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Posted by JGarcia on 2011/12/7 15:35:06 (11560 reads)

Welcome to our website. The Shudokan School of Aikido has it's history and beginnings in my own Aikido career which began in Corpus Christi, Texas. I started Aikido in August of 1995 at the Corpus Christi Aikikai. It was there in a small but closely knit dojo that I learned the art of Aikido from a very dedicated group of Aikidoists that I still remember with great fondness. The names of Jerry and Gail Thompson, Matt Crocker, Mike Rains, Gilbert Fuentes, Laura Stuckey, and Hector Chavez will forever be implanted in my mind. They were my sempais, my friends, and my role models. I learned the art from them. My teachers were Eddie Martinez and Larry Salazar. Eddie was a forever positive and encouraging teacher. Instinctive, fast and fun are words I think of when I think of Eddie Sensei. Larry Sensei was dramatic, explosive and powerful. These two men had the respect of the students and had a real and significant impact for Aikido in that city. Of course, there were hundreds of other students, maybe thousands that were a part of the dojo over a ten year period. Rick Ricard, Charlie Marks, Joel Molina and so many others that I cannot tell. They were there and the atmosphere was magical.

My family moved to Houston in June of 1998 and we initially joined a dojo called Tumbleweed here in Houston. I still remember that on my first visit, I saw a handsome young man wearing a brown belt and a hakama moving from person to person throwing them and being thrown. His name was Rick Laue. Again, he was a wonderful and confident human being that was a role model to me. His co teacher was Tom Oreck of the Oreck company who was also a good and dedicated Aikidoist. The dojo soon closed and I joined the Nations Aikikai in November of 1998. I was there briefly when I noticed an announcement for a seminar that was being held in town with a shihan from Japan named Hiroshi Kato. When I witnessed his Aikido, I realized I was looking at a different kind of Aikido. I knew then that I had found my new path.

Being under the guidance of Hiroshi Kato Sensei changed my life. On the path that he showed me, I learned endurance, perseverance, and how to suffer in my Aikido training. I was taught a different way of looking at Aikido and how to make Aikido really work. I learned how to be patient and how to be who I was quietly and so many other things that there is not room to tell.

In December of 2003, with Kato Sensei's approval, I left being a student and I ventured out on my own. I did so because I needed to grow and I had my own ideas about how to do and be the lessons of Aikido. I started the Shudokan School of Aikido in January of 2004 at the YMCA and we begin strongly with 52 new students. Kato Sensei immediately adopted our dojo into his family of affiliate dojos and we got started on building a new dojo. There was a fire in the air and an excitement and things started up with a flare. We saw so many students go through there and we had huge classes and loads of fun and learning experiences. I started a second group at Highway 6 a year later and we soon had almost 70 students. We started holding large seminars and we got some what of a presence in West Houston as things progressed.

In 2008, we made the decision to combine the two groups. After doing so, we then made a move to Katy, Texas to a location on Fry Road but we were not there long before I began to feel that this location was not going to work for us. It was then that I came across a location on a heavily traveled street called Kieth Harrow. It was a crazy idea. I had no money, no resources, no way to do this but I decided to try. A few students quickly promised support. They were Russell Thomas and his wife Jennifer. Jorge Verar, an aiki kid parent and real estate agent also promised to advise us and soon, others also joined the advisory team. I told the rest of the members about it and they began forwarding advance dues and donations and between all of us, we were able to finance the build out of the new dojo and a new day came to the Shudokan School of Aikido.

It has now been 10 years since this dojo started. We are an established presence in this area of west Houston and we now have had over 28 major seminars with Kato Sensei at the new location alone. We now have a student body of almost 100 active students every month. Apart from being open 7 days a week, we emphasize almost every aspect of this art from the training to the philosophy and the history of the art. We welcome new seekers who want to learn to walk on this Aikido path with us. It will be a life changing experience for you if you pursue it sincerely.

Would you consider joining us and becoming a part of this Aikido challenge? We need you and the energy and life you can bring to us as we train together and learn and grow in Aikido. Call me and let's talk. This is a life changing and incredible experience, if you will give yourself to it. Do it today!
Sincerely
Jorge Garcia, Dojo Director
Shudokan School of Aikido / Hiroshi Kato Juku
Houston, Texas







Posted by JGarcia on 2011/12/7 15:34:46 (48049 reads)

Shudokan former Master Instructor (Deceased) - Hiroshi Kato, 8th Degree Black Belt

Born in Tokyo 1935, Kato-sensei began Aikido training in 1954 at Aikido World Headquarters under the instruction of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, otherwise known as O’Sensei. Introduced to the Aikikai Hombu Dojo through his mother’s network of connections when he was 19, he trained there daily as well as spending long hours perfecting his personal practice. Working during the day as a printer, he attended classes at night. (For this reason he was unable to be an uchideshi, and does not appear in early photographs with them.) He continued to train for over 58 years at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo; although in later years, he primarily taught at his Suginami Aikikai dojo, but still attended special events at Aikido World Headquarters.

After his first 10 years at Hombu Dojo, Kato Sensei occasionally had chances to personally serve the Founder. He was grateful for those opportunities to have had personal interaction with O'Sensei. Throughout his life, he continued to realize new and very real implications of what the Founder told him many years ago. He always continued to see Aikido through the Founder’s image, as Kato Sensei would always say, “To me, the Founder is not dead. He is still alive in my mind and in my heart.”

Kato Sensei attended the Doshu's class for three generations: the Founder, the second Doshu, and the current third Doshu. He received his first 6 black belts from the Founder and his next 2 black belts from the second Doshu.

His self-training in Aikido has been ascetic. In his early years, he often used to practice weapons by himself through the night, greet sunrise the next morning, and then go to work again.

Kato Sensei's Aikido had a measure of personal spirituality to it. Before every class, Kato Sensei had the practice of coming early to the dojo to meditate and pray. Since he was a youth he visited mountain shrines and stayed up all night practicing weapons and meditating.

Kato Sensei regarded O’Sensei with utmost respect and considered him to be his only teacher. He states that the Founder didn’t teach him directly, rather that he learned from the Founder. Kato Sensei believed that others cannot teach us Aikido, it is something we must learn ourselves from others. He sumed this up by saying, "Aikido is not something to learn from others, but to learn by oneself. Ideally, the practice should be for oneself, and it should be rigorous and sternly self-disciplined, by one’s own choice."

In 1965, an informal practice group named Yagyu-kai was formed under his guidance and direction. Most of the members were black belt holders and he enjoyed teaching, hard training, and lively conversation after practice.

In 1987, he formally established Suginami Aikikai in Ogikubo, Suginamiku, as a branch dojo under Aikikai Hombu Dojo. The former Yagyu-kai was then incorporated into Suginami Aikikai. At this time, he continued to train at the Aikikai Hombu dojo.

In the 1990's, he retired from his work as a printer and began teaching Aikido full time.

In 1994, he received 8th dan and in the same year, he began to teach Aikido in the US. By the end of the decade, Kato Sensei was traveling to North America to teach Aikido at his branch dojos in California, Texas, Arizona, and Mexico twice a year. He also began offering seminars at other Aikikai affiliated dojos as a guest instructor such as his visits to Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela in South America. Kato Sensei was also petitioned by dojos in other nations as well and received dojos in Mexico,Indonesia and Holland as his affiliates. Kato Sensei finshed his Aikido journey with over 80 affiliate dojos throughout the world.

From 1999 through 2001, he received commendations for his contribution of promoting Aikido in Houston from the Mayor of Houston, Texas.

In 2001, “Suginami Aikikai” received commendation from the Governor of Tokyo as an Excellent Organization. This year, he also began to teach Aikido at the OASIS Sports Center in Tokyo. That program continues, and is expanding.

Reflecting its depth and maturity as a dojo, Kato Sensei's original dojo, the Suginami Aikikai developed several high level yudansha (such as 6th, 7th, 8th dans) and new members continually joined. As in his early days, Kato Sensei always enjoyed intense training with everyone. Members both in Tokyo and abroad had brisk international exchanges, as visitors from various dojos came to train with him in Tokyo.

Truly “every person’s" aikidoist, Kato Sensei exemplified one who had persevered in his own practice, was recognized, and rose to high rank on his own merit. Like most of us “normal people,” he was a person who worked a regular job and trained in what spare time was available, persevering by training hard and never giving up.

Kato Sensei was a living resource as an authentic link to modern Aikido's
origins. That was attested by the fact that his Aikido World Headquarters card number was the number 6.

Succinctly, Kato Sensei served as a superb and creative guide for his students in establishing “Wa” (harmony), both in spirit, in daily life and in Aikido.

Note:
On December 2, 2012, after returning to Tokyo from an overseas trip, Kato Sensei was taken to the hospital because of a sudden illness. He peacefully passed on later that day. We, his students all over the world seek to honor the legacy that he left us by continuing to train in the teachings that he left us. We all miss him very much and he will live in our hearts forever.

_________________________________________________________


Shudokan School of Aikido Chief Instructor - Jorge Garcia, 5th Degree Black Belt

Jorge Garcia began his practice of Aikido in 1995 at the Corpus Christi Aikikai under Sensei Eddie Martinez in the Midwest Aikido Federation led by Akira Tohei Shihan, 8th Dan. Jorge was privileged to train in seminars under Tohei Sensei and was received his early kyu rankings directly from him. In 1998, the Garcia's moved to Houston,Texas where Jorge first attended a seminar taught by Hiroshi Kato Shihan. After experiencing Kato Sensei's powerful Aikido, Jorge decided to dedicate himself to Kato Shihan's teachings and he continued to train under Kato Shihan's supervision since.

In January of 2004, Jorge received permission from Kato Shihan to establish the Shudokan School of Aikido and Kato Shihan personally approved the name "Shudokan" for our dojo. In the same year, Jorge founded the Shudokan Aikido Association as an organization through which other dojos could join in order to pursue Kato Sensei's teachings.

In February of 2005, at the invitation of Dojo-cho Michael Wise, Jorge began teaching Aikido at the Shindokan dojo in west Houston. This dojo became a satellite dojo of the Shudokan School of Aikido and it eventually merged with the Shudokan School of Aikido to make one dojo out of the two.

In the spring of 2005, Jorge also began studying Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido in the Houston San Shin Kai with Craig Hocker Sensei. The Houston San Shin Kai is under the auspices of the North American San Shin Kai directed by Shihan Roger Wehrhahn who was under the guidance of the late Grandmaster Takeshi Mitsuzuka of the San Shin Kai of Tokyo, Japan.
Jorge no longer trains in Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido officially but continues training what he learned in this art privately.

In May of 2007, Jorge resigned his "day job" as a school teacher and became a full time Aikido Instructor.

In November of 2008, Jorge found a new location in West Houston for the dojo and he moved his Aikido group to the current Kieth Harrow location. It is in this new location that the dojo began anew with a different class schedule, new Kids program and daily philosophy study along with vigorous training in Aikido thus ushering in a new day for the Shudokan School of Aikido in Houston. This Aikido group now has its own location, secure in its pursuit of Aikido in the future. After 6 years at the new location, the dojo has grown an average of 100 students and is on its way to becoming one of the premier dojos in the Houston area.

Since 1998, Jorge has been privileged to have studied in 42 seminars led by Kato Shihan, each ranging from 10 days and up to 29 days at a time. In total, Jorge has attended over 70 Aikido training seminars, all with master level instructors and in the last decade, he has trained in seminars with most of the leading instructors of the art in this country.

On March 19, 2009, the Shudokan Aikido Association met for their 5th Anniversary dinner in Houston, Texas. At that dinner, Jorge was presented a special black belt by Yasuhiro Sakahara that had the words "Shudokan" on one side and on the other side, the words "Garcia Kansho". Jorge was deeply honored by this special gift. That weekend, the Shudokan Aikido Association received Hiroshi Kato in seminar in Houston, Texas for the 8th time. At this seminar, Jorge was tested by Hiroshi Kato Shihan and was awarded the 4th degree black belt in Aikido. Jorge has received his 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree black belts directly from Hiroshi Kato Shihan.

Sadly, Hiroshi Kato Shihan passed away on December 2, 2012. One of his collogues, Seiji Ido, 7th dan took the responsibility of making the annual visits from Japan to Houston, in Kato Sensei's place, in order to continue teaching the members of the Shudokan Aikido Association in Kato Sensei's tradition.

In the Fall of 2014, Seiji Ido, Shihan-dai recommended that Jorge be promoted to the 5th degree black belt in Aikido. On January 11, 2015, Jorge's promotion to 5th dan was granted by Moriteru Ueshiba, the world leader of Aikido, at the Kagami Biraki gathering of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan.

Still in pursuit of Kato Sensei's teachings, Jorge trains every day of the week and does advanced training with his senior students while he endeavors to present the basics of Kato Sensei's Aikido to all of the students of the Shudokan Aikido Association, who are traveling on this path along with him.


_________________________________________________________


Shudokan School of Aikido Assistant Instructor - Joe Cavazos, 4th Degree Black Belt

Joe started Aikido in April of 1991 under Bill Sosa Sensei, 6th dan and trained under him for a number of years. For many years, he also was active in his study of Aikido by attending many seminars from other styles other than his own. After Sosa Sensei's death, Joe continued his training under Lynn Fabia Sensei in a new organization called the Society of Aikido Centers. In 2005, Joe was granted the 4th dan by the SAC.

Eventually, after leaving that group, Joe sought the help of Jorge Garcia Sensei, and he was introduced to Shihan Hiroshi Kato and petitioned to become a personal student of his.

In 2007, Joe was able to join the Aikikai with the help of Hiroshi Kato Sensei and after some time passed, he was started off in his new home by being awarded the rank of 2nd dan Aikikai directly by Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, as per Kato Shihan's recommendation.

In October of 2010, Joe received notice from Japan of the approval of Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba (upon Kato Sensei's special recommendation) that he was being advanced to the 3rd degree black belt.

In May of 2014, Joe Cavazos Sensei took his exam for 4th degree black belt under Shihan-dai Seiji Ido, 7th dan of the Suginami Aikikai. The exam was grueling and long, lasting more than an hour. The exam was well received and praised by all as a very impressive display of his Aikido knowledge and skill.

Joe Sensei is also the founder and Chief Instructor of the Aikido Center of Mission, Texas. He is also now one of the two Regional Directors of the South Texas-Mexico Region of the Shudokan Aikido Association which has 8 dojos in South Texas and Northern Mexico. He is also serving as an Assistant Instructor at the Shudokan School of Aikido in Houston.

Joe teaches adult classes in the dojo every week and does his personal training on other days.

Joe Cavazos Sensei is Vice President of the Shudokan Aikdo Association. As Vice President, Joe assists Garcia Sensei with his advice and support in the administration of Shudokan Aikido Association activities.


________________________________________________________


Shudokan Assistant Instructor - Debbie Chambers, 2nd Degree Black Belt


Debbie Chambers started Aikido in 1995 in Corpus Christi, Texas. While there, she trained in all aspects of the art, attended seminars under Akira Tohei and helped host and plan the some of the final Tohei seminars in Corpus Christi, Texas before his death. After moving to Houston in 1998, she trained under Tom Oreck Sensei and Rick Laue Sensei in the Tumbleweed Aikikai. She also briefly trained under Nelson Andujar Sensei in the Nations Aikikai and finished her Houston training at a local dojo, which was then affiliated with Hiroshi Kato Sensei, until August of 2000.

Debbie then left Houston to attend a university on the east coast where she earned her bachelors degree. She went on to graduate school where she earned her masters degree as well. After marrying and having her first child, she returned to the Houston area after a 10 year absence and joined the Hiroshi Kato Juku where she began training 5 days a week for over a year. In April of 2013, she took her Shodan exam and afterwards was appointed as the Children's Instructor.

Since then, Debbie has taken the lead to work with the kids and she uses her extensive skill as a manager to organize and operate the kids' program and she does so in an excellent way.

Debbie has made a remarkable comeback and has rehearsed and reviewed all aspects of Aikido since her absence from the art. Since April of 2012, she has learned all 4 levels of Kato Sensei's weapons system and on September the 20, 2015, she sustained her 2nd degree black belt under Seiji Ido, 7th dan from the Suginami Aikikai, Tokyo, Japan.

Debbie is now Assistant Dojo cho (Dojo Director) and is in training to run the dojo in the absence of Garcia Sensei during the times he has to travel to promote Aikido or work on other projects that he is managing


Posted by JGarcia on 2011/12/7 15:34:21 (18882 reads)

1. What is Aikido?
Aikido is the practice and training in a secret principle called "Aiki". Aiki is a secret concept known only to certain ancient Japanese clan Samurai warriors. This concept, application, or principle was used in their fighting strategies when they engaged their opponents. As the clan style of civilization began to disappear and as the ways of waging war began to change, the concept of "Aiki" became even more secretive and was passed on only from one Headmaster to another within the groups that still possessed this knowledge.

2. How was this knowledge or concept passed on to us in this modern time?
When the time of the Japanese clan warriors had completely passed in the late 19th century, one of the last great warriors, Sokaku Takeda, was wandering around Japan, earning a living teaching secret Samurai techniques to people. He would charge them by the technique and he would travel in a circuit which grew larger and larger as he met more people that wanted to learn. Coming from a Samurai family and background, he was qualified to do nothing else. He knew nothing else except the ancient fighting techniques of the Aizu clan. He would enter a city, draw some attention by defeating local ruffians and thugs and then gather a small group of trainees for a meeting. He would teach them a few techniques and then tell them to practice these until he could return later in the year, then he would move on.

On one of these circuit journeys, he met a young man named Morihei Ueshiba. This young man was an exceptional student who paid to learn more and was good at what he was taught. Morihei was especially dedicated and he gained the approval of Sokaku Takeda to the point that Morihei was able to learn the secret of Aiki from Takeda over a 21-year period of training with him at certain times of the year. This secret of Aiki was an aspect Takeda didn't teach the average person. It was not to his advantage to do so as he kept his clients coming back for more and he also kept his mastery over them by hiding the secret.

With his knowledge and ability, Morihei developed a reputation in Japan as Japan's greatest martial artist. What helped him develop what is now called Aikido was when he met a religious leader who changed Morihei's worldview. The man was named Onisaburo Deguichi. Deguichi was an eccentric and odd man and had many far-fetched ideas, but his ideal of peace on earth was one of the main issues that deeply influenced the young Morihei.

Morihei Ueshiba then began to develop the idea of a superior martial art that would teach the ideal of non-fighting or the ideal of stopping an attack with "Aiki" with the view of peace in mind. This revelation came to him in an incident where he got into an argument with a sword fighter who grabbed a wooden practice sword and started attacking Morihei. Morihei used evasive movements until the sword fighter gave up the fight exhausted. It was then that the revelation of taking away the spirit of opposition and fighting from your attacker came to Morihei.

Morihei spent the rest of his life perfecting "Aikido", the art of peace. This would be an art that he hoped people would use the length of their lives to learn, in which they would learn the principles of non confrontation, peace with all and victory over our own aggressive fighting tendencies. Morihei believed that this secret concept of "Aiki" was what would give the exponents of Aikido the ability to defeat almost any opponent and that the art would be effective against a real attack and yet teach peace and good will toward all at the same time. His main concern though was always that this art not be taught to criminals or evil people who would use it for bad purposes.

3. Is "Aiki" easy to learn?
No, it's actually quite difficult. Everyone can learn Aikido but you must exercise patience, perseverance, determination, and you must have faith in yourself and in your own latent potential ability. Some exceptional people walk through the door with these qualities. Many others develop these qualities while in the pursuit of learning the art of Aikido.

4. How is "Aiki" taught?
"Aiki" is taught through the techniques of Aikido. The techniques are not "Aiki". Aiki is the governing principle in every technique that we teach. Aiki is a way of moving the energy in the body to meet or manipulate a physical attack in such a way as to defuse it. The principle of Aiki involves several concepts. These concepts are conditioned reflexes, coordinated breathing, timing, blending with the attack, joining yourself to the motion coming at you and then learning how to extend or propel the energy out from your body. Each technique we teach is designed to teach your body the feeling of these physical principles. So first, we learn the form of the techniques, then we come to understand the principles that are making the technique work. This process requires learning the steps and forms of 15 techniques which have hundreds of variations. The training to become a black belt involves learning the 15 basic forms and then about 150 variations of those 15 forms. There are really about 3000 variations of those 15 forms but most instructors use only about 150 variations that are practiced to get the person to the black belt level.

When you become a black belt, then you are no longer learning how to do techniques. At this time, you begin working with the governing principle of Aiki and you are allowed to gradually experiment with the form and to divert from the form. Eventually at the master level, the form disappears and the body is fully trained to move naturally, using the principle of Aiki, in natural, creative and innovative ways.

5. So then Aikido is not really learning to fight?
That's right.

6. What is Aikido then?
Aikido is learning to stop a fight using an ancient Samurai principle called Aiki. While the Samurai used Aiki to fight and to kill, it was Morihei Ueshiba that took the concept of Aiki and sought to use it to create peace, love and harmony. This was his innovation and contribution to modern society and this is why Aikido is so different than other martial arts. We don't want to fight. We don't care about competitions or tournaments or defeating other people. Our goal is to train together as friends, to develop a community of people training in the ideals of peaceful coexistence while defending against evil and harm but doing so in such a way so as not to permanently injure or harm the other person.

7. How can Aikido change my life?
More than a fighting strategy, Aikido is a way of life. The word Aikido means the "Way of Aiki". In the old style Japanese culture, the arts were considered paths to intuitive wisdom. Philosophically then , Aikido is a way of life that trains the body through the discipline of the training itself. Within the dojo environment, the study of Aikido becomes the place where the ego interacts with the discipline of the art and the individual then encounters new frontiers of their own spirituality as they struggle to conquer their own self will. Every aspect of the "self" is eventually challenged within the training and the new person emerges having been forged through constant daily training.
__________________________________________________________

"I want considerate people to listen to the voice of Aikido. It is not for correcting others; it is for correcting your own mind. This is Aikido. This is the mission of Aikido and should be your mission."
O Sensei - Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido

















Posted by JGarcia on 2011/12/7 15:31:50 (35049 reads)

Report on the statistics of the students of Jorge Garcia.
_____________________________________________________

Shudokan School of Aikido is located at Samurai Martial Arts, 17111 Kieth Harrow, Houston, Texas 77084. There is a map on this website to the location.

Weekly Aikido Schedule

Monday
6pm - 7pm / Children & Adult Aikido
7:15pm - 8:15pm / Adult Aikido


Tuesday
12 noon - 1pm / Adults
7pm - 8:15pm / Adults

Wednesday
6pm - 7pm / Children & Adult Aikido
7:15pm - 8:15pm / Adult Aikido

Thursday
12 noon - 1pm / Adults
7pm - 8:15pm / Adults

Friday
12 noon - 1pm Adult Aikido

Saturday
11am - 12:30pm / Adults - Morning
3pm - 4:15pm / Children & Adults

Sunday
8am - 9:30am / Adult Aikido

_____________________________________________________

Current Shudokan School of Aikido Practice Log as of 10-16-2017
(Website will be updated tonight)

Name-Rank-Days practiced-(Minimum days/hrs required for next exam)

Adults
1. Jorge Garcia, 5th dan
2. Joe Cavazos - 4th dan - (at Sensei's discretion - Exam 2014)
3. Weldon Mauney - 4rd dan - (at Sensei's discretion - Exam 2015)
4. Debbie Chambers - 2nd dan – 660.75 days (4 yrs & 600 hours)
5. Carol Harkness - 2nd dan – 192.5 days - (4 years & 600 hours)
6. Ronald Oltmanns - 2nd dan – 164.5 days - (4 years & 600 hours)
7. Raymond Villalba - 2nd dan - 17.5 days - (4 years & 600 hours)
7. Lee Kaplan - 2nd dan - 69.25 days - (4 years & 600 hours)
8. Gary Ivy - 1st dan - 144.75 hours - (2.5 years & 400 hours)
9. Andy Nguyen - 1st dan - 130.5 hours - (2.5 years & 400 hours)
10. William Congdon - 1st kyu – 352.25 hrs - (125 hours for next rank)
11. Mario Lopez (dad) - 1st kyu – 170.25 hrs - (125 hrs for next rank)
12. Andy Croft - 1st kyu - 117.5 hours - (125 hours for next rank)
13. Sebastian Lehnherr - 1st kyu – 84.75 hrs - (125 hrs for next rank)
14. Korigan Croft - 2nd kyu - 2.75 hours - (120 hours for next rank)
15. Jim Le - 3rd kyu – 17.75 hours - (100 hours for next rank)
16. Reggie Wills - 3rd kyu - 63.25 hrs - (100 hrs for next rank)
17. Berta Lopez - 3rd kyu - 74.5 hrs - (100 hrs for next rank)
18. Derek Perry - 4th kyu – 38 hours - (80 hours for next rank)
19. Michael Crabtree II - 4th kyu – 26.5 hrs - (80 hrs for next rank
20. Brian Windham – 5th kyu – 55 hrs – (60 hrs for next rank)
21. Siobhan Harkness - 5th kyu – 7 hrs - (60 hrs for next rank)
22. Moses St. Jacques - 6th kyu - 46 hrs - (50 hrs for next rank)
23. Alberto Rusic - 6th kyu – 19.75 hrs - (50 hrs for next rank)
24. Alec Obenza - 6th kyu - 33.75 hrs - (50 hrs for next rank)
25. Rebekah Rogers - 6th kyu - 21.75 hrs - (50 hrs for next rank)
26. Markus Oltmanns - 6th kyu – 22 hrs - (50 hrs for next rank)
27. Ed Osborn - 7th kyu – 11.75 hrs - (30 hrs for next rank)
28. Robert Fritz - 7th kyu - 27.75 hrs - (30 hrs for next rank)
29. J. Manuel Manrique - 7th kyu – 12.5 hrs - (30 hrs for next rank)
30. James Ronquillo - 7th kyu - 12.5 hrs - (30 hrs for next rank)
31. Quang Nguyen - 7th kyu - 20.5 hrs - (30 hrs for next rank)
32. Jason Flockton - 7th kyu - 5.25 hrs - (30 hrs for next rank)
33. Thu Nguyen - 7th kyu – 5.5 hrs - (30 hrs for next rank)
34. Paul St. Jacques - 8th kyu - 16 hrs - (20 hrs for next rank)
35. David Mirt – 8th kyu – 12.75 hrs – (20 hrs for next rank)
36. Zara Majidpour – 8th kyu – 7 hrs – (20 hrs for next rank)
37. John Nguyen - 8th kyu - 2 hrs - (20 hrs for next rank)
38. Hieu Houng - unranked - 8 hrs - (15 hrs for next rank)
39. Lili Julia Calvo - unranked - 7 hrs - (15 hrs for next rank)
40. Willson Escudero - unranked - 2.25 hrs - (15 hrs for next rank)
41. Elva Escudero - unranked - 2 hrs (15 hrs for next rank)
42. Jasmin Escudero - unranked - 2.25 hrs - (15 hrs for next rank)
43. Jennifer Balcazar - unranked - 3 hrs - (15 hrs for next rank)


Youth & Children
1. Carolina Anota - Shodan-ho(4) - (171)52 - (80)(BBT)
2. Mario Lopez (s) - Shodan-ho(4) - (176)36 hrs - (80) (BBT)
3. Christian Lopez - 7th kyu/B - 65 hours - (55 hours)
4. Samantha Anota - 8th kyu/C - 44 hours (50 hours)
5. Itzayana Lopez - 8th kyu/C - 16 hours (50 hours)
6. Anna Le - 8th kyu/C - 5 hours (50 hours)
7. Ryan Le - 8th kyu/C - 5 hours (50 hours)
8. Eugenio Alves - 8th kyu/C – 7 hours - (50 hours)
9. Brendan Luu - 8th kyu/A - 13 hours - (45 hours)
10. Jennifer Ocampo - 8th kyu/A - 4 hours (45 hours)
11. Etienne LeBlanc - 8th kyu/A - 3 hours - (45 hours)
12. Johan Ocampo - 9th kyu/D - 22 hours (45 hours)
13. Aleksandra Sarabian - 9th kyu/D - 30 hours (45 hours)
14. Toviah Eleogben - 9th kyu/D - 29 hours (45 hours)
14. Luca Lehnherr - 9th kyu/B - 5 hours (40 hours)
15. Ethan Parker - 9th kyu/B - 39 hours (40 hours)
16. Midori Osawa - 9th kyu/B - 9 hours (40 hours)
17. Nobuya Osawa - 9th kyu/B - 2 hours (40 hours)
18. Adrien LeBlanc - 10th kyu/B - 14 hours (30 hours)
19. David MacLeod - 10th kyu/B - 9 hours (30 hours)
20. Alexander L Rodriguez - 10th kyu/B - 20 hours (30 hours)
21. Natalia Monterroza – 10th kyu/B - 8 hours (30 hours)
22. Elias Villalba - 10th kyu/A - 4 hours - (20 hours)
22. Ily Lehnherr - 10th kyu/A - 3 hours (20 hours)
23. Emerson R. Lemus - 10th kyu/A - 1 hours (20 hours)
24. Zane Flockton - 10th kyu/A - 2 hours (20 hours)
25. Mario Monterroza - 10th kyu/A - 2 hours (20 hours)
26. Sebastian Chemaly - P2 - 13 hours (20 hours)
27. Vincent Nguyen - P2 - 7 hours (20 hours)
28. Alain Nguyen - P2 - 7 hours (20 hours)
29. Dominick Ronquillo - P2 - 3 hours (20 hours)
29. Yeshua Hernandez - P1 - 3 hours (20 hours)
30. Cammi Chambers - unranked - 15 hours (20 hours)
30. Anthony Puerto - unranked - 15 hours (20 hours)
31. Mateo Balcazar - unranked - 13 hours (20 hours)
32. Santiago Escudero - unranked - 3 hours (20 hours)
33. Lilly Ronquillo - unranked - 3 hours (20 hours)
34. Samantha (Sami) Reid - unranked - 1 hours (20 hours)

Total - 43 Adults and 34 Children = 77 Total active students

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Philosophy of Aikido Curriculum - This program is optional.

Aikido is an art that cannot be understood apart from its general philosophy. For those interested in the philosophy of the Art, we have available a curriculum that can guide the student from the beginning to advanced stages. An example of the curriculum and text books are listed below. These books do not represent articles of belief or affirmation but are historical records and opinions on the background and basis of the art. We are flexible and do make adjustments for individual preferences. If you study the philosophy of the art, you have obtain a complete martial arts education.

A website is in production now to house the complete program below online for users both within and outside our dojo.
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For those participating, the curriculum will be as follows:

7th kyu
The Book of Aikido Wisdom by Jorge Garcia
(Selected portions will be sent to you by email. This book is still in progress. The Study guide is not available now)

6th kyu
Budo Mind and Body by Nicklaus Suino
IBSN 0-8348-0568-5
(Study Guide is available by email from Garcia Sensei)

5th kyu
Bushido: The Warrior's Code by Inazo Nitobe
IBSN 0-89750-031-8
and
Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values: Past and Present
IBSN 0-6477-9756-8

4th kyu
Aikido for Self Discovery by Stan Waobel
IBSN 0-7387-0060-6
and
Aikido Shugyo by Gozo Shioda
(This book must be ordered from Shindokan books.)
www.shindokanbooks.com/shugyo.shtml

3rd kyuū
Aikido, The Peaceful Martial Art by Stefan Stenudd
www.stenudd.com/aikido/aikidobook.htm
and
Kodo, Ancient Ways by Kensho Furuya
ISBN-10: 0897501365

2nd Kyu
The Art of Aikido: Principles and Essential Teachings by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
IBSN 4-7700-2945-4
and
Enlightenment in Aikido by Kancho Sunadomari
ISBN-10: 1556434871

1st Kyu
Invincible Warrior, a Pictorial Biography of Morihei Ueshiba by John Stephens
IBSN 1-57062-075-x
or
A Life in Aikido: The Biography of Founder Morihei Ueshiba by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
IBSN 4-77002617-X

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1st degree black belt
The Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
IBSN 0870118501

2nd degree black belt
The Heart of Aikido by John Stephens
ISBN-10: 4770031149

3rd degree black belt
The Secret Teachings of Aikido by John Stephens
ISBN-10: 4770030304

4th degree black belt

Philosophy and Spirituality from 4 points of view (Select one)

1) A Psychiatric view
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
IBSN - 13:978-0-7432-4315-5
also
Exploring the Road Less Traveled, A Study Guide for Small Groups
IBSN - 0-671-62054-1

2) A Psychological view
The Farther Reaches of Human Nature by Abraham Maslow
IBSN 0-14-019470-3
or
Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences by Abraham Maslow
IBSN0 0-14-019487-8

3) A New Age view
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
IBSN 978-0-452-28996--3

4) A Christian view
The Making of the New Spirituality by James A. Herrick
IBSN 0830832793

5) An Aikido view
Aikido and the Harmony of Nature by Mitsugi Saotome
IBSN 0-87773-655-6
or
The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido by William Gleason
IBSN 0-89281-508-6

6) A Japanese Budo view
Budo Perspectives edited by Andrew Bennett
IBSN 4-9901694-3-3

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Auxiliary list for additional study.

Ki and the Way of the Martial Arts by Kenji Tokitsu
IBSN 9781570629983
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(Ages 14 and up are counted with the adults)
* Children and Adults train separately
** Beginners classes are optional. Any regular student may attend a beginners class and beginners may also attend any regular class.


Posted by JGarcia on 2011/12/7 15:31:09 (4513 reads)



To Clarify for those seeking to join this school for the purpose of learning Aikido, there are 3 basic fees here.
1) The monthly dues $75-$85 (Adults). This is for training in Aikido in this dojo.
2) The Shudokan Aikido Association Annual dues - $25 This is for membership in the association that allows you to test for Aikido ranking.
3) Optional - The Hiroshi Kato Doshikai - $50 annually. This is to join the group wishing to support the propagation of Hiroshi Kato's Aikido worldwide. Every Year, you will receive a uniform patch and a different DVD of Kato Sensei's instruction in body arts and weapons.

For information on our regular dojo fees for training , see the FAQ listed at the top of this page.

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General Information of the Hiroshi Kato Juku - Doshikai

(For inquirers seeking information on the dojo. This organization is optional for those individuals seeking to join this trans local Aikido Club.)

The Hiroshi Kato Juku is the new name of the Shudokan School of Aikido in Houston, Texas. The Hiroshi Kato Juku is also a Doshikai sponsored by the Shudokan Aikido Association, for the purpose of preserving, promoting, and teaching the methods, the style and principles of Aikido as espoused by our former master and beloved instructor, Hiroshi Kato Shihan.

The word Juku means a training academy associated with hard training or intense training. A Juku is also a form of a private school or one led by a particular individual. With reference to Aikido, a Juku would be a school not of all styles but of one style.

The word Doshikai means "a group pursuing the Way". Another definition of a Doshikai is "a collective of individuals who share a vision and have a purpose that is greater than their personal aspirations." As such, the Hiroshi Kato Juku-Doshikai is a group of people, coming together who share the vision of Aikido that Kato Sensei embodied. These people, like Kato Sensei, have a vision and purpose of honoring, preserving and spreading Aikido with the methods, principles and with the spirit that Kato Sensei lived before our eyes. This Doshikai then is a group or club of people who transcend distance as well as national and political boundaries. The people who unite themselves to this Doshikai are those who have a desire to remember Kato Sensei by keeping and living the values that he believed in.

The primary mission of this Doshikai will be to serve to honor and preserve the principles and example of Aikido as shown to us by Kato Sensei in his daily life, on the mat and through his words to us.

Those joining this Doshikai also will have the following responsibilities:

Primary responsibilities
1. To always honor and respect the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba.
2. To honor and support the Ueshiba family and their claims to legitimately preserve, promote, and present the art of Aikido to the world.
3. To hold legitimate the right of the Doshu of Aikido to issue all Yudansha certificates and to honor those certificates.


Additional responsibilities
1. To honor, to respect and never forget the memory of our beloved master, Hiroshi Kato Sensei.
2. To support the Hiroshi Kato Juku-Doshikai with an annual membership contribution of $50 to be paid every January.
3. To wear the Logo patch on the uniform displaying the name of the Doshikai whenever possible.
4. To study and seek to learn, preserve and develop the teachings of Aikido as taught by Hiroshi Kato Sensei.
5. To attend at least one Transmission Seminar per year of the teachings of Hiroshi Kato Sensei, conducted by the colleagues, advanced students and the successors of Kato Sensei.
6. To train and learn the Weapons system as taught by Hiroshi Kato Sensei (or his successors) in order to preserve it for future generations.
7. To seek to honor the memory of Kato Sensei by training hard, improving and developing our Aikido, so that the memory and teachings of Kato Sensei will live forever.

What this Doshikai is not.
1. We are not a political organization.
2. We are not a testing or degree granting organization.
3. We are not a Federation of dojos.

What this Doshikai is.
This Doshikai is an international club of friends who remember, trained with, respected, appreciated or loved Kato Sensei, who are seeking to honor him and remember him by supporting the practice and teaching of the art Aikido in the style of Kato Sensei, publishing articles by or about him, and supporting the development of DVD's of his teachings and other audio visual materials in our possession, so that his teaching, wisdom and sayings will be available to Aikidoists in the future.

Requirements for Annual membership
1. Pay an annual membership donation of $50 every January.
2. Promise on your honor not to copy or distribute the Doshikai's DVDs of Kato Sensei or the logo of the Doshikai that will be given to you.

Benefits of the Doshikai
1. You will receive a new Hiroshi Kato Juku-Doshikai patch or a Doshikai T-Shirt every year that you pay your dues

2. Every year that you pay your dues, you will receive a different DVD, taken from a portion of one of the Seminars sponsored by the Shudokan Aikido Association where Kato Sensei was teaching.

Funds of the Doshikai
The funds collected for the Hiroshi Kato Juku-Doshikai will be used to buy equipment to create and produce DVD's of Kato Sensei, to create a website for the Doshikai , to pay for incidental costs related to the work of the Doshikai such as buying supplies and doing mailings, and helping to pay for the costs of any travel related to the teaching of Kato Sensei's style to other groups at various places in the world

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Shudokan Aikido former Master Instructor - Hiroshi Kato, 8th Degree Black Belt

Born in Tokyo 1935, Kato-sensei began Aikido training in 1954 at Aikido World Headquarters under the instruction of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, otherwise known as O’Sensei. Introduced to the Aikikai Hombu Dojo through his mother’s network of connections when he was 19, he trained there daily as well as spending long hours perfecting his personal practice. Working during the day as a printer, he attended classes at night. (For this reason he was unable to be an uchideshi, and does not appear in early photographs with them.) He continued to train for over 58 years at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo; although in later years, he primarily taught at his Suginami Aikikai dojo, but still attended special events at Aikido World Headquarters.

After his first 10 years at Hombu Dojo, Kato Sensei occasionally had chances to personally serve the Founder. He was grateful for those opportunities to have had personal interaction with O'Sensei. Throughout his life, he continued to realize new and very real implications of what the Founder told him many years ago. He always continued to see Aikido through the Founder’s image, as Kato Sensei would always say, “To me, the Founder is not dead. He is still alive in my mind and in my heart.”

Kato Sensei attended the Doshu's class for three generations: the Founder, the second Doshu, and the current third Doshu. He received his first 6 black belts from the Founder and his next 2 black belts from the second Doshu.

His self-training in Aikido has been ascetic. In his early years, he often used to practice weapons by himself through the night, greet sunrise the next morning, and then go to work again.

Kato Sensei's Aikido had a measure of personal spirituality to it. Before every class, Kato Sensei had the practice of coming early to the dojo to meditate and pray. Since he was a youth he visited mountain shrines and stayed up all night practicing weapons and meditating.

Kato Sensei regarded O’Sensei with utmost respect and considered him to be his only teacher. He states that the Founder didn’t teach him directly, rather that he learned from the Founder. Kato Sensei believed that others cannot teach us Aikido, it is something we must learn ourselves from others. He sumed this up by saying, "Aikido is not something to learn from others, but to learn by oneself. Ideally, the practice should be for oneself, and it should be rigorous and sternly self-disciplined, by one’s own choice."

In 1965, an informal practice group named Yagyu-kai was formed under his guidance and direction. Most of the members were black belt holders and he enjoyed teaching, hard training, and lively conversation after practice.

In 1987, he formally established Suginami Aikikai in Ogikubo, Suginamiku, as a branch dojo under Aikikai Hombu Dojo. The former Yagyu-kai was then incorporated into Suginami Aikikai. At this time, he continued to train at the Aikikai Hombu dojo.

In the 1990's, he retired from his work as a printer and began teaching Aikido full time.

In 1994, he received 8th dan and in the same year, he began to teach Aikido in the US. By the end of the decade, Kato Sensei was traveling to North America to teach Aikido at his branch dojos in California, Texas, Arizona, and Mexico twice a year. He also began offering seminars at other Aikikai affiliated dojos as a guest instructor such as his visits to Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela in South America. Kato Sensei was also petitioned by dojos in other nations as well and received dojos in Mexico,Indonesia and Holland as his affiliates. Kato Sensei finshed his Aikido journey with over 80 affiliate dojos throughout the world.

From 1999 through 2001, he received commendations for his contribution of promoting Aikido in Houston from the Mayor of Houston, Texas.

In 2001, “Suginami Aikikai” received commendation from the Governor of Tokyo as an Excellent Organization. This year, he also began to teach Aikido at the OASIS Sports Center in Tokyo. That program continues, and is expanding.

Reflecting its depth and maturity as a dojo, Kato Sensei's original dojo, the Suginami Aikikai developed several high level yudansha (such as 6th, 7th, 8th dans) and new members continually joined. As in his early days, Kato Sensei always enjoyed intense training with everyone. Members both in Tokyo and abroad had brisk international exchanges, as visitors from various dojos came to train with him in Tokyo.

Truly “every person’s" aikidoist, Kato Sensei exemplified one who had persevered in his own practice, was recognized, and rose to high rank on his own merit. Like most of us “normal people,” he was a person who worked a regular job and trained in what spare time was available, persevering by training hard and never giving up.

Kato Sensei was a living resource as an authentic link to modern Aikido's
origins. That was attested by the fact that his Aikido World Headquarters card number was the number 6.

Succinctly, Kato Sensei served as a superb and creative guide for his students in establishing “Wa” (harmony), both in spirit, in daily life and in Aikido.

Note:
On December 2, 2012, after returning to Tokyo from an overseas trip, Kato Sensei was taken to the hospital because of a sudden illness. He peacefully passed on later that day. We, his students all over the world seek to honor the legacy that he left us by continuing to train in the teachings that he left us. We all miss him very much and he will live in our hearts forever.

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On Kato Hiroshi Sensei by Peter Ralls (From Aikiweb.com)
My teacher passed away last Sunday. I had seen him the Saturday before, and he had a bad cold, and I was a little worried, but I had seen him shake colds off before. So I wasn't too concerned. I flew back to California on Wednesday, and Saturday night I got the call that he was gone. I still can hardly believe it.

I first met Kato Sensei in 1979, when I was a very young man studying at Hombu Dojo. Robert Frager had told me stories before I went about this guy at Hombu that used to go up into the mountains and practice bokken and jo all night, then come to the dojo and do this incredible aikido. So I asked about him and he was pointed out to me. Kato Sensei wasn't a member of the Hombu teaching staff, but he was senior and higher ranked than many that were. He had started aikido at Hombu Dojo in 1954, and was a seventh dan. He would come to class three or four times a week, train in class, and then stay after class and work with a small group. I went over to watch them, and Kato Sensei asked if I wanted to join in. I did, and took to joining his group after class every so often. I could have trained with him a lot more than I did, but I was young and not very disciplined, and wasted the opportunity then to really study with him.

Kato Sensei back then had a striking appearance. He had a pale complexion, huge black circles under his eyes, and a frequent maniac grin. At that time training at Hombu was pretty harsh, and the quality people really respected then was power. Kato Sensei had power in great quantity. His technique was very non-orthodox, using a lot of foot turning and twisting and rapid body direction change very different than anyone else's aikido I have ever seen. Through this he developed a kind of force that I can only describe as tornado like. When I attacked him, I never knew where I was going to end up, I would just feel this force pick me up and hurl me across the dojo. A couple of times taking falls from him I actually did land on the top of my head, which was painful and frightening. But I never felt he was deliberately trying to hurt me, unlike some people I trained with, and I was scared a lot of the time at Hombu back then, so Kato Sensei's stuff didn't discourage me too much. Indeed, I liked taking falls from him, as although Kato Sensei was very physically strong, it was clear when he threw you that there was a lot more going on than just strength and technique. Kato Sensei was always very welcoming and helpful whenever I chose to go over and participate in his practice, and when I left Japan and went home in 1980 I had very positive memories of him.

I didn't go back to Japan until 1989, but when I did go back I made a point of reconnecting with Kato Sensei, and accepting his invitations to go train with his group on the weekends. But as I now had a career in the States and could only go once in a while for a few weeks, I couldn't train with him the way I wanted. So I was quite pleased when my buddy Jimmy Friedman came back from Japan one trip in 1994, and told me he was inviting Kato Sensei to California to teach. So Kato Sensei started coming to the San Francisco Bay Area twice a year, and teaching seminars, and pretty soon, Jimmy told me that he wanted to become Kato Sensei's student. That sounded good to me, so I jumped on that wagon too, and we became Kato Sensei's first branch dojo.

Kato Sensei was a wonderful teacher for me. He was very relaxed and straightforward, and not at all a rigid authoritarian. This was good for me, as I never could bear to be told what to do. As I got to know him better, I found him to be very kind and generous. He himself was a rebel and non conformist, and was willing to tolerate a lot of that in his own students. He even made me cringe some times. I went with him a few times to the Taisai in Iwama, the formal ceremony commemorating O Sensei. Everyone, including me, would be dressed up formally for the occasion, except for Kato, who invariably wore a t-shirt, and jeans with holes in them. I would stand next to him thinking "Great! maybe I can just pretend not to know him." But that was who he was. He revered O Sensei, but had no use for ceremonies, and didn't mind letting anyone know.

His aikido at this point, in my opinion, had solidified. He was as powerful as ever, but instead of flying through the air now, when he threw me he directed me straight down. His vitality was incredible. He was sixty years old. He would get off the plane, go straight to the dojo, start teaching and throwing us around like bowling pins, drink all night, wake up early in the morning so we could do "special practice" and keep this up for two weeks. Jimmy and I would be utterly exhausted when he left, and we were in our mid thirties. Kato Sensei's aikido kept it's unique twisting footwork. But even before he moved, he was able to take my center the instant I grabbed him. As soon as I took hold of his wrist, I would feel myself lose connection to the ground. Then he would move and apply the technique and bury me. He also had a system for using the bokken and jo that used the same footwork. If I could compare it with anything I would say that it seemed almost like the Chinese martial art Bagua. But when we asked Kato Sensei, he told us he had never studied any martial art other than Aikido. He said that he had developed his aikido by trying to figure out how O Sensei did what he did. But he made a point of saying that he did not learn it from O Sensei, he developed it trying to do what O Sensei did. The same for his weapons work. He said O Sensei never taught him weapons, he developed his own forms trying to catch the feeling of what O Sensei did. And this was an important part of his own teaching philosophy. He said that you should never be a "copy" of your teacher. He thought the role of the teacher was to inspire the student to figure out stuff on their own, because that was the only way they could really get anything worthwhile. And he said that was the way O Sensei taught. He said that when O Sensei taught class, he would walk around, and if he didn't like what the student was doing, he tell them they were doing it wrong, but he wouldn't explain to them what was right. they had to figure that out for themselves. Still, when I would ask him for something specific, he would laugh, and show me or explain it to me anyway.

As he got into his seventies, he lost the raw overwhelming force and speed that he once could generate. Instead, he got more subtle, drawing his uke off balance earlier and moving around his uke's force in a way that made his throws look comically easy. Even though he was going about it a different way, he was getting stronger in some ways rather than weaker. I started traveling with him a lot, and I would laugh to myself sometimes in South America when I would see some young hot shot latch on to him and he would just bury the guy, and the guy would get up with the "deer in the headlights" look, like he was thinking "What just happened." And Kato Sensei used to tell us, "I can't use force the way I did when I was younger, so I have to learn other ways to do things" I guess when he said younger, he meant when he was in his sixties!

Now, Kato Sensei wasn't a perfect person, by any means. Like a lot of his generation in Japan, he drank too much. He loved to be the center of attention, and had a hard time when he wasn't. And he very much wanted to have a lot of dojos under him in his association, and I couldn't understand why that was so important to him. But for all of that he was one of the kindest people I have ever known. He knew his aikido was better than the vast majority, but he never thought that made him a better person than anyone else. I never saw him talk down to anyone, or treat anyone as less than an equal to him. His students were his friends, and really, his family too. I was with him in Venezuela as his attendant one year, and we were at the airport with a few of the Venezuelan aikidoists, and he was explaining what he thought Aikido was all about. He said Aikido was about having good relationships and friendships with people, and he looked over at me and said to the group, " You know, Peter's my student, but he is also my friend, and that's how I should regard him, and that's Aikido."

Kato Sensei told us that when O Sensei died, Kato Sensei felt that he didn't have any guidance anymore, and that it was now up to him to try and figure out what aikido was, and though he lamented that he felt he only understood a fraction of what O Sensei was doing, that is what he was trying to do. I am already missing the guidance that Kato Sensei gave me, but I am missing my friend Kato Sensei more. I love you Kato Sensei, rest in peace.

Peter Ralls

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Re: It had to be felt # 31; Kato Hiroshi Sensei
That said it all. Thanks Peter. As I consider Sensei's departure, I realize now how big his presence was in my life. He had a subtle presence that was always filling all the space in the room. It was pleasant, gentle, friendly and yet commanding. When I realized he was gone, that space seemed really empty. Those of you who knew him longer have a real challenge as we all do, to a lesser extent, in finding the way to negotiate that vacuum. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Jorge


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