Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Seasons Greetings

We at the Sanbukan Dojo wish to extend Warm holiday wishes for health and happiness and a New Year filled with success!

Although the Dojo is officially closed, many students will be coming to the Dojo to work on various techniques, their next belt requirements, etc. Should you wish to join us on the mats, please contact Patrick Reed directly and he will open the doors for you (562) 500-6683.

Regular class schedule will resume on Tuesday January 4th

Thursday, December 16, 2010

An email to Mits

Hello from Tokyo!

I have changed paths in my life recently and I wanted to send my heartfelt thanks to Mits as one of the kindest and most inspirational teachers I have ever had the good fortune to spend time with.

A little background quickly- I moved to Tokyo in the summer of 2006 to come and train Aikido seriously, but in my quest to study at the highest level I saw a side of Aikido and people I used to trust that has turned me off of the art. There are many great teachers here, but after my experience my passion has been soured beyond repair. Leaving Aikido became the only satisfying option for me.

This however, is not an ending but a beginning. After some time away from training I have done a few classes with a second degree black belt in BJJ from Rickson Gracie's academy in Brazil. I am happy to be doing some martial arts again, the people at the club are kind and I want to thank Mits for introducing me to Jiu-jitsu and welcoming me to his home back in 1997? to share his teaching.

A lesson he shared with us during a seminar in Canada has always stuck with me. While explaining to us the benefit of not trying to hold a technique for too long if it is not working he relayed to us a story of a tribe of hunters who catch monkeys by placing rice in hollowed out coconuts. The coconuts have an opening just big enough for an empty hand to slip through, but once the hand closes to grab the rice it becomes trapped, once trapped the monkeys are easily finished off.(forgive my uninspired paraphrasing of the tale) This story stuck in my mind and I have held it for many years. This is a sign of a remarkable teacher, and one I spent too little time with. Of course this lesson was related, by sensei, to any type of situation that has negative consequences, not only grappling. From staying in any unhealthy situation too long, be it a job or a relationship.

This is a lesson that I have applied many times in many arenas of my life and I thought it appropriate to send a message to let sensei know
how much he is appreciated, from an old student and friend.

Thank you sir.

All the best,

Dave Stinson

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pot Luck Holiday Party Time

That's right boys and girls, it's party time.  This year's annual Pot Luck Holiday Party is coming this Saturday December 18th.

The following people have said what they plan to bring:

Cindy & Jeremy - Japanese Salad
Emanuel - Pizza
Alonso - Meat Dish
Bernardo - Oven Roasted Chicken
Pete - Un chingo da hambra
Jay - Veggie Platter & Beer Nuts
Larry - Dessert
Gilbert - Ham
Melvin - Curry Chicken
Martin - Empanadas
Misa - Soda & Pizza
Brian - Dessert (maybe Pie)

What are YOU bringing ? ? ?

The regular Saturday class will happen from 10:30AM - Approx. 12:30PM but then it's PARTY TIME!!!!

In other news:
Many people have asked, "When is Jeremy testing for Black Belt?"  The date has been set for Saturday January 8, 2011

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We at the dojo have so much to be thankful for. Not the least of which is our fantastic friends. We truly have a family there, and for that I am thankful beyond measure.

But today is the day everyone should be home with their real family, so the dojo will be closed.

Until I see you all again..


And I'll see you all this coming Saturday, so don't eat too much!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Belated updates and congratulations

 So many things have been happening at the Dojo lately, it's hard to keep up some times.  We've had several new students join recently.  Mia, DC and Andrew all tested and there was even a reunion get together for the Spectrum Club Aikido Class.  Rainer, Ron, Micheal, Ellen, Big Mike, Johann and of course Sensei Mits were all present and had a wonderful time over at Cozymel's

Sensei Johann, Big Jei and Jeremy all had our birthday's.  And today is the sixth anniversary of when  the Reverend Mits Yamashita presided over the wedding of...

Mr. and Mrs. Johnston
November 14th 2004

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mits Yamashita Aikido Demo at the USA World Championships

Thanks to Andy Wilson we have some dynamic footage of Sensei Mits, performing a demonstration in Las Vegas back in the year 2000. This demo was fantastic. An excellent reminder of just how good our Sensei is. Thanks Andy!

BTW: Senseis' Larry and Johann should be commended as well. That was excellent Ukemi.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

We here at the Sanbukan Dojo would like to thank all those hard working Americans who paved the way for the fair and livable workplaces we all enjoy today. Without them we may still have had child labor, unequal pay for women and minorities, etc. Below is a little history lesson (Thanks to about Labor Day and why it's so important to remember this holiday. God Bless America!

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history. The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it.

Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified. Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday.

Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

1 Kyu - Patrick Reed

Patrick Reed had a wonderful 3rd Brown Belt test last Saturday. For an old man he can still move. We all owe Patrick a lot for his dedication and commitment. I can honestly say, no one at the Dojo works harder. Way to go Patrick.

Patrick uploaded his test on YouTube in three parts, for those who missed it.

Promise Exercises

Main Body of the test

Kata and Randori

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mia Reyes

*•.,.•*•.,.•CONGRATULATIONS MIA•.,.•*•.,.•*

Our little Mia tested for, and passed her Yellow Belt. She did fantastic! As with many others before the one major tip: BREATHE!

You can see her here, breaking in her new belt, using Sensei Larry's arm. And then she jumped right into learning the Osoto Gari.

There is no stopping this girl!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Excerpts from the Ryu Mail Magazine - July Edition

Tadashii kara tsuyoi

The following is written in one of Ando Sensei's books on the techniques of Yoshinkan Aikido:
"Strength in aikido does not come from physical power but from maintaining a correct posture. The strength which aikido seeks comes from rectitude."

The meigen "tadashii kara tsuyoi" is an expression of one of the fundamental principles of aikido. Correct posture is well-balanced with a perfectly straight back; that posture, perfect even in motion, is a thing to startle the eye with it's beauty. In it's perfect form, correct posture itself is center power. And, to recite Ueshiba Sensei, "breath power is rooted in center power." All strength in aikido is an exercise of center power.

Strength from rectitude includes a spiritual element. Spiritual rectitude gives a technique strength. We could say that if your spirit is righteous, your sword will be righteous too. Good, strong posture arises from a pure spirit. For many, the appeal of aikido lies in it's quest for spiritual rectitude and for victory over the self.

Conversely, though, we shouldn't place too much emphasis on 'being right'. Righteousness should come naturally, without thinking too much about it. If we are overly-conscious of our righteousness and seek only that, then our minds become narrow and we tend to become overly-critical of others. It becomes a contest over who is 'right'. Be careful not to fall victim to your own righteousness in this way!

Ando Shihan's tip this month: Really open your eyes and see.

During aikido practice, usually the teacher will demonstrate a technique to the students who will watch the demonstration and then repeatedly practise the technique. When watching, however, often we are only conscious of what we want to see. We are seeing through the filter of our own fixated ideas. This is almost the same as not seeing at all. The same is true when listening to the teacher's explanations.

Ando Sensei writes that he has had this experience. He sat in the Honbu Dojo with Shioda Sensei demonstrating a technique in front of his eyes and yet did not see or hear, even though Shioda Sensei was explaining in great detail about that technique. Why does he realise this now? Through trial and error, Ando Sensei writes, he has come to understand things better and in the instant that he has a breakthrough he will recall, "Ah! Shioda Sensei did teach us that!" At the time, however, his technique and consciousness weren't at a high enough level for what Shioda Sensei was saying to sink in. When he thinks back now, he wonders what he was seeing and hearing!

Aiki Laws

The aiki law that can be applied in your daily life this month is that tension is your friend. (In direct translation: 'tension is a treasure'.)

July is summer test season at Ryu Dojo. Many people get nervous before a test - in the worst cases sometimes even a week before! Most people tend to think that getting nervous is a bad thing. This is not the case. Tension is a very valuable thing - a treasure in fact. A feeling of tension is a sign of focus. In any sport a good 'play' is always accompanied by tension. Even spectators can feel that tension. It's how you use the tension that is important.

Try to recreate and use that tension in your daily training.
Testing in a place and time different to your usual trainng time and location and in front of a large audience means you are improving.
Praise yourself for feeling and dealing with tension or nervousness.
Try to see tension in a positive light.
When you see someone who is nervous before a test, think of this as an admirable thing.

Tension and nervousness are natural and necessary - without them, the human race couldn't survive!

COPYRIGHT © Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu All Rights Reserved

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fireworks and the Fourth of July

Today we celebrate the birth of our Nation and remember the courage and sacrifice made 234 years ago by men and women who came together to create a Nation out of the wilderness and one People from many. I invite you to take a moment during your day at the beach, your picnic or softball game to remember the true meaning of the holiday. I invite you to spend ten minutes with your family and read aloud the Declaration of Independence and to fly the Stars and Stripes proudly, with honor and respect. For your pleasure the entire Declaration is included below!

I’ve also included tips on where to watch fireworks locally and how to photograph them.

God Bless America!

Where can we watch FIREWORKS?

Independence Day and the firework season is here and nothing gives kids a bigger thrill than a great aerial display. We often go to Wilson Park here in Torrance (9pm), Torrance Beach Barge (9pm), Redondo Beach Pier (9:30pm) the Home Depot Center in Carson (after the Galaxy game), Queen Mary in Long Beach or to Knott’s Berry Farm or Disneyland just to see the big fireworks show there every summer night at 9:30pm.

Photography Tips:

To photograph fireworks you need a camera with MANUAL shutter speed, f-stop and focus control along with a tripod and remote release. Choose 100 or 200 iso (digital, slide film or print film). Pre-select your location before the festivities begin. Look for a location free from obstruction by trees, power lines or other objects which will block your view. It is also best to avoid street-lamps or other lights in the photo. Preset your camera and lens on the tripod to capture approximately the area of the sky where you envision the bursts to occur. Generally a medium telephoto lens (100mm) works best. Try it and see if you like it!

Manually focus to infinity, manually set the shutter speed to "bulb" or "B" and use your remote release. Set the camera so you may hold the shutter open for as long as you like (we often shoot 10-30 second exposures). Set the aperture manually to f-8 or f-11. You may "bracket" between 8 and 11 if you choose. Watch the fireworks and determine the exact location in the sky. Fine-tune your positioning. Get ready.... SHOOT! Hold the shutter open for one complete burst.... 8 to 12 seconds (press the remote release and hold...let go when your exposure is finished). Now hold the shutter open for two complete bursts. Hold the shutter open for 3 or 4 bursts. Experiment, have fun and enjoy shooting on the FOURTH of JULY!

As for family and friends, use a normal or slight wide angle lens (35 or 50mm). Get close so family and friends fill the entire frame. Use fill-in flash when you are less than ten feet from the subject to brighten the face and eliminate shadows. Have fun. Make great pictures. Share the holiday with those dear to you and make prints of your favorite to remember the day and share your love with the greatest gift of all… pictures!

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Stephanie's turning 40

Come to the party!
Stephanie DeLange's 40th birthday party will be held on
Saturday June 19th
starting at 5PM

589 Walnut Ave
Long Beach, CA 90802
(213) 952-4284

There will be music & food but feel free to bring you favorite ______ : )

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thank You

Many people at the Sanbukan Dojo, myself included, have served this great nation with pride. So we could never forget to say THANK YOU!, to those who are still out there keeping us safe. We love you all.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mat Cleaning Day

Hi everyone :). Jeremy and I will be at the dojo at 8:30am on Saturday May 29, 2010 to do some mat cleaning. We're starting early this time to try to have the mats dry and not disrupt the normal class.

Jeremy and I will bring the tea tree oil, rags, buckets and scrub brushes. So anyone who would like t...o help out may just want to bring an extra pair of shorts or pants in case they get wet. Thanks!

- Cindy

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Everyone here at the Sanbukan Dojo wish to extend a loving hand to our Mothers.  Without them, were would we be?  To honor this special day, here is a little history.
The story of modern Mother's Day begins in the peace movement and as a day recognizing women's social action, as found on

In the United States, Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), a Boston writer, pacifist, suffragist, and author of the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, first suggested a Mothers' Day in 1872. She saw it as a day dedicated to peace.

Howe was greatly distressed to see Europe plunged into the Franco-Prussian War so soon after her generation had suffered through the American Civil War. For several years she worked toward the recognition of a "Mothers' Day for Peace" on June 2. She organized meetings in Boston, MA as a rally for women, whom she believed bore the loss of human life more harshly than anyone else. Men showed little interest in her ideas, but she appealed to war mothers, the women who supported husbands and sons at war, pleading, "Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?"

Although her version of Mothers' Day never really caught on, Howe went on to head the American branch of the Woman's International Peace Association, which observed a day dedicated to peace.

Anna Jarvis and Her Mother

The official observance of Mother's Day in its present form is credited to Anna Jarvis (1864-1948) of Philadelphia, PA. She wanted to honor the memory of her mother, Mrs. Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, who died in 1905. Before getting into the story, it's important to clear up two popular misconceptions. According to historical records provided by the curator at the Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum near Grafton, WV, Anna Jarvis' mother was not, as is popularly believed, also named Anna. Her mother was simply Ann. Second, Anna Jarvis' name has no middle initial.

Mrs. Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis (sometimes referred to as "Mother Jarvis" to distinguish her from her daughter Anna) organized several "Mothers Day Work Clubs" in the 1850s in the West Virginia area (the name of the clubs was later changed to "Mothers Friendship Clubs"). Mrs. Jarvis lost eight children under the age of seven (she gave birth to a total of twelve children), and wanted to combat the poor health and sanitation conditions that existed in many areas and contributed to the high mortality rate of children. The social action brigades provided medicine for the poor, nursing care for the sick, and arranged help and proper medical care for those ill with tuberculosis.

At the beginning of the Civil War, Mrs. Jarvis called together four of her Clubs and asked them to make a pledge that friendship and goodwill would not be a victim of the conflict between the states. In a display of compassion, courage, and friendship, the members of these Clubs nursed soldiers from both sides and saved many lives.

After the Civil War, Mrs. Jarvis worked as a peacemaker encouraging families to set aside differences created by the polarization of the war. In 1868, she organized a "Mothers Friendship Day" to bring together families that had been divided by the conflict. Mrs. Jarvis spoke about the purpose of the day:

To revive the dormant filial love and gratitude we owe to those who gave us birth. To be a home tie for the absent. To obliterate family estrangement. To create a bond of brotherhood through the wearing of a floral badge. To make us better children by getting us closer to the hearts of our good mothers. To brighten the lives of good mothers. To have them know we appreciate them, though we do not show it as often as we ought... Mothers Day is to remind us of our duty before it is too late. This day is intended that we may make new resolutions for a more active thought to our dear mothers. By words, gifts, acts of affection, and in every way possible, give her pleasure, and make her heart glad every day, and constantly keep in memory Mothers Day.

If friends and family were to be reconnected, Mrs. Jarvis believed it had to be done by appealing to that love and respect that everyone has for their mother. With great skill and courage, she created a very emotional event, with many people embracing and in tears at the end. Several other Mothers Friendship Days were held thereafter.

Mrs. Jarvis' service to her community was not lost on her daughter, Anna. When her mother passed away, Anna was at her graveside and recalled something her mother often said:

I hope that someone, sometime, will found a Memorial Mothers Day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it.

Then and there, Anna made a promise to her mother:

The time and place is here and the someone is your daughter, and by the grace of God, you shall have that Mothers Day.

Up until her own death, Anna continually referred to her mother as the real originator of Mother's Day, despite the fact that it was Anna herself who worked tirelessly over several years to make it a national reality.

It began in 1907 when Anna had a small gathering of friends in her home to commemorate her mother's life. She announced the idea of a national day to honor mothers. In 1908, Anna persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, WV to celebrate Mother's Day on the anniversary of her mother's death, the second Sunday of May. It was to be a day to honor all mothers, and also a day to remember the work of peacemaking, reconciliation, and social action against poverty started by her mother. That same year, Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.

The role of women was changing rapidly during this period. During the first two decades of the 1900s (often referred to as the Progressive Era), women were entering into community building and political activities. Like other women of the time, Anna did not denigrate the role of mother, wife, and homemaker, but expanded the role into the public arena. Women saw government as being "enlarged housekeeping" and used their skills to help improve it. The definition of motherhood at the time gave women a moral responsibility outside their immediate home. Women who participated in civil rights and welfare reform saw this work as essentially maternal in nature. Women worked to ease social ills; they became scholars and scientists; they fought for the rights of various groups of people; and they raised their voices to have the right to vote. Many of these reformers were mothers as well as activists, but their contributions as mothers were often overlooked. The creation of Mother's Day as a national holiday was to restore the status of mother as a cornerstone of the family and of the nation.

Anna and her supporters tirelessly wrote to ministers, business people, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day to honor all mothers. By 1911, Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made it official: Mother's Day would be a national holiday held each year on the second Sunday in May. He stated that mothers were "the greatest source of the country's strength and inspiration." He ordered the United States flag displayed on all public buildings to honor mothers. Unfortunately, many officials of the time turned the intent of the holiday away from women's activism and instead emphasized women's role in the home and family. The apostrophe was moved so that "Mothers' Day" as a day for organized social and political action by all mothers became "Mother's Day" a day for celebrating the private service of one's own particular mother.

Anna went on to incorporate herself as the Mother's Day International Association and turned her attention to persuading other nations to celebrate Mother's Day. Eventually, Mother's Day would be observed in over fifty countries.

It was Anna Jarvis who also began the custom of wearing a carnation on Mother's Day – colored if your mother is living, and white if she's not. It was intended to be a simple, inexpensive symbol of love and respect for the person who loved you before you even knew how to spell the word.

Unfortunately, the story of Anna Jarvis has a bittersweet ending. At first, people observed Mother's Day by attending church, writing letters to their mothers, and spending time together. As the years passed though, more people began buying cards, presents, and flowers. Anna felt that Mother's Day became much too commercialized. She was outraged when the price of carnations rose significantly and attacked florists as "profiteers." She filed a lawsuit to stop a 1923 Mother's Day festival and was even arrested for disturbing the peace at a war mothers' convention where women were selling carnations to raise money. Said Anna: "This is not what I intended. I wanted a day of sentiment, not profit."

Years later, in a care home, Anna told a reporter that she was sorry she had ever started Mother's Day. And yet, even though she had never had children herself, she was the mother of Mother's Day, and each Mother's Day her room would be filled with thousands of letters and cards from all over the world. One of them she prized highly, and hung on her wall. It read: "I am six years old and I love my mother very much. I am sending you this because you started Mother's Day." Carefully sewn to this letter from a little boy was a $1 bill.

Anna Jarvis died in 1948, at the age of 84.

Mother's Day is the legacy of Anna Jarvis and her mother Ann Jarvis. At the heart of the traditions around Mother's Day are themes of honoring mothers, compassion, peace, reconciliation, and social action.

Mother's Day Throughout the World

Today, Mother's Day is celebrated (officially and unofficially) in dozens of countries, although on different dates. In the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Belgium, and Japan it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.

In Great Britain, Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent. But Mother's Day is now observed in England as it is in North America, and the traditions associated with Mothering Sunday have been largely forgotten.

In Mexico, Mother's Day is always celebrated on May 10. When the holiday falls on a weekday, mothers take the day off from work and children stay home from school. Other countries that celebrate Mother's Day on May 10 include Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

In Spain and Portugal, Mother's Day is celebrated on December 8, which is also the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mothers are honored along with the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Other dates for Mother's Day celebrations: Norway – second Sunday in February; France – last Sunday in May; Sweden – last Sunday in May; South Africa – first Sunday in May.

Monday, April 26, 2010

An old friend

One of our students from a while back emailed the other day, and I thought I'd share it with you all...

Dear Mits and other Sanbukan friends,

I wanted to share with you the good news that I passed my shodan test Saturday at the annual USAF Yudansha seminar at the Midwest Aikido Center in Chicago. Yamada (head of the USAF) and Zimmerman (from Toronto) judged the tests. My 13-year old son, who watched all the tests, said, "I liked the brawls best!" He also helpfully pointed out that I will need to buy one of those "man skirts" now... I will try to figure out how to properly compress my randori (brawl) video soon so it is possible to email.

I'm terribly sorry to read that Carol just passed away. I remember clearly the day she and her daughter started aikido at the old Ogden dojo. I recall her thin, thin wrists and her powerful nikajo and sankajo cranks--wow!

Charles E. Cunningham
Professor of Physics, Grinnell College

Here is a 40-second clip of the randori from my test--the brawl my son liked, in quicktime format (Now on the Sanbukan YouTube Channel). Thanks to Yoshinkan training with Mits, my test techniques tend to have more atemi than most. I hope Mits and the guys like it.

Charles E. Cunningham
Professor of Physics, Grinnell College

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

a death in the family

We just learned a few days ago that one of our Black Belts, Carol Dressler passed away back in November of 2009 of Cancer. Sensei Carol, as I always called her, started with the Dojo back in approximately 1984.

Sensei Mits and Pete both said, "When she first showed up at the Dojo with her daughter, it didn't look like she would come back, and when she did, we didn't think she would last a week." She surprised everyone with her determination, drive and caring. Carol progressed through her Aikido training with nothing but smiles and nice words for everyone. Sensei Pete said, "I never heard her say a bad thing about anyone."

Carol's training in Aikido gave her frail body a type of strength rarely seen. "She was small, but exceptionally strong.", said Sensei Mits. "Most people don't know this, but Carol hurt her knee just 2 weeks before her Black Belt test", said Sensei Pete.

Carol was the 16th person to achive Black Belt under Sensei Mits, and only the 3rd woman. She will be greatly missed by us all.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Sensei

The party was a complete success. As usual the company was excellent and the food was outstanding. Sensei seemed genuinely touched by the gathering of his friends both from the Dojo and many from his classes at El Camino as well.

Thank You all for coming. And Thank You Sensei for giving all of us another fantastic year!!!

The group photo above, is courtesy of Jeffrey Nakamura. The following (as you may guess) come from DC

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

From all of us at the Sanbukan Dojo.

Don't forget Sensei's Birthday party on Saturday.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Birthday time

On Saturday April 10th we will be celebrating Sensei Mits' 6.8th birthday. The party will happen right after the class and will be Pot Luck.

Donations toward his gift will be greatly appriciated.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Happy Valentine's Day. I hope that everyone that reads this is spending time enjoying the company of those you love.

This last Saturday Sensei taught us Happo-giri, The eight directions cut.

In the practice of Aikidō, happo-giri (or happo-no-giri) is an exercise performed with the bokken, cutting in eight directions. Each cut is a simple strike from the top of the head straight down the centre line, with the bokken ending parallel to the floor at roughly the same height as the lower abdomen. The order of the strikes is north, south, east, west, southeast, northwest, southwest, northeast, finally returning - without performing a ninth cut - to the original position (north).

The main purpose of happo-giri is to teach how to control one's surroundings while maintaining proper stance or kamae, by moving around one's centre.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weather or not here we come

Local news reported heavy rain, thunder storms and even a tornado warning. But as if they were following the mail man's creed our students still make it to the Dojo. Could Aikido be more powerful than nature? Or maybe it's that Aikido teaches us how to walk within nature and come away unharmed.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

An Eventful Visit

The Potluck/New Years party was a huge success. Both the mats and our bellies were full. Sensei Crank surprised us all with his musical talents, as well as his excellent health and mobility at 74 years young. The stories of his life won't easily be forgotten by many of our students. We look forward to seeing him around the dojo in the days and years to come.

Happy New Year!

Sensei Mits Yamashita and his first aikido instructor Sensei Virgil Crank

Sensei Crank filled the room with part of his beautiful and varied repertoire

listening to Sensei Crank play

Sensei Mits couldn't help but dance

Gary seemed to be watching guitar technique

Sensei Crank teaches guitar professionally and is fantastic

If you'd like to take music lesson's from Sensei Crank please contact him at (714) 404-0224