October-December Activity Report 2006
Written by Megumi Machi
AHAN Nippon Kan Istanbul Coordinator
October 28th -November 4th 2006
AHAN’s Cross-cultural International Concert Series 2006 featured the Matsukawa Kyougaku Taiko Drummers in Turkey this past October-November. The drumming ensemble of ten drummers traveled from Nagano, Japan to perform in Ankara, Turkey (the capitol of Turkey) Cappadocia (a national heritage archeological site near the city of Urgup) and the city of Istanbul (also a world heritage site).
This concert series was produced in conjunction with AHAN Nippon Kan Turkey as a cultural enrichment and fundraising series of events. Over 1500 people saw the Kyougaku Drummers perform live in concert, and thousands watched them on Turkish television. Once the drummers were discovered by the media, their concerts enthusiastically covered live on the tour and on the set for performance television interviews.
Over the past few years, the Matsukawa Kyougaku Taiko Drummers have been great supporters of AHAN and have been involved with AHAN in humanitarian and fundraising events on three different continents. The Matsukawa drummers are world renown for their powerful, down to earth and “from the heart” performances. Their home is Matsukawa village, high in the Japanese Alps in Nagano prefecture, Japan.
In 2004 the Matsukawa Drummers performed a fundraising concert series for AHAN humanitarian efforts in Mongolia in Denver and Telluride Colorado USA , co-sponsored by the Consul General of Japan to Denver, the Japanese America Society and the Japan Association. In 2005 the drummers performed another series of concerts in conjunction with AHAN Rio de Janeiro to support AHAN humanitarian assistant programs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, co-sponsored by the Consul General of Japan to Rio de Janeiro, the Nagano Prefecture Association and the Rio de Janeiro Sports Association.
This years AHAN International Concert Series in Turkey was a tremendous success with the help, support and hard work of many of our friends and associates in Turkey. Please link here to Homma Kancho’s article about his experience as Chief Coordinator of this tour; “Lessons Learned; Reflections of the Matsukawa Kyougaku Taiko Concert Tour to Turkey.
Before the first performance was held in the capitol city of Ankara, a reception luncheon was held in honor of the Matsukawa Drummers hosted by Ambassador Tomoyuki Abe. Mr. Abe welcomed the troupe to Turkey and wished everyone the best of luck on their upcoming tour. I believe that Mr. Abe was truly proud to receive the drummers on the eve of this history making tour.
The concert held in the capitol city of Ankara was co-sponsored by the Japanese Embassy of Turkey, and was held at a concert hall provided by the Turkey Japan Foundation. Local leaders in the business, education and political communities in Ankara were all invited to attend this special concert event. The Japanese Ambassador Tomoyuki Abe gave the opening speech for the concert which was attended by a standing-room-only crowd of over 500 guests. Over twenty media outlets were represented by members of the press who crowded close to the stage with camera equipment in tow. The excitement and enthusiasm of the press infected the crowd who grew increasingly excited as the concert unfolded. Some of the members of the audience even joined the drummers on stage!
After the concert, the lobby was crowded with guests who mingled with the drummers and one another late into the evening. One of the purposes of this event was to unite Turkish leaders in the Ankara community through cultural exchange, and to that end, the evening was a success!
|Seven women and three drummers||The audience loved it!|
|Lots of press!||The women drummers were popular with the crowd.|
|Just who asked who to take a photo!||The after glow of an exciting concert!|
Navigating through a very crowded concert hall, the Japanese Embassy Consul Toyama, and Consul Fukuaka escorted VIP guests and press to their designated seating. Thank you very much too both consular for your experience and hard work.
The concert in Ankara was organized by Turkey Aikikai Ankara dojo students led by AHAN Nippon Kan Ankara tour coordinator Banu Alisverisci who worked tirelessly for weeks-on-end putting all of the details together for this special event. Many thanks Banu, great job!
After the concert in Ankara finally drew to a close, the crew packed their drums and gear and headed for the highway for a five hour night journey southeast to the city of Urgup.
The city of Urgup was co-sponsor to the concert to be held that very next day. Urgup is not as internationally recognized as the world heritage archeological site of Cappadocia which is located in the region. Cappadocia was formed from the sedentary reformation of ash from the Anatoria volcano thousands of years ago and home too many historic civilizations. Urgup City, a small commercial center in the Cappadocia region hosted the Matsukawa Drummers for the second concert of the tour.
The crew arrived at the hotel in Urgup at 4:00 am. After just a few hours sleep it was time to go to the Urgup Civic Center for rehearsal. Cappadocia is famous around the world and visited by thousands of tourists each year. The less traveled city of Urgup still bares a friendly relaxed small town atmosphere and as it turned out, wonderful hospitality.
The concert itself was attended by over 600 locals, some of whom traveled from farther towns and villages for this unique opportunity. The Urgup concert was a family affair, and looks of awe and wonder shown brightly on the faces of the many children there.
As tour coordinator it was Homma Sensei’s goal to connect deeply with each audience, so after scoping the crowd, he and I (AHAN Nippon Kan Istanbul coordinator and translator) left the stage and stepped down into the crowd. There Homma Sensei held a question and answer session with members of the audience answering many eager questions about the drums, the drummers and Japanese music. It was not a speech. Homma Sensei engaged the audience in dialogue and the communication and interaction seemed to put everyone at ease. There were many serious and thoughtful questions, and a couple questions from kids that made everyone laugh. “What kind of faces do Japanese people have?” a young child asked sincerely. Homma Sensei answered, “Japanese people have scary faces like mine!” which made everyone laugh. After Homma Sensei had everyone smiling, he returned to the stage to introduce the drummers who began another magical show.
As in Ankara, when the concert ended the audience went wild! There was a rush of people on to the stage with the drummers for the last encore. Members of the Turkish congress, local leaders, heads of the police department and local celebrities all jumped on stage and had a turn playing the drums! It was quite a night for all!
|The drumming was intense.||The audience loved it!|
This was the first time in the Cappadocia region that Japanese drummers had ever held a concert, especially of that size and intensity. I have a feeling it wont be the last!
The following day, the drummers were able to spend a little time touring the ruins of Cappadocia and sample some of the local cuisine. It was only for a few hours however before it was time to get back on the bus and head for the historical city of Istanbul.
Many thanks to Ersin Ozturk, Ilham Ucok, Ankara coordinator Banu Alisverisci (who traveled from Ankara to assist in the Urgup concert) and to Homma Sensei for serving as Master of Ceremonies.
The Istanbul concert was held as a fundraising event for the TEMA Foundation, (the largest environmental protection organization in Turkey), and the Turkey Kidney Foundation. The event was co-sponsored by AHAN Nippon Kan Istanbul and AHAN Nippon Kan General Headquarters USA.
Funds were raised for donation through general public ticket sales and complimentary tickets awarded to both organizations. The concert was held at the Istanbul Technical University (ITU), which has been an institution of higher learning in Istanbul for over 400 years. The 500 seat capacity concert hall was secured by the former Turkish ambassador to Japan, Mr. Yaman Baskut who helped make this event possible.
|Drummer devils waiting to go on the air.||Aikikai of Turkey Aikido demonstration.|
Early winds of winter brought cold and rain to Istanbul on the day of the concert, but did not keep the crowds away. The concert hall was almost filled to capacity for this unprecedented event. The Istanbul concert was organized by Aikikai Istanbul, Ali Uludag Sensei and his students who also performed an Aikido demonstration before the concert.
|A powerful performance.||The grand finale!|
|Turkish audiences loved the drums!||The thrill of victory!|
|Smiles all around after the show!|
After a whirlwind week in Turkey the drummers packed for home and the evening after the concert in Istanbul, left for Japan. There was little time for sightseeing in Istanbul, and we hope that we will have the opportunity again to show the drummers the sites of our city. Thank you very much for all of your tremendous efforts!
Turkey International Concert Series Coordinator Megumi Machi: Profile
Megumi Machi graduated from Osaka University of Foreign Studies with a major in Turkish language studies. It was “love at first sight” for Megumi when she first visited Turkey in 1993 and in 2004, she moved to Turkey to attend the Istanbul University where she currently is pursuing a PhD in Turkish literature.
Today Megumi attend the university in Istanbul and works in a historical Turkish book store. She specializes in providing historical resources for study by Japanese scholars and also serves as a historical site guide and research coordinator for private organizations.
During her studies at the University in Osaka, Megumi served as assistant captain of the Aikido club and continues her practice of Aikido in Istanbul. Currently Megumi also serves as the AHAN Nippon Kan Istanbul Coordinator.
Megumi Machi can be contacted at email@example.com for Japanese translation, interpreting and historical research resource coordination.
Luc Leoni Sensei
AHAN Rio de Janeiro
Aikido Nippon Kan Brazil
October 10th, 2006
Knowing the importance of safety and emergency procedure, AHAN Rio de Janeiro offered a safety and first aid course to local martial art instructors this past fall. Safety is an important issue in martial art training and being familiar with emergency procedures in case of an accident is something all instructors should be familiar with. This kind of training for instructors can help keep everyone calm during a medical emergency by learning to deal with the situation effectively.
Medical Supply Donation
In conjunction with the Urgence Humanitaire Internationale Foundation in France, Luc Leoni Sensei and AHAN Rio de Janeiro helped coordinate the shipment of a full container of medical equipment including hospital beds, dental chairs and other hospital fixtures designated for small local hospitals and medical facilities in rural villages in Brazil. This project took six months for Luc Leoni Sensei to help coordinate, and the shipment is due to arrive in early 2007. The Urgence Humanitaire Internationale Foundation works extensively in Armenia and other Eastern European countries supplying badly needed medical equipment and supplies.
To follow up on the medical equipment delivery to Brazil, AHAN Rio de Janeiro plans to help with the distribution of the equipment to local rural hospitals and other medical facilities upon its arrival. AHAN Rio de Janeiro has been very active in their community over the past years and exemplifies true AHAN philosophy in its actions. Great job!
Fernando Roman Sensei
Mexico Aikido Take Musu Aiki
AHAN Nippon Kan Mexico
AHAN Nippon Kan Central America
November 12th, 2006
|Fernando Roman Sensei|
Under the guidelines of AHAN philosophy and the guidance of Homma Kancho’s teaching, AHAN Central America has been quite active in 2006. Homma Kancho’s dream for AHAN has been for local AHAN IISA (Instructors in support of AHAN) to be able to act independently in promoting AHAN activities in their own countries and to organize support for their own communities. The purpose of Homma Kancho’s travels around the world is to teach the philosophy and methodology of AHAN so that local instructors can take the lead in continuing the work of AHAN in step with the needs and abilities of each local community. The dream has been like the dropping of a pebble in a still pond; the pebble makes waves that continue outward into the future.
Close to $2000.00 was raised at a demonstration event by AHAN Mexico for the Casa de la Amistad, a center for families who come to Mexico City from outlining regions of Mexico for cancer treatments and for the Japanese Mexico Association who co-sponsored the event. Dr. Tanaka, director of the Casa de la Amistad and Mr. Kawami, President of the Japanese Mexico Association as well as 200 patrons were on hand for this special event.
AHAN Mexico, AHAN Nippon Kan Headquarters and Homma Kancho have organized three other fundraising seminars for the Casa de la Amistad in years past and Homma Kancho was very excited to hear about this independently organized fundraising event.
AHAN Costa Rica
November 17th-19th, 2006
November 17th-19th, 2006, Fernando Roman Sensei, Founder and Chief Instructor of Mexico Aikido Take Musu Aiki and leader of AHAN Mexico and AHAN Central America, served as Guest Instructor for a fundraising seminar hosted by Marco Gonzales of Aikido Zanshin dojo and coordinator of AHAN Nippon Kan Costa Rica. The seminar raised funds for the SOS Children’s Assistance Foundation to provide children in the area with toys and presents for Christmas.
Nippon Kan Staff
Nippon Kan General Headquarters
December 9th, 2006
Fifty used, refurbished computers were checked, packed and loaded to be put on pallets and shrink- wrapped for the long journey to the Dharmarajika Orphanage in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Funds were raised to cover the extensive shipping costs with Homma Kancho’s AHAN “Adopt a Computer Fundraising Campaign.” In this campaign, computers could be “adopted” for $20.00. Included in the “adoption” were adoption papers and official AHAN stickers that were filled out by the “adoptive parents” to include a message to the children at the orphanage in Bangladesh. Each message sticker was attached to the computers for the children to read upon arrival. New “parents were very creative in the composition of the messages to the children, and each message was indeed thoughtful and heartfelt. Some contributors “adopted” multiple computers, and with the generosity of many students, family members and friends, enough funds were raised to ship the computers to Bangladesh.
|Volunteers check the
before final packing.
|Applying the AHAN message stickers.|
AHAN Nippon Kan Bangladesh coordinator Maji Sarkar, Bangladesh Wado Karate Instructor Kazi Sensei (advisor), Mr. Sunil Barua, Dharmarajika Orphanage General Secretary, AHAN President Emily Busch and Nippon Kan Instructor Thomas Dammen all worked very hard to coordinate this computer shipment. This was the first time Nippon Kan had shipped supplies to Bangladesh, and it proved to be a challenge. The shipment is due to arrive in Bangladesh in February 2007.
Nippon Kan member Brian Grabowski and the Nippon Kan General Headquarters computer staff are now in the process of putting together the necessary equipment which Brian will take to Bangladesh to meet Homma Kancho in March 2007 and service the donated computers at the orphanage after their arrival.
Ganzorig Dashdorj Dojo Cho
Wolf Aikido Club
December 24th, 2006
Ganzorig Dashdorj Dojo Cho and Bold Tumenjargal Sensei of AHAN Nippon Kan Mongolia and Aikido Nippon Kan Mongolia’s Wolf Aikido Club have also been very active in their community this year in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Wolf Aikido Club dojo currently has over eighty students who are enthusiastically learning the art of Aikido instructed by Ganozig Sensei and Bold Sensei. Recently the Wolf Aikido Club entered into an agreement with a popular modeling agency to teach the young models aikido as part of their stunt training.
On December 24th, 2006, Wolf Aikido Club organized an AHAN visit to a local children’s shelter, donating clothing and funds to the children living there. Under Homma Kancho’s direction, Ganzorig Sensei, Bold Sensei and the Wolf Aikido club are making a difference in their community. This is an important key to the dojo’s popularity and growing success.
Written by Bryon Hays Sensei
Nippon Kan Headquarter Denver, Colorado USA
November 4th-8th, 2006
In 2006, Homma Kancho traveled to Turkey three times to coordinate the October concert series to be performed by the Matsukawa Kyougaku Taiko Drummers. When the concerts finally came to an end and the drummers returned to Japan, I (Bryon) continued on with Homma Kancho in Istanbul to assist him as official assistant and uke. Homma Kancho instructed both at the Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul and at the 9 Eylul University Aikido Club in Izmir. Both seminars were well attended and very successful.
|Bokken practice at ITU.||Tenkan practice at 9 EYLUL University.|
|Homma Kancho answering questions at a newspaper interview in Izmir.||Izmir mountain barbeque; Ali sensei
Homma Kancho making salad.
As an instructor at Nippon Kan I am accustomed to watching Homma Kancho teach Aikido as Nippon Kan Chief Instructor. On this trip to Istanbul, I had the opportunity to watch Homma Kancho in new roles; that of tour director, MC, lighting director, staff coordinator and press mediator. It made me remember something I had once heard Homma Kancho say while teaching. “Practicing Aikido, organizing projects and being actively involved in activities is all the same, it is all Aikido.”
Written by Jae Kyun Shin
November 20th-30th, 2006
Homma Kancho has done extensive personal research about the history of Aikido and other martial arts in Japan, Mongolia and the United States. On this trip Homma Kancho focused his research on the historical links between the martial arts in Mongolia, Korean and Japan.
My name is Jae Kyun Shin, and I served as guide for Homma Kancho during this visit to Korea. I myself practice Sib Pal Ki a traditional Korean martial art, and it was an exciting opportunity for me to assist Homma Kancho with this project.
|Left; Instructor Shin Right; Korea Sib Pal Ki Association President Kim.||
One of our first stops on this trip to Korea was Homma Kancho’s visit to the Korean Aikido Federation dojo in Seoul, Osung Dojo, founded by Korean Aikikai pioneer Ikam Yoon Sensei. There Homma Kancho spent time in practice with Yoon Sensei and his students.
After a few days in Seoul, Homma Kancho, Yoon Sensei, his wife, and I traveled by train five hours south to the city of Suncheon. There we paid a visit to the Suncheon Aikido dojo, and their chief instructor Seok Young Min Sensei. Min Sensei and his wife both work very hard as local pioneer Aikido instructors in Suncheon spreading the practice of Aikido in the Suncheon area. Min Sensei has many wonderful students, and Homma Kancho told Min Sensei that he believed that his dojo would become large and strong in the future because of the heart and sincere efforts that Min Sensei and his wife gave to their dojo and to their students.
|With Korean Aikikai dojo members. Left of Homma Kancho; Mrs. Yoon. Right of Homma Kancho; Yoon Sensei.||Min Sensei’s Suncheon dojo entrance.|
|Practice at Suncheon dojo.|
|Welcome party after practice.||Suncheon offered a delicious array of traditional Korean foods.|
Homma Kancho and our entire party was treated to the utmost in hospitality and we were able to sample many of the traditional foods that Suncheon is known for. We were also treated to a tour of the area and were able to visit some of the historical sites of Suncheon. To complete their hospitality, we were given a traditional farewell by Min Sensei, his wife and students who came to the train station to bid us farewell.
Pramod Raj Adhikari
Nepal Aikido Club
December 26th, 2006
Aikido Nippon Kan Nepal Aikido Club was granted official registration status by the National Sports Council of Nepal in November of 2006. “Now that official status has been granted, we are committed to carry on all of our activities for achieving Aikido Nippon Kan’s goal of contributing to the educational and humanitarian development of the Kathmandu community through the teaching of the Martial Art of Aikido” commented Pramod Raj Adhikari, Secretary of the Aikido Nippon Kan Nepal Aikido Club.
Homma Kancho will be travelling to Nepal in February 2007 and will be accompanied by Nippon Kan Headquarters Senior Instructor Scott Olson Sensei and Nippon Kan graduate uchideshi John Grotriam. Olson Sensei will conduct a two-week intensive training seminar during this trip in February, and John Grotrian will remain in Nepal for a long term three-month stay to teach new Aikido Nippon Kan Nepal Aikido Club members the basics of Aikido.
Teaching basic hygiene and health care
Facility construction and repair
Field Marching Coach
Basic Mathematics Instructor
Volunteer Team Cook
Aikido experience: third kyu level and above. All styles or organizations accepted.
Age: 18 years of age and above.
Health: active, healthy-personal health insurance required.
Expenses: Living expenses can be reimbursed by AHAN after a completed mission if all mission objectives and conditions have been met.
Project Duration: Start dates flexible, three month minimum project duration.
Send personal resume and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org attention AHAN International Volunteer Program. Include a one to two page summary of your thoughts about aikido philosophy and why you are interested in this program. Resumes must be sent electronically. All questions will be answered after acceptance into the program.
October 27th-29th, 2006
Shin shin Aiki Shuren Kai Aikido of Reno Dojo Cho, Vince Salvatore Sensei, hosted this three day seminar in his hometown of Reno, Nevada. www.renoaikido.org. The seminar was instructed by special Guest Instructor Shin shin Aiki Shuren Kai Tanren Juku Hitohiro Saito Jukucho and was attended by over 300 students from all over the United States.
On October 27th, Homma Kancho was already in Turkey with the Kyougaku Taiko Drummers so he was unable to attend this seminar. Nippon Kan General Headquarters Instructor Michael Barrera and Mexico Aikido Take Musu Aiki (www.mexicoaikido.com.mx ) Chief Instructor Fernando Roman Sensei traveled to Reno, Nevada to represent Nippon Kan and AHAN for this visit to the United States by Hitohiro Saito Jukucho. This trip was sponsored by AHAN as part of IISA (Instructors in Support of AHAN) training for AHAN instructors. Important to AHAN IISA philosophy is the belief in the importance for young instructors to experience many kinds of training; beyond any boundaries of style or affiliation. To this end, AHAN sponsored all costs associated with this trip.
November 14th-15th, 2006
For the past few years it has been a tradition for Maruyama Sensei, Founder of Kokikai Aikido to come to Nippon Kan for a visit in November. Homma Kancho has known Maruyama Sensei for over forty three years; since the time Homma Kancho was in middle school in Japan.
Maruyama Sensei is a Japanese Aikikai pioneer instructor and has played an important role in the foundation of Aikido in the United States. Currently Maruyama Sensei is an active instructor in Kokikai Aikido world-wide. We were happy to have Maruyama Sensei stop by Denver and Nippon Kan on one of his yearly tours of the United States.
|Instructing at Nippon Kan dojo in Denver.||Relaxing with Maruyama Sensei inside the Nippon Kan Ger (Mongolian nomadic dwelling) after class.|
Other previous articles written by Homma Kancho about Maruyama Sensei:
The Silent Pioneer: Shuji Maruyama Sensei, Kokikai Founder
With Shudo Maruyama Sensei. Cold Sake and Sensei’s Lessons.
December 17th, 2006
Record amounts of snow fell in an unusually cold December, 2006. As this article was being written on December 22nd, Denver was being buried in a blizzard that shut down the city for three days.
|Nippon Kan after the December blizzard of 2006.||After the storm, a still winter day in the Nippon Kan garden.|
In the frigid December weather, Nippon Kan students and staff braved the cold and prepared veggies Sunday morning, December 17th, for the last homeless dinner of the year outside in the Nippon Kan garden. That evening a crew of fifteen volunteers served a five course dinner to about 290 residents and outside guests at the Denver Rescue Mission. This dinner brought to a close Nippon Kan’s sixteenth year of monthly meal service at the mission.
Prepping veggies in the cold!
Homeless Meal Service Statistics
|Oct 15th, 2006 meal service||280 meals served|
|Nov 19th, 2006 meal service||300 meals served|
|Dec 17th, 2006 meal service||290 meals served|
|Total meals served since 1991||44,298 meals served|
October 18th, 2006
Nippon Kan has had a cross-cultural exchange program with the village of Higashi Naruse since 1990. Since 1990 there have been about 100 people that have gone on tour to Higashi Naruse, lived in Higashi Naruse on the internship program, or came from Higashi Naruse Village to visit or live in Denver for this cross-cultural exchange. The interns that live in Higashi Naruse Village on extended three-month stays work with the Higashi Naruse Village government’s educational department teaching school and working in other cultural exchange and social projects. Tyffany is our last graduate from the Nippon Kan cross-cultural exchange program with Higashi Naruse Village and returned from a three month stay this past October. Tyffany plans to work in the Nippon Kan office as a new staff member in 2007.
Many thanks to everyone in Higashi Naruse Village for take such good care of Tyffany!
February 20th, 2007
Nippon Kan General Headquarters Cross-Cultural Exchange Program with the village of Higashi Naruse in Akita Prefecture, Japan has been in operation since 1990. Higashi Naruse Village is small remote village in mountainous region of Northern Honshu whose cultural heritage and lifestyle has been perpetuated for centuries. Higashi Naruse village offers a very special opportunity to experience traditional Japanese culture untouched in many ways by the effects of our modern day world.
Since 1990, 100 students have visited Higashi Naruse as part of Nippon Kan’s Cross-Cultural Exchange Program. In the last seventeen years, 26 students have participated in long-term study internships in conjunction with the Higashi Naruse Village Office Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. This program offers students a chance to work with children in elementary and middle schools and to participate in local event and program project planning.
Applications are now being taken for Nippon
2006 through 2007 three to six month semester Internship Program.
Semesters open for application are:
Spring semester ‘07 April-June
Summer semester ‘07 July-Sept
Fall semester ‘07 Oct-Dec
Thomas Dammen Sensei
Youth Program Director
Dec 16th, 2006
Youth program promotions are held bi-annually at Nippon Kan. In many dojos, fees for examinations and promotions are a typical source of income, especially in children’s classes. At Nippon Kan there are no examinations or any fees charged for promotion which has been a tradition at Nippon Kan since its inception. Education and community project participation are the main goals at Nippon Kan and the philosophies of AHAN (Aikido Humanitarian Active Network) form the foundation for all of our Youth Program Classes.
Classes are held every Saturday for our Youth Program members. There is a general class held first for younger members, followed by an advanced class and a weapons relations training class for our more senior Youth Program students. Monthly membership dues for the Nippon Kan Youth Program are $25.00 per month. Contracts, initiation fees or long term commitments are not required by any member at Nippon Kan whether they participate in the Youth Program or the adult classes offered.
On December 16th, 2006 fifty two promotions were awarded to Youth program members. The day was filled with excitement as family members and friends gathered to watch demonstrations performed by advanced youth program members and Nippon Kan instructor staff.
Today the Nippon Kan Youth Program has over eighty students, and we would like to sincerely thank all of the family members who have showed so much support for this program.
Homma Kancho implemented a new direction for Nippon Kan beginning with Nippon Kan’s end-of- year activities in December. Homma Kancho spoke on the matter. “It is now time in the history of our dojo to simplify and streamline operations at Nippon Kan. When the dojo was young, Nippon Kan was run more like a small family business and the focus at that time was how to make things grow. Nippon Kan has grown immensely over the years, and now there are many programs and projects that Nippon Kan is involved with in countries all over the world. We began our dojo operations with a small group of volunteers, and that number of volunteers has grown over the years as well. This coming year I want to simplify operations and concentrate more on the essence of Nippon Kan practice and AHAN philosophy as it applies to our training. I want to take a more streamline professional approach that also allows students to dedicate more of their time to their training than daily office duties. I want to reflect AHAN values more in the way we celebrate New Years too.”
This new direction began by celebrating the end of the year 2006 and the New Year in a much simpler fashion. It has been tradition for almost three decades to celebrate the New Year with a huge party which in some years has been attended by up to 300 people. For 2007, the New Year’s party was not held at all. Instead the $3000.00 allocated to this event will be redirected to supply the 500 orphans now living at the Dharmarajika Orphanage in Bangladesh with rice, medical and educational supplies for much of the year to come.
Keiko Hajime, the first practice of the year was held on January 4th as is tradition, and Nippon Kan members celebrated the New Year’s practice with a dinner that followed the opening ceremonies led by Homma Kancho.
This new direction in no way signifies that Nippon Kan is shrinking in size or scope of operations. In fact it is the opposite. With the current scope of Nippon Kan’s expanded operations and new upcoming activities, our manpower and resources need to be refocused and redirected.
“There are many ways to celebrate the New Year. In keeping with the philosophy of AHAN in this year to come, our dojo operations and celebrations will serve more to benefit others, and in turn ourselves in ways that ultimately more meaningful than “making merry.” said Homma Kancho.
A LOT of snow in Denver!
December 23rd, 2006
In the last week of December 2006, an extraordinary amount of snow fell in Denver. It was a winter wonderland for our uchideshi who took the opportunity to practice in the snow. Actually I think it was a great “photo op” especially for senior uchideshi Hector Cid who was born and raised in Mexico and had never actually seen snow before he came to Denver. Even though the temperatures were well below freezing our uchideshi couldn’t’ resist a little horsing around in all of the snow. This included too of course, our littlest uchideshi Genbei!
|Bokken and Jo practice.||Nippon Kan long time uchideshi Genbei!|
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