buddhist Temple (click
here to download a pdf with more information about the
the second was to the Tara Majsid Madrasah Islamic Mosque,
both in Dhaka. The Dharmarajika Temple, which has
in what is now Bangladesh going back over 2000 years houses
over 500 orphans and the 300 year old Tara Majsid Madrasah
houses about 150 orphans at a time. There are many mosques
in Dhaka that care for children, but we had time to only
Homma Kancho spent a great deal of time at both places,
playing with the children and talking with volunteer staffs
ran the kitchens that had so many mouths to feed. He also
with administrators about the conditions and challenges
on a daily basis. It was a special visit at the Tara Majsid
Madrasah Islamic Mosque where Homma Kancho was made to
feel very welcome
and was given a rare tour of the facility. This was the
first time a Japanese National had ever visited here.
orphanage dining hall.
|Children studying at the Tara Mosque.|
After concluding these visits Homma Kancho asked if we
could go to a store that sold rice. We found a nearby store
bought rice for the orphanage facilities. We had heard
from one of
the llamas in charge of the monastery facility that feeding
hundred children twice a day required about 160 kilos (about
350 lbs.) of rice per day. Homma Kancho donated one ton
of rice that day.
|Maji (Me) negotiating at the rice store.||Carrying the rice into the temple.|
Homma Kancho commented, “In this country I have seen poverty, but especially visiting the orphanages, I have seen so many who are helping to take care of so many children. It warms my heart to see so much care being given. This experienced has made me think a great deal and I have learned many things. There is richness here. Donating the rice is my “class fee” for what I have learned here. It is also AHAN’s (Aikido Humanitarian Active Network) philosophy to support those in their efforts to help others, and today AHAN Nippon Kan Bangladesh has been born.
Homma Kancho explained to all of us about the working of AHAN and the relationship between Aikido and humanitarian involvement in our own communities. I too want to continue working with AHAN in Dhaka. Homma Kancho taught us about many subjects besides Aikido. I was impressed by the fact that the AHAN humanitarian projects Homma Kancho speaks of he contributes to himself with his own actions, not just words.
I want to thank my father MD Matitar Rahman Sarkar for his understanding and support of my Aikido activities and for helping make Homma Kancho’s visit a successful one. I would also like to thank Kazi M. Quasi Sensei, Principal MD Achraf Hossan and the Paris School staff for their support as well.
Homma Kancho promised he would visit again, and with that he was off to his next stop; Mongolia.
Feb 17-22, 2006
written by Alima
This article was written by Alima, AHAN Nippon Kan Mongolia Coordinator about Homma Kancho’s most recent visit to Mongolia.Mongolia Aikido Nippon Kan Seminar Report.
From Bangladesh, Homma Kancho made a quick stop in Japan to meet with Nippon Kan Japan Branch Coordinator and staff members before heading to Mongolia. He arrived on Mongolian Air in Ulaanbaatar late in the evening and the entire AHAN Mongolia Staff was there to meet him. Staff Organizer Mr. Ganzorig who owns a successful security company in Ulaanbaatar, arrived at the airport to meet Homma Kancho with a caravan of three armored SUV’s! Homma Kancho was very surprised by this reception as he was whisked away to my home to meet with the AHAN Mongolia staff. This welcome gathering in Homma Kancho’s honor lasted until 5:00 am the following morning!
That day, practice
was held at the Mongolia Aikido Nippon Kan practice
site “Wolf Club”. This martial art club
in the center of Ulaanbaatar, has a large forty tatami
mat practice space and is a training facility for
Mr. Dashdorj Ganzorig’s
security company employees as well as for local community
students. Mr. Ganzorig has about eighty security
guards on his payroll
that practice Aikido, Karate, Judo, Sambo, Kendo
and Boxing at the “Wolf Club” every day.
|Homma Kancho teaching.||With students newly promoted to Kyu ranks.|
This dojo is part of a non-profit organization with about 150 members from the general community in Ulaanbaatar. In 1993, when Aikido was first introduced in Mongolia, Mr. Ganzorig was one of the first organizers and the Vice President of the Mongolia Aikido Association. The Mongolia Aikikai that exists today exists in great part due to the foundation laid by Mr. Ganzorig and the Mongolia Aikido Association.
Today Mr. Ganzorig,
together with Nippon Kan Headquarter graduate uchideshi,
Bold Tumenjargl run the Mongolia
Aikido Nippon Kan
Wolf Club independently. In the beginning Mongolia
Aikido Nippon Kan and Mongolia Aikikai practiced
Aikikai’s practice and organizational methods
became too overly governed by regulation and hierarchy
to be able
together in unison.
Today Mongolia Aikido Nippon Kan’s goal is to introduce Aikido to as many people as possible by developing sincere relationships and service activities in the Ulaanbaatar community. The goal is to function as more democratic organization without such strict hierarchy, rules and regulations. Already this philosophy has taken off and the dojo has grown almost to capacity.
Ganzorig has been very active in introducing Aikido in Mongolia
by producing three television
focused on Aikido. On
one show he showcased a popular rock band to appeal
young people in Ulaanbaatar. Homma Kancho appeared
on a show during
this visit organized by Mr. Ganzorig that was aired
during primetime on Channel 9; one of the major stations
of this television special were filmed at the dojo,
and a live interview with Homma Kancho was taped
as the interpreter. After the program aired, there
was a flood of calls and visits to the dojo.
|Homma Kancho LIVE in studio on
|Second from left Mongolian wrestling coach Mr. Bayarsaihan and Homma Kancho.|
|Wrestling technique; yaguruma nage.||Wrestling technique; ukigoshi.|
During this very tightly scheduled visit, Homma Kancho also wanted to see Mongolian Wrestling (Buh) to do technique research. It just so happened that that evening at the National Buh (Wrestling Center) a large wrestling tournament was being held. We were able to watch many matches and tour the training center. Homma Kancho was very interested in the wrestler’s movements and techniques. He took notes and photos as he studied the wrestlers carefully. I have a feeling that someday Homma Kancho will write an article about these visits to the Buh.
Sensei’s dojo operates in the AHAN spirit. Class
fees are very little to none so that this dojo
can be open to all local young people. He spends his own money
introduce Aikido to the community and he and Bold
work very hard to make sure classes and activities work smoothly.
philosophy is that AHAN activities outside of our
practice of Aikido are a positive way to raise
the level of
in our communities. Mr. Ganzorig understanding
of this concept is evident in the types of activities
for his employees,
students and members of his community.
|Mr. Ganzorig teaching the children.||Mr. Ganzorig teaching kendo.|
On this visit Homma Kancho followed up on on-going AHAN projects in Mongolia and on current donations of computers and supplies. This past January, thirty computers from Nippon Kan Headquarters used-refurbished computer redistribution program in Denver were shipped to Mongolia. Homma Kancho researched the best placement for this shipment of computers and made arrangements for their arrival. Following up on projects is an important part of AHAN procedure. It is our responsibility to all of the students and community members back home to make sure that AHAN support is being utilized correctly. This time it was decided that the new shipments of computers would be donated to the Dashi Choiling Buddhist Temple School, the Zorig Foundation and local Ulaanbaatar middle schools. (link here to other articles on the Zorig Foundation).
Jan. 18th, 2006
To start out the New Year,
Nippon Kan’s used computer redistribution
program got into full gear. During the holiday season we
received many computer donations, so there were plenty of
refurbish for use in AHAN projects around the world. Under
the supervision of the Computer Redistribution Program leader
Moore, Nippon Kan uchideshi, student volunteers and youth
program members busied themselves refurbishing the computers
|Nippon Kan volunteers packing the computers.|
|Boxed computers ready for shipping.||Loading the computers into the trucks for transport.|
This time thirty computers were readied for shipment to Mongolia, two were sent to Mexico and two were hand-carried to Nepal by Homma Kancho and the Nippon Kan student delegation . A new goal for 2006 will be the shipment of 100 computers to Bangladesh. Currently we are checking into container procedures for shipment to this part of the world.
March 19th, 2006
2006 marks the 16th year of meal service to the homeless at the Denver Rescue Mission in Denver and this year of meal service has started out as a busy one. At all of our meal services students regularly volunteer as staff members, but sometimes friends or family guests come down to help as well.
|Dashka serving at the mission.||Dashka in traditional monk clothing with Homma Kancho.|
At this year’s first dinner of 2006, Nippon Kan volunteer staff members were joined by Dashtseren Sanjaa, a guest of Nippon Kan from Mongolia. Dashtseren (Dashka) has been in training as a Buddhist Monk for the last fourteen years in Mongolia, and worked hard along side of other volunteers to serve over 300 meals that evening. Dashka has just finished his schooling at the Dashi Choiling Buddhist Temple in Mongolia and was sent by temple administrators to the United States to study. He brought with him a very positive attitude and worked well with all of our dinner guests of the evening. Attending this kind of community service project is part of Dashka’s ongoing training as he learns about volunteer coordination systems in the United States.
|Total Meals Served in 2006.|
|Date of Service||Meals served|
|Jan 15th, 2006||312|
|Feb 19th, 2006||354|
|Mar 19th, 2006||291|
since Jan 1991
March 18th, 2006
Soon after his return from Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Mongolia, Homma Kancho announced a fundraising seminar for AHAN Bangladesh to be held at the end of March. This seminar was opened exclusively to Nippon Kan’s newest white, yellow and green belt members. Homma Kancho commented “I teach here at Nippon Kan many days every week while I am here and I also worry about student finances so when it comes to seminars, I prefer to invite special guest instructors to give students a chance to experience other instructors here at Nippon Kan.
It has been almost three years since Homma Kancho instructed a seminar at Nippon Kan and about sixty white, yellow and green belt members lined up early; excited to attend this special event. Homma Kancho shared with students not only his expertise in Aikido technique but also shared with students his latest experiences in Asia. He explained in detail about his thoughts on AHAN (The Aikido Humanitarian Active Network) of which he is Founder, and ongoing projects world-wide.
After the seminar, students were treated
to a dinner catered by Domo
Restaurant, at which Nippon Kan
in for a fun time
of conversation and communication.
|People lined up waiting to get in the dojo.||Instructors Olson and Dammen mingling with students at the Welcome dinner.|
This seminar proceeds will go towards funding a program for supplying Bangladesh orphanages with rice to feed the hundreds of children that depend on them each year. The first goal is to supply six tons of rice over the next twelve months. The rice will be purchased in Bangladesh after an AHAN Bangladesh distribution system has been put into place. It is also planned to allocate computers to Bangladesh from Nippon Kan’s used computer redistribution program. We are currently researching shipment container procedures to Dhaka.
March 26th, 2006
written by J. Lowrey
This year, over 100 students participated in the 11th annual tournament between Nippon Kan and Enshin Karate. BOWLING tournament that is! This bowling tournament is held every year in honor of Joko Ninomiya Shihan’s birthday. This tradition was suggested by Homma Kancho, and has been celebrated in this fashion every since by Enshin Karate and Nippon Kan Students.
This year, Nippon Kan brought back the big trophy, and all of the years counted, Nippon Kan is in the lead…for now! Part of the yearly tradition is that the losing dojo’s uchideshi students are doused with coolers of ice water. Since the tournament is always held in February or March, this can be quite a chilly proposition! As the Enshin uchideshi prepared this year for the ritual, Homma Kancho stepped in and spoke “For the last ten years, uchideshi students have suffered the consequences of the ice water bath. I think that for this 11th annual tournament, it is time that Ninomiya Kancho and I “take the plunge”. Homma Kancho said this somewhat jokingly, then to everyones surprise, it happened!
For two completely different martial art styles, schools, instructors and students to have a chance to have fun together, and share in communication is a great opportunity. We all look forward to next year!
|Thank you to the registration crew.
|Bowling in uniforms no less!|
|Homma Kancho and Ninomiya Kancho
|Both dojo’s young students join in the fun.|
written by Uchideshi coordinator Jim Haugen
Three students will be graduating from Nippon Kan’s uchideshi program this term. Joshua Kemery, Hector Cid and Take Matsuo. All three survived to complete a semester in the coldest winter conditions Colorado has had to offer in many years.
After graduation Joshua will be returning to college here in Colorado. Hector, who is from Mexico City, will be returning to his home dojo run by his brother, AHAN Mexico Coordinator Fernando Roman Sensei. Hector was valiant in his efforts as a Nippon Kan uchideshi who I think had the hardest time with the cold. Hector will be graduating from the Nippon Kan uchideshi program with honors for his hard work and diligence. Take Matsuo is a student from the highly prestigious Kyoto University, in Kyoto, Japan. There Take was the captain of the Kyoto University Aikido club of which he was a highly skilled Aikidoist and strong leader. After finishing his stay at Nippon Kan, Take will be returning to Kyoto for his university graduation ceremonies later this spring.
For us at Nippon Kan it was very refreshing and enjoyable to have Take here in Denver from Japan. Everyone is welcome to come and practice at Nippon Kan, and that includes young Japanese Aikidoka who are welcome to stay to practice at Nippon Kan for any extended period. Link here to a report to written by Take Matsuo about his experiences at Nippon Kan (written in Japanese). Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.