I went to aikido camp last week! Kato Sensei was in town, holding his annual aikido seminar. It was a great experience, as usual. I’ve been to a number of seminars by Kato Sensei now, and I’m always amazed by how economical and fluid his movements are.


Not showy at all, but extremely effective. During the seminar, we did a variety of techniques. There was an emphasis on kokyu, because “much of aikido is based on it.” Described thusly, ” move your arms up in a circular motion, like bringing a glass of beer to your lips.” What’s not to like about a teacher who uses analogies like that?

this is how you do it

Each time he would demonstrate a technique, or correct someone’s technique, everyone would halt their training to watch him. Sometimes, he would show off a bit and unleash some powerful throw or pin and then nonchantly look at us and say, “Now you try!” Sure, piece of cake!


There was a pretty good turnout, and there were people who drove in from Louisiana, and even Mexico. One of the more interesting observations I had about this year’s seminar was the dearth of female aikidoka. Apart from me, I think there were maybe three other women there. One aikido instructor from East Texas was so excited to find a female yudansha that he hustled his female student over to meet me. Heh. I don’t think I’m role model material.


So yeah, at the end of the seminar I was sore (as I am sure many others were), tired and my knees hurt from sitting in seiza.  All very much worth it.