Yamada Sensei in Russia – And Around the World

We all are keenly aware of the heated political climate – nationally and globally – in the news these days.  There might be less conflict in the world if everyone aspired to remove cultural barriers instead of building them.

I count myself fortunate to have joined Yamada Sensei on his trip to St. Petersburg, Russia last year.  It was the highlight of my travels in 2016.  As I reflect on the trip I am reminded most of the last day of the seminar.  Our host Valery Skryliov had arranged for Sensei to fire one of the cannons mounted on the walls of the Peter and Paul Fortress.  This has been an honor generally reserved for Russian dignitaries so I can only imagine that its approval was not easily obtained.

As a student of history, too, I could not help but note how much has changed since the Russo-Japanese war when Sensei fired that cannon.  Born in Japan, immigrated to the U.S., and traveled all over the world as the preeminent emissary of his generation dedicated to the Art of Peace, Sensei has truly crossed countless cultural barriers with his unfailing devotion to Aikido and his students far and wide.  

The nation and the world could learn a lot from Sensei’s example.
Blue Spruell

Peachtree Aikikai Atlanta

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