New Home, New Views

The first person to show me what Aikido is, love.

The first person to show me what Aikido is, love.

Pre mats and clean up

Pre mats and clean up

Equivalent mat space as our previous location!

Equivalent mat space as our previous location!

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.

We hope to see you soon!

The Aikido family - Visit to Austin Aikikai

Jamsek sensei had a welcomed greeting and was happy to oblige my impromptu request to train. The students were also very welcoming and eager to find out who this random hakama was.

The instructional methodology was very direct and one I am familiar with, one attack with variations of techniques and movements. As a good Aikido instructor, Jamsek sensei had guided instructions as well as open ended moments. A great weaving of technique execution and creativity. 

This weekend, on a trip to San Antonio, I popped into an Aikido class in Austin. I was lucky to find a dojo near by, Austin Aikikai.

I had not met the sensei before but looking at the website and the facebook page it seemed like a good group to practice with. It was a last minute decision, so I took a chance on letting the sensei allow me to train with the class.


Not only was it a great workout, and I learned something different, but it also dawned on me a big lesson for all my fellow Aikidoka: we are one big family.

I encourage the students of Houston Aikido Foundation and my fellow Aikidoka to branch out from your normal dojo every once in a while. If you're in another city or traveling, look ahead for an Aikido school, and be open minded to something new!

 I look forward to my next trip to Austin, finding a good group to train with is a great find. Just remember that Aikido is a path that brings about new opportunities in life, one has simply be open to the moment to find the value in it. The Aikido community should be that of an open community, one to share knowledge and discover with each other. See others as your family and see the world change before your very eyes. Till next time! - Cesar Aguirre, HAF director