GrabMyWrist Goes on the Road

For 5 days, starting bright and early this Thursday morning (May 17th, 2012), I will be off on an Aikido road trip. I’ll be driving to northern California and back for the “O Sensei Revisited” workshop, at a lovely little camp/retreat center. You’re invited to come along. You don’t even need to pack, just get in the car!

Here’s the description from the flyer:

“The inner work of O Sensei should not be lost. Nadeau Sensei believes that it is critical to preserve this face of Aikido and to experience the O Sensei process of development. Through direct practice as well as techniques, weapons work, and discussions, we will highlight this aspect of O Sensei.”

Here’s my proposed route:

View Aikido Road Trip, May 2012 in a larger map

I’m planning on posting all along the way, time and internet access permitting. If all goes as I hope, there will be a class with Saotome Sensei on the way up, visits with a few friends, and an annular solar eclipse on the way back. The scenery should be amazing. I’m expecting the workshop itself to be an intense one, with five brilliant instructors over three long days. A dozen people are going from our dojo! There is something that feels important about this.

As for what you’ll find here, there may be stories, photos, poems, rants, links to maps and places of interest, videos, a few surprises, and probably a lot of stream-of-consciousness writing about my experiences, both on and off the mat. I don’t promise it will be good, or even interesting, but it will be honest.

Things may get a little bumpy. There will be more expression, from the heart and the gut, and less polishing and explanation. Expect typos and grammar wrecks. We might encounter detours, or get lost. (Although I hope this time I won’t lock my keys in my car, for 3 hours, at a hot gas station in the middle of tall rows of corn, with baaa-ing goats nibbling at the drying weeds around the propane tank.)

It will be an adventure.

No 2012 Aiki Retreat. Now what?

Well, bummer. It’s official. The CAA “Menlo Retreat” is on sabbatical for 2012. The hope is it will return, in some new form, in 2013.

I’m disappointed to not be going next summer. I was really looking forward to seeing everyone, and doing nothing but training for a whole week. My dorm things are still/already packed from last summer.

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience it at least that one time, to have met so many really wonderful people and participated in a warm, inclusive Aikido tradition.

I’m looking forward to 2013, and to helping create the event, in whatever way I can help. For now, we can all stay in touch and post photos and stories about past Retreats, share ideas and info about the future, and keep the soul of the event alive. If you are on Facebook, there’s the Aiki Summer Retreat Fans page you can “Like” to stay in touch. And check the fan website: from time to time.

Please share the links with your friends throughout the year, so they can be in the loop about the new 2013+ Retreat. Invite them to go, when details emerge about it. If 2013 is going to be the beginning of a new and successful event, we’re going to have to support it. 

Meanwhile, take the week of vacation time and the money you were planning on spending to go to the Retreat, and find another Aikido event to enjoy and support. Start with those at your own dojo, of course, and pick any other event(s) you think might be worthwhile. Go, and bring some friends along with you. It’s our participation (and volunteering to help out, where possible) that keeps them happening.

I know so far that I’m going to the San Diego Aikido Bridge Friendship Seminar (my 3rd year) in San Diego in January. At the end of March I’ll be doing the Evolutionary Aikido Seminar at Aikido of San Diego, with Patrick Cassidy Sensei and Dave Goldberg Sensei. For a summer “away” seminar or retreat I have about 8-10 options so far, but haven’t made up my mind. In any case, I hope to see you on the mat soon, and at the Retreat in 2013!