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.