Aikido of Hilo hosted its annual Osensei Memorial Seminar April 27-28. Acclaimed aikido practitioner and Buddhist scholar John Stevens was hosted as guest instructor. Stevens is a 7th degree black belt in aikido and a world renowned master instructor. He was a noted professor of Buddhist Studies at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai, Japan, and has written more than 30 books on Aikido, Buddhism and Asian culture.
Every year, aikido dojos around the world commemorate the passing of the aikido founder, Morihei Ueshiba, Osensei, which took place April 26, 1969. This year, practitioners from around the Big Island came to Hilo to practice aikido and learn some of the deeper philosophical teachings of the art. On the last day of the seminar, aikido students and the general public were treated to a class in Zenga (Zen brush art), taught by Stevens.
“It’s an honor for us to receive instruction in Hilo from someone like Stevens Sensei,” said Aikido of Hilo student, Andrew Arakawa.
Developed early in the 20th century, aikido principles were so profound and its martial art techniques so effective that there was tremendous public demand. In the 1950s, aikido teachings were made public and have spread to become popular worldwide.
“Aikido is an art of peace and reconciliation. It’s important to have teachers like Stevens Sensei reinforce principles that we can all practice in the dojo and our daily lives,” said Hilo Sensei Barbara Klein. For more information about aikido visit www.AikidoOfHilo.org or contact Klein at 935-2454.