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Left to right, my husband Murray, our daughter Eleanor, Me, Leland, Ed.

Remembering 10 Years


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This year, we celebrate 10 years since I started teaching our first kids class: my daughter Eleanor, Ed’s son Leland, and a few other friends.  

Ed was here with the American Embassy, he was a Marine, and at that time working in Security for the Embassy.  My husband took his call, I came home and Murray said “You got a call from a US Marine, he wants you to teach him aikido”.  My jaw dropped, our dojo was very young, I was very young in running our dojo, I was unsure that I could teach a trained killer anything.  Nevertheless, I called on my dragon spirit, and phoned him back.


Ed was a very generous and important member of our dojo community.  He was interested in the calm, conflict resolution, ‘awase’ blending of spirits aspect of aikido, to bring peace back to him after his previous experience.   Unfortunately, inevitably, he came to the end of his term and had to return to the US.  Actually, the woodblock mountain scenery print that has always hung next to our shoe rack in the entry of our dojo is a gift from Ed.  I think of him and his children every time I look at it.


Why am I talking so much about Ed?  Because he, and Eleanor, are the reason for our Kids classes!


Once Ed had been training with us for a couple of months, he asked me to teach his son Leland, who was 3.  I said "No, children start at 8”.  This was the world I knew at the time.  He asked me again, and again, always the same reply from me.  Until… Eleanor fell over, multiple times. Within 2 weeks she had 3 very bad falls.  Each time I visualised her doing a beautiful aikido ‘save’ but she didn’t.  Of course, she didn’t know how to.


So next class, I said to Ed, “OK this weekend we start, your son, my daughter.  If the only thing I teach them is rolls (other stuff way too complicated), I’m happy.  But we can’t roll for a whole hour, how about we throw in some Japanese”.  And thus it all began… 


I’m happy to say that those early classes saved both Eleanor and Leland from some otherwise potentially damaging falls. I watched Eleanor fall off a horse and do a beautiful ‘sideslip’ landing.  I watched her topple a chair and fall forward over the top of it, again a beautiful forward breakfall.   Leland was running full pelt down the supermarket aisle, tripped and did a beautiful forward roll, his mother had visualised alot of blood and a huge dental bill, so was of course very relieved!  Thus I named the young children’s class 'Playground Safety'.


In November 2009 my friend Jeannie, whose 3 year old son Peter had also joined us by then, said to me, “These classes are pretty good, you should advertise.  I’ll help you get together an ad for Canberra’s Child.  We need to get it done for the December issue.”  And so it was that so many of you found us!  (It was never my plan to run a full-time dojo, I was going to go back to ‘real work’ once Eleanor started school, but by the time Eleanor was 5, I had no time for ‘real work’!)


Many thanks to Jeannie and Ed and Eleanor!  Without you, our Aikido Japanese classes, and our dojo in its current form, would not have happened!

Join our celebration events here!

20151206_08_aikidograding_schoolphoto ed
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