If Aikido has taught me anything is that one must be flexible and resilient in life. Yes, it is definitely preferable to plan and prepare, to find a pathway and work towards a goal. As the quote says: a fail to plan is a plan to fail. But there is also another saying: expect the unexpected.
This year was definitely that test in the unexpected. This is where Aikido really shines, all those years of working on flow, relaxation, calm, and cooperation, all of these elements really becomes important in life. Especially when unexpected events comes.
This summer I lost my mom to cancer. It was a tough battle, and although we were not ready for her to leave, we were happy she was no longer suffering anymore. This is something I have begun to learn in my Aikido practice, to see the other person’s perspective. These moments and how we deal with them are not just about our own view, but how our view interacts with other views. How they see us, and how we see them. This is also a basis for compassion, not just a hippie’s ideal, but also a core value in the Bushido code.. This element is important in any warrior’s path, without it we are just fighting ourselves to death.
I am extremely grateful that both the Aikido community showed their support, but also those of the dojo members, friends, and family. Without this cooperative community, tragedy and also growth become harder to achieve. Almost impossible. But with a community and a good support system, our grief is shared. With community our successes are also shared. And that brings us to the reason for this blog.
In line with dealing with the unexpected, within the same month of dealing with the passing of my mom, we also received news that our leased studio was expiring. We had been there for about a year, and the space was a multi purpose for dance, Judo, boxing, and Tae Kwon Do.
And although it was a great mat space, and our space mates were great people, there was always a lingering feeling that this was not the permanent home for Houston Aikido Foundation. With this sudden news, we took a breath, thought on this, and met as a dojo family to discuss a path forward.
In that conversation, a moment of collaboration we bore the idea of where our home for Houston Aikido Foundation would be, a place we could feel comfortable in and make it our own. That idea indeed felt like home because it was exactly that! A neighborhood dojo, one that members could feel at home and now it was theirs every time they came.
With that, we got our own mats, put the shomen up, weapon racks, training gear, and we were ready for training again! Now, this idea is not new, a home studio. A dojo of your own. In fact, the history of martial arts is built on home dojo’s. It wasn’t until recently that martial arts moved to the strip centers that we know today. But in Houston Aikido Foundation fashion, the old meets the new.
So with that old concepts get a new polish. A training environment that fits the needs of today’s martial artists, but also has the feeling of harmony and the spirit of Budo. With that, please welcome the new home dojo of Houston Aikido Foundation, Bushinkan Dojo.