Reflections of Frontline Dojos in Asia

March 20, 2006

Article I A Story of Zen no Aikido * and Bananas By Gaku Homma, Nippon Kan Kancho March 20th, 2006 This first article was written from an outline of Homma Kancho’s teachings at a special fundraising seminar for orphanage support in Bangladesh held at Nippon Kan Headquarters March 18th, 2006. *The word Zen in the title of this article does …

Walking Firmly on the Ground

January 4, 2006

The following article is a translation of Homma Kancho’s New Year’s speech giving January 4th, 2006 at Nippon Kan’s Keiko Hajime (First Opening Practice of the Year). Another year goes by and all of our end-of-year ceremonies have been completed. It is now 2006 and the first practice of the year. Happy New Year to everyone! One year passes so …

Sixteen Drummers from Matsukawa

October 15, 2005

Written by Gaku Homma Nippon Kan Kancho The audience was on their feet. The clapping and cheering was thunderous, the stars above the town square seemed to tremble with the whistling and the shouts of encore, encore! On stage the drummers stood in a row facing the audience heads bowed deeply. They raised their heads in unison, all eyes glistening …

The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

August 15, 2005

Reflections on the Anniversary of Japan’s Surrender to the US Coalition. By Gaku Homma Nippon Kan Kancho August 15th, 2005 Forward I have written the following article for students not born in Japan or raised in the Japanese culture. For one raised in the Japanese culture, topics in this article that might be a source of controversy, are merely common …

Yoon Sensei and the Power of Youth

August 15, 2005

A visit to Korea. by Gaku Homma Nippon Kan Kancho You can always spot someone who has practiced Aikido for a long time from a distance; it is in their walk. We call it hakamaaruki (hakama walk) in Japanese and it describes the gate of someone who has worn a hakama for a long time. It can be a badge …

Michael’s Letter

June 18, 2005

Nippon Kan and Homma Kancho receive many letters, phone calls and emails every week. Most are questions about Aikido such as; When do beginners’ classes start?, Where can I buy a keiko gi(practice uniform)?, What is a kototama?, How do I learn ukemi?, or my personal favorite; How long does it take to get a black belt?… Some of the …

Preserving Our Traditional Heritage

March 25, 2005

Written by Gaku Homma Nippon Kan Kancho March 25, 2005 About twenty years ago, I remember a visiting student who came one day to Nippon Kan to practice. This student practiced at about a sankyu or brown belt, hakama level of experience. What I remember most about this student was that by the way he practiced I could easily tell …

Aikido Ronin* in Europe

March 24, 2005

Written by Gaku Homma Nippon Kan Kancho 3-24-05 *Ronin is the Japanese term for master less samurai. In my travels to teach in countries around the world, I have been surprised to see how many different kinds of membership cards or “passports” are carried by practicing Aikidoka. Membership cards these days are not just a simple card with the organizations …

Prayers and Guns; A Report from Nepal

February 15, 2005

by Gaku Homma Nippon Kan Kancho February 15th, 2005 Twenty minutes before landing at the Tribhaun airport in Kathmandu, I looked out of the window of the plane as the Himalaya Mountains appeared; rising from the blanket of clouds with such majesty I caught my breath. A man, seated in front of me, stood up excitedly when he saw the …

On the Nippon Kan and AHAN Activities in Brazil

January 7, 2005

One of the operating philosophies of Nippon Kan is “activities beyond style or organization.”I believe that for one’s own shugyo, or martial art’s practice, the biggest danger can be losing oneself in politics, affiliations and power. I remind myself of this danger regularly in my own practice, and it is also a part of Nippon Kan philosophy. Too much today, …

Between the Steps

January 3, 2005

This special column was taken from excerpts of Homma Kancho’s New Year speech given at Keiko Hajime (opening ceremony) at Nippon Kan on January 3rd, 2005. Between the Steps. Setting the Direction for Nippon Kan AHAN Activities for 2005. Facing one another, like statues of Rodin’s “The Thinker”, the hallowed threesome sat together reflecting deeply. Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha, each …

Testimonials from the Okaeri dojo

December 8, 2004

AHAN garden project crew 11-04. Marco Bernardete It was an emotional experience, the land turned out, mud, rocks, people falling, like the Babel tower. And a new birth, the garden. Mario It was full of emotions. Juninho It was incredible. Doing a Japanese garden! Marcio Fontes Homma Sensei surprised me working, singing, and planning for next day. All this with …

With Shudo Maruyama Sensei. Cold Sake and Sensei’s Lessons.

December 5, 2004

We have a saying in Japan, “Cold sake and a father’s advice effect us later, not sooner.” In my case, it is “Cold sake and Sensei’s lessons effected me much later, not sooner.” For me, it is lessons learned from one of my teachers, Shudo Maruyama Sensei. I have written another article about Maruyama Sensei, titled “The Silent Pioneer: Shudo …