Holiday Greetings From Yamada Sensei

I can truly say it’s good to be home! I have traveled all over the world and coming home to NY to finish the year at my dojo always makes me happy.

It’s hard to believe that another year has passed, but when I look on the back of my office door at my calendar for 2012, I think that the new year will be just as busy. Even though I am tired from traveling so much, every where I go the aikido is growing and the people are excited to learn. Many people who live in countries where they have to struggle every day are so happy on the mat. It makes my job so much easier because of that. And as always, being at our own Summer Camp is one of my favorite weeks of the year – it makes me very proud to see so many members coming to camp, and now they are bringing their families. As you know, I love children and as we are all getting older, this seems to make it feel more complete.

The Board and Technical Committee meetings every year are usually very long, but I sit through them because I know how important it is to listen to what our members are discussing and see how hard they are all working to keep the USAF the best aikido organization possible. They have worked very hard this year to make sure that the future is in order for the USAF to continue in a strong and positive way. The TC will be in touch with instructors this year to discuss suggestions for how to improve our teaching curriculum and they will continue to work with the Board towards providing the best benefits for our members possible. Next fall will be the IAF meeting in Japan, where I will go with representatives from the Board of Directors and Technical Committee. Since this happens only every 4 years, we will spend a lot of time preparing for the meeting so we can have a good voice representing the future of the USAF.

As usual, I would like to thank everyone who came to the christmas seminar at New York Aikikai this year. We had close to 250 people here, and 46 tests. I like to be at my dojo when members and visitors from all over the world are all around me. It feels like the dojo is alive and home to everyone.

As I sit in my office and listen to the song “There’s no place like home for the holidays,” I think they are right.

Y. Yamada

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