Points Learned Through The Years

Over the last few years in my capacity as OAF president I have had many opportunities to speak with Kawahara Shihan and other senior Aikidoists.  Here is a summary of some of the points they wish to communicate.
1.  Anyone who is testing should, where possible, attend both days of a weekend seminar or all of a summer camp.
2.  If you are being considered for promotion by recommendation, you should attend both days of seminars and be introduced to the Technical Director so that he can observe your practice.
3.  Instructors should observe all the black belt testing opportunities they can, even if their own students are not testing at that particular session.
4.  Ueshiba Morihei O-Sensei stated that the purpose of Aikido is love.  Therefore, it is important that we maintain friendly relations among ourselves.
5.  It is important not to injure each other during practice.
6.  Yudansha should help mudansha by taking good ukemi without resistance, and by not forcing techniques on those who are not yet ready for the required ukemi.
7.  When speaking about a senior instructor, you should not just use that person’s surname, but always attach “Sensei”, e.g., “Yamada Sensei” or “Kawahara Sensei”.
8.  In writing up seminar announcements, be sure to refer to those instructors with the official Hombu Dojo designation as “Shihan”.
9.  When in doubt about how to proceed on any issue, ask your instructor, the federation executive or some other appropriate individual for direction,