By , November 8, 2011 1:14 pm

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with that come thoughts of gratitude. I’m so grateful for what Aikido has done for me personally but even more grateful for all the wonderful friendships and memories that have been created over the years. Thank you, students, for having the courage to get on the mat, for the many hours, months, years of hard work and dedication, for growing with us and helping each other along the way. We built our dojo on the principles that O’Sensei emphasized; extend positive ki in all that you do, build a sense of community by helping and supporting each other, learn from everything in your life and be willing to share it with others. I’m proud of Aikido of Phoenix and hope you are all proud to be a part of it as well.

We have several opportunities to further the feeling of camaraderie within Aikido of Phoenix coming up. During November and then in January we have several high ranking tests happening and you are all welcome to attend any and all of them. In fact, I highly encourage you to make an effort to watch others test whenever possible. Watching fellow students test not only shows your support but you can also learn a great deal. If you’ve tested before you can appreciate the effort and hard work that goes into preparing for it. You can also get in some extra “practice” by watching the techniques being executed. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s really happening and what’s happening in your mind so take advantage of the opportunity to learn by watching others. Watching other students test is not reserved just for high ranking tests. You can learn from watching any test.

The students who will be testing soon for brown belt or above are:

  • Amanda Redington-Nikyu (1st brown) at the S. Chandler dojo on Sat., Nov. 12. Class begins at 10am.
  • Daniel Horn-Nidan (2nd degree black) at the Chandler dojo on Wed., Nov. 30. Class begins at 7pm.
  • Clement Singarajah-Nikyu (1st brown) at the Chandler dojo in Jan. after he’s healed from an injury.

I am inviting every Aikido of Phoenix student (this includes kids as well) to attend these tests. These students have worked hard to get where they are. It’s a great show of support and helps to develop our sense of community when we come together to watch each other make progress.

Another opportunity for us to gather together as a dojo will be on Sat., Nov. 19 for the Shodo Workshop. Come join us as we learn the art of Japanese calligraphy with Yuko Halada Sensei. She teaches Shodo as a “martial arts with a brush”. Come experience how she incorporates ki into the calligraphy. This will really help expand your martial arts horizons and understanding.

Finally, we end the year with our Christmas party and awards ceremony which is meant to bring all three of our dojos together to honor each other as well as to socialize and have some fun. This year it will be on Wed., Dec. 21 from 6-8pm at the Chandler dojo. You’ll find complete details later on in the newsletter. Sign up sheets will be at each dojo and I hope to see you all there. It’s always a fun and relaxing time to visit with each other and our families.

I hope you take advantage of all the opportunities available to gather with students from each of our dojos. I know our schedules don’t always allow for you to visit one of the other dojos, but hopefully you’ll be able to attend some of the events that have been planned. When you go outside your usual realm of comfort you can really grow and you might just make some friends along the way.

From my family to yours, thank you for being a part of Aikido of Phoenix. Without you all we wouldn’t exist. Thank you for your support over the years and I look forward to many years ahead. May you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Teresa Mastison Sensei

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