The Private Lesson
Holistic coaching towards mind/body awareness

Dear Aikido Friends and Family,


Over the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 I reflected often on my start in Aikido.  On December 31 I co-taught with Joanne Veneziano at Emerald City Aikido in Seattle and then the next day co-taught with Kimberly Richardson at her dojo.  At the class I was speaking of looking inward to see what direction one wanted to go in the new year and how that decision was not just reflected in training but how training choices influenced that chosen direction.  I suddenly realized that Spring of 2015 marked 50 years since I first saw Osensei at Hombu dojo in Tokyo.  My Japanese language classmate at Keio University, Robert Frager, was training at Hombu and continually regaled me with unbelievable stories of Osensei.  I finally agreed to go watch class and the subsequent encounter with Osensei's teaching and demonstrating completely changed the course of my life.  I became obsessed with Aikido.  Although I trained some classes afterwards I had to return to Seattle and the University of Washington in June and so I start counting my years in Aikido when, upon my return to Japan in 1968,  I officially joined Hombu Dojo in December. 


Osensei spoke of Aikido as being a way to uplift a human being, of giving all of us a tool to learn harmony, compassion and skillfulness in living our lives.  Aikido continues to give me the opportunity to improve myself.  My life has been full of both difficult and beautiful lessons that have enhanced me mentally and physically. I can't wait to try harder and learn more.

I am looking forward to seeing you on a mat somewhere!

Mary Heiny

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