message from Sensei

Yamada Sensei – to the members with gratitude


 
Yoshimitsu Yamada
US Aikido Federation

I am writing this at a small park in front of my apartment. It’s 7 am. Beside me, some ten doves are pecking at bread crumbs. Every now and then, a brave sparrow couple dares to intrude. What a heart-warming sight! Were I given a cup of Italian espresso and a Cuban cigar, it would be beyond my bliss! But, under the current circumstances … When the birds retreat to their nap, the park may find a lonesome man dancing in a frenzy to his smart-phone music while, away on a bench young lovers, sitting 6 feet apart, may still affirm their love.

To our generation who never knew the Spanish flu of 100 years ago, the “Corona attack” was a horror no one had experienced to date. Saying this in the past tense sounds as if the issue has come to an end, but unfortunately, we must still fear and be ready for a second and third wave. Bearing this firmly in mind, let me tell you how we have faced and coped with this catastrophe.

Please allow me to begin with a personal experience. In February every year, I go to Japan to take care of both personal and official business. It was the same this February. At that time, I had heard about the corona virus, but I was not aware that we were in any immediate danger. However, when I checked in at my usual hotel, I noticed something was amiss. February is China’s New Year, but the Chinese tourist groups that normally fill the hotels were strangely absent. Then, having learned the news of infections on a cruise ship, I immediately decided to return to the US. Alas, the corona virus traveled faster than me, and upon return I found New York under an emergency order. In March, we were told to stay home and close our Dojo. Frankly, at this point, I felt that this would be like a vacation, but for more than two months now I have been inundated with phone calls and letters that required my attention (never mind vacation). Then my thoughts were full of “negatives” – declining Aikido membership, financial problems with the dojo, disappointing cancelation of domestic and international summer camps as well as more than a dozen training sessions, etc. that I look forward to and enjoy. Most painfully, I learned about the passing of our members and their loved ones due to Covid-19.

When I felt the most despair, it was the very people whose future I worried about that helped lift my spirit. Nearly every day I received phone calls of encouragement from members around the US and the world. Hearing their words, I was happy they felt a part of the Dojo, that Dojo is theirs; further, I was touched by the passion they have for Aikido and the affection they feel for Dojo and Sensei, i.e., me. As time went on, they came together which led to their developing an on-line class program. This act by Aikido members reaffirmed for me how important Aikido, Dojo and students are to me. All this made me very proud of them. They are my treasures. The corona episode, which initially made me feel so negative, has in the end made me appreciate the positives. Thank you all! Let us persevere together! You and I have Aikido!!

Yamada Sensei’s message for Sansuikai


Dear Sansuikai Members,

All of us in the aikido community have been affected by COVID-19. It seems like almost all dojos have closed either voluntarily or by government orders. It is hard for me to have the NY Aikikai closed but we must do our part to help and make sure our students stay safe. Many of you have been kind to call or write to see how I am. I want to assure you all that I am in good health – but very bored – and I am looking forward to the time we will all be able to train again. Hopefully we will be able to do so at next seminar (Madrid and Lyon seminars are cancelled).

Please take care of yourself and your family.
With big hug and kiss.

Y. Yamada

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

IMG_9591small

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

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

Yamada_Sensei
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

Yamada sensei’s message for a New Year

Yamada_Sensei
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

Important message from Sensei

To read message from Sensei click here. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 

.

Sensei-tional Message From Sensei

I hope everyone had a wonderful summer and you are all ready for the next season. I’d like to let you know that I will be inactive for the months of September and October. I have decided to have a long rest to refresh my body, to prepare for many more years to come. I’m not ill, so please do not worry. I’m still healthy and strong like a superman. Y. Yamada