Aikido Kobayashi Dojo

Aikido, My Way.

Part 10 It is Worth the Sweat and Tears

Kobayashi Dojos received commendation for its organization from the Japan Martial Federation in 1987. Public organizations have received recognition from the prefectures and cities but it was the first time a private association was commentated.  I was deeply honored and grateful.

In May 1999, with the cooperation of Toshiyuki Arai Shihan, head of the Gumma Aikido Federation, we held a thirtieth anniversary camp and demonstration in Ikaho Hot Springs.  Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba came as well as 150 people from overseas to join practitioners connected with Kobayashi Dojos from all over Japan.  We were able to celebrate together with more than 650 people.  A celebration party was also held at the Tokyo Kudan Grand Palace Hotel in Tokyo.  We celebrated with everyone our long history and development.

At this time, many uchideshis had graduated to become professionals and direct dojos of their own.  I never thought possible but we’ve become a kind of training school for shihan, with Kobayashi Dojos providing the opportunity for people to become teachers and in sense, I’m paying back the Aikido world for all its done for me.

Over time, my self-confidence grew and the hard-style Aikido of the past changed into a wide, flowing, and gentle movement.

We always take care of our students, they continue to grow older and are in the prime of their lives, I tell them, “If you all weren’t here, I’d have to build a new dojo.”   They’re all mischievous in the beginning, but over time, together through our responsibility to open new paths we are developing the next generation and we change as we look after them.

Today’s young people and I may differ in our attitudes and I don’t seem to have the energy for making deep connections with them.  I’ve conceded that responsibility to my son.

I want to radiate hope and open up the path for the next generation who will carry the burden of the world.

Recently I’ve seen demonstrations that seem to me to have found enlightenment in O Sensei’s late-in-life softer techniques.  That reflects a superficial understanding of Aikido.  These people are not aware of O Sensei’s hard, strict manner of his younger days.  It was a matter of life and death back then.  They are just copying the form.

The real thing can be obtained in every local dojo through strict, diligent training, through unbending effort, through sweat and tears, through wind and rain; then a great flower blooms.

At Kobayashi Dojos we engage in daily practice, host camps twice a year, teach overseas and we create opportunities.  This won’t change.

There is no script in Aikido.  The basis in Aikido is practice.  Daily practice, that’s it.  That’s all.  The beauty of Aikido is that there is no victory, no defeat.  All of the members who train daily without a sign of laziness are the treasures of Kobayashi Dojos.  The starting point is impeccable daily practice.  From here on, Kobayashi Dojos wishes to be a place where people can meet together and through hard work achieve a fuller life.

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