Articles Written By: Piotr Burnos

Alain Salée has passed away


We are very sorry to hear about the loss of one of our Sansuikai teachers, Alain Salée, 7th dan Aikikai, chief instructor of Aikikai Verviers, Santan Ryu. He died age 79.

We met Alain many years ago at the yearly summer camp in La Colle-sur-Loup in France, to which he went many times to study aikido with Tamura sensei and Yamada sensei.

Alain was one of the aikido pioneers in Belgium and one of the longest active aikido practitioners in Belgium. He started practicing Judo back in 1952. We’re not entirely sure about when he started aikido but probably that was around 1960. He studied with Noro sensei, Tamura sensei, Yamada Sensei, Sugano sensei and Asai Sensei, among others and taught aikido in Verviers in Belgium.

As a profession he was a policeman. Once retired, he build a new dojo in Verviers and continued to teach aikido there until his death in 2018. He was a respected example of an aikido practitioner dedicating his life to studying and teaching Aikido.

You can read an interview with him in the Aikido Journal (French version) from 2005.

Rest in peace, Alain.

2018 Kagamibiraki promotions

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On the 14th of January, Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba made the announcement of the grading recommendations and held the award ceremony for the promotions.

From Sansuikai Europe:
Salee Alain 7 Dan
Aziz Belhassane 7 Dan
Yavor Mihaylov 6 Dan
Alessandro Chiancone 6 Dan
Jules McGough 5 Dan
David Ross 5 Dan

New Shihans:
Jochen Maier Shihan (6 Dan)
Roberto Bollero Shihan (6 Dan)
Jisch (J.J.) Scheuren Shihan (6 Dan)
Peter Van Marcke Shihan (6 Dan)
Dariusz Zieba Shihan (6 Dan)

Congratulations!

Message for 2018 from Yamada sensei

Dear Sansuikai members in Europe,

Happy New Year and I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas.
I understand that you are having a very cold winter so please keep yourself warm.

Now another new year and I hope it is going to be a wonderful and productive year for you. As for myself, I will be 80 years old but I will try my best to work for you in many ways. However, it is too much for me to visit each of your countries so please try your best to come to see me wherever I go this year.

Y. Yamada

Yamada Sensei’s message for Sansuikai members

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Dear Sansuikai members,

I wish all of you a happy, happy new year.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support and the wonderful moments you have given me throughout the year.

I imagine that every one of you will make a new year’s resolution.
My resolution is to have another healthy, positive year in order to meet your expectations.
I hope you also have a good year and go back to your “Shoshin”, that translates roughly to “Back to the original motivation or pure motivation”.

I imagine that you were so happy only to practice Aikido when you started an Aikido life. Please always carry that pure mind with you.

Looking forward to seeing you again in 2017 whenever and wherever it may be. I love you all.

Y. Yamada

Message from Yamada Sensei!

Dear Aikido Community,
 
It has been four weeks since my operation and I am finally back in my office at the New York Aikikai. Once again I surprised my doctors with how fast I have recovered. They have given me a clean bill of health and have told me I can even travel by plane now.
 
Thanks to everyone for your support and good wishes. All of that has given me a lot of positive energy toward my recovery.
 
However, since even Superman gets old and doesn’t recover from kryptonite so fast, I will still need about another month before I can be back teaching.
 
I am anxious to get back and see all of you on the mat again.
 
Y. Yamada

Good news

Dear Aikido Community,

We are pleased to inform you that Yamada Sensei’s operation this morning was a complete success. He came through strong, as expected, and we should see him on the mat soon.

While we are very grateful for your support and well-wishes, please understand that we are unable to reply to all of the individual emails and phone calls. We will provide updates when available and keep you as informed as possible.

From Yamada Sensei

Dear members,
As you already know, this past year has been a very difficult year, starting last September with personal health problems and following over the months with many losses and challenging events. Last September, I wrote a story about a homeless guy who was found living in the dojo basement, and it turned out that we called him Cancer. I explained how I was lucky to have a friend named Robot, who did an excellent job removing the cancer and how he helped me get strong and back on the mat in a very short amount of time. Well, the superintendent has found someone else living in the basement, and though we don’t know if his name is also cancer, I will be having my friend Robot cleaning it out and removing all signs of him on September 29th. I have been told this will be a much easier guy to chase out than the last one. From now on, I will keep my basement uncomfortable with no air conditioning in the summer time and no heater in winter. I will get a stronger key and put up a sign that says “Smoke detector!”. I’m sorry to have to give you this report and to make you worried again, but I will be back on the mat much faster than the last time. Thank you in advance for your concern, I am doing very well and will keep you updated as we go. Y. Yamada

Yamada Sensei’s message about Sansuikai and USAF

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Dear members,

I was very happy to see many of you in Barcelona in March. As you know, I’m limiting my trips to Europe this year and I appreciate your understanding for my health condition.
It has been my biggest concern about the future of Sansuikai and how much longer I can take care of all the businesses.

I’m happy to inform you one of my decisions. Sansuikai International both Europe and South America will become a member of USAF automatically. There will be no paperwork, no fees or no money involved. Everything remains as it is now, such as Dan registrations, etc. As for Kyu certificates, I encourage that all the Kyu certificates to be issued only by each dojo.

I understand that you may have many questions about joining USAF, item by item. Please contact me directly.

Y. Yamada

New Dan application forms

Aikikai Hombu Dojo started using new electronic application forms. Please check ‘Dan test’ page for details.

Yamada sensei’s message for a New Year

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It’s hard to believe another year has gone by. As you know, 2014 was a special year for me in many ways. Most importantly, it was the celebration of my 50th anniversary at New York Aikikai. I had so many wonderful occasions to be all over the world, and I appreciate how hard you worked at hosting and attending seminars that focused on my anniversary. I made so many speeches, was awarded honorary plaques and statues, received so many gifts, and even had a chance to sing some of my favorite songs for you at summer camp while Steve played his guitar. It was a great yearlong party for sure. My health then became my focus towards the end of the year, but once again you showed me so much support and understanding. The perfect way to end the year was the NYA Christmas seminar, where I was able to teach and relax at my home dojo and be surrounded by my students and all the visitors who traveled to be a part of the event.
Even though I continue to grow stronger every day, I will use 2015 to take the time to further my recovery and return to my old self. Sometimes that might mean traveling less or not teaching as many classes, and as you know, I can grow restless when I am told to take it easy. But I am determined to be as fit as ever, and even if my schedule is lighter this coming year, in my heart I will always be on the mat.
Happy New Year,
Sincerely
Y. Yamada