Registration for Winter Camp at the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, FL is now open. Camp runs from Jan 2 to Jan 6, 2020. Last year Nashville Aikikai had a great turnout, with Mary Sensei, Mark, Marta, and Camilla attending. If we get 4 people to attend from our dojo, the fifth registration is free. It will be a great camp this year, featuring senior ASU instructors, as well as guest instructors Jan Nevelius Sensei from Sweden and Chicago’s very own Marsha Turner Sensei. Saotome Sensei has established this year’s theme as Shobu Aiki. To quote from the winter intensive website (https://winterintensive.com/kikubari/):
Shōbu, when written 勝負, is the ordinary Japanese word for competition. It means, literally, victory and defeat.
聖武合気 shōbu aiki, however, as written here by Saotome Sensei, has nothing to do with winning or losing. Rather, it signifies the martially pure and saintly (聖武 shōbu) application of aiki (合気) within the world of human affairs.
聖武 shōbu is the ideal of the martial arts, their highest expression of intentionality and valor. It is the selfless practice of the martial way that can only be brought forth when the heart is free of all desire to conquer. 聖武合気 shōbu aiki, then, is the pure and unaffected rendering of aiki in service of mankind.”
Shobu Aiki is a sentiment that rings so appropriate in today’s world and given the events of the past 24 hours. As aikidoka, we repudiate violence and embrace the peaceful reconciliation of the world that was the ideal of O’Sensei. Words ring hollow in the face of such senseless loss, but I know that we all grieve with the victims of the most recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, as well as all those that have preceeded them.