2018… another year flies by.At times like these we cannot but look back and ponder. What were our plans? Which ones came true? What did we expect? Now, what have we got?
From the Aikido perspective, past year was not so much of a bumpy road.
Our dojos in Turkey continued their training, on track with their standard practice, without compromising quality, never losing their grasp on the warrior spirit. In Datça (Muğla) we had 2 workshops. We had great time together.
We visited Macedonia and Kosovo and we were many. We practiced with our brothers and sisters in both countries, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder.
It was September 2017 when we visited our dojo in Vienna. We are happy to see it flourish. Now registered officially, our dojo in Vienna gives us a larger footprint in Europe.
We revisited and replenished our bonds with the Lebanese AikiBudo Organization in Lebanon. In the meeting we had in Beirut, we laid the groundwork for solid cooperation in almost all aspects.
…and we will organize further events in Lebanon, as well as in neighboring countries.
2019 is going to be a vigorous year, one can tell.
In January 2018 we went to the UK -very first step towards the ‘UAO London’ dojo. We are going back to London this month (December 2018) for more tangible results.
Then our friends in Germany, Sweden… they have also initiated the process that will hopefully lead to the establishment of UAO dojos in these two countries. But let’s wait and see how it turns out. Then I can have have more to share about Germany and Sweden.
United Aikido Organisation that I lead (U.A.O.) is an international, cooperative and growing body. Each and every dojo under U.A.O. preactices Aikido with the same spirit and mindset. We keep practising to improve ourselves, in good faith, without tiring.
Such an organization would not have stood a chance if it was up to me only. That is for sure. I am not alone in this initiative but working together with my friends, dojo chos, who are also shouldering alot of both the technical and administrative burden. Our effort to improve ourselves is incessant. …and we practice never losing sight of the Aikido tradition, the traditional values but also keeping track of technological advancements. All in all, technology today, has become a cannot-do-without.
However, an Aikido school or such an organizational construct requires more than just technological capacity to sustain itself and survive. Also, it has to survive and achieve economically.
Training and money, in this regard, is not an awkward couple, not at all. Although ‘giving’ for training is a natural process there are still people who are a bit critical of such transaction, and it is really hard to grasp. Our dojos need to survive and they need finances to stay afloat. Our organization needs it, too -to survive. There has always been barter in the history of martial arts, a worth of training these arts. This worth -price if you will- can be paid in a variety of currencies; money, sometimes, sweat of our brows or something else. But it has always been that way. Always with a worth. In modern times, money replaces all as the most practical, suitable currency.
Our organization will flourish thanks to the joint effort and contributions of our dojos and aikidoka.
We, all U.A.O. trainers and aikidoka, we are doing something praiseworthy. We are doing good, and what we do is well-respected by Aikido afficionados, by masses, who are interested in the Art of Peace. There is no doubt that there will always be those -as there were in the past- who will try to stop us, backtalk, and those who just live off without creating or breaking a sweat. But we learn from all that criticism, even slander and attacks -and position ourselves accordingly. …and we respect and embrace anything and all fortune brings to us -the good and the bad- as an offering of our karma.
2019… another path to be on in a world of love and peace and with a lot of beautiful, great people!