Kokikai Summer Camp is coming up next weekend. I have the honor and privilege of, for the first time, recommending a student for black belt. I inherited Larry when I joined Aikido Kokikai of Frederick, MD 3 years ago, but the way Larry has relaxed, and improved, amazes even me. I suspect, if Larry would see video from 3 years ago, or even a year ago, he wouldn't recognize himself. Larry has shown great dedication, resolve, correct attitude, and openness to learn over the years. Several years ago, I wrote in this blog that aikido is about peeling away our layers until out essential selves are expressed; I have observed such peeling away of layers in Larry. Kudos!!
Having a student up for black belt, a milestone in Larry's aikido career, made me reflect on my practice and how I lead practice in Frederick. I look for ways to try and explain concepts that make the art more approachable and accessible. More ideas arose from a joint class with Maryland clubs a couple weeks ago. Recently I came upon a meme, "Don't cut corners", that seems to apply to the art at different levels. This will be the theme for a series of posts coming up on this blog.