Traditional Japanese Martial Arts for Adults
O-SEIBO: A Thanksgiving Message
The holiday season is just around the corner. It is about this time of the year, when I see Americans gathering together and spending time with family, that I miss Japan the most. Of course, in Japan we do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but I do recognize it as a good time to bring awareness to and recognize people who we appreciate. In Japan, there is a custom similar to Thanksgiving called “OSEIBO” (pronounced ‘oh’-‘say’-‘bo’). During OSEIBO, we send gifts to people who are deeply involved and meaningful in our lives. So, I started thinking about whom and what we are grateful for this year. And, what an amazing year it has been!
First, we are tremendously fortunate to have Izawa Sensei in our lives and to have him living so close to us here in Colorado. We are immensely grateful for his kindness and continued support of the growth of our Aikido school. Speaking of growth, we are also very fortunate to now have two new black belts in our dojo – Daniel and Steve. For several weeks now, Daniel has been teaching a basics-focused class on Wednesday evenings and the feedback has been extremely positive.
We also want express our appreciation to the dojo owner and financer Sean for all the time and physical labor he has put in to our beautiful dojo in Castle Rock. Thanks also to all of those students who have taken many hours out of their busy lives to help out with all of the much needed tasks around the dojo.
We cannot express enough how touched we are to have so many students willing to train with us from all over the state – many of whom commute hours each way to train with us. Who knew that we’d be attracting students from as far north as Boulder and as far south as Colorado Springs! That’s something we think every Aikido teacher should experience.
Thanks also to our good friend, Matsuzaki-san for visiting us over the summer from Nagasaki, Japan and generously treating our students to a personally cooked tempura dinner. Matsuzaki-san’s visit also created an opportunity for us to reconnect with Iio-sensei and the Nagasaki-Kiwakai dojo in Japan.
Lastly, we are so thankful for all of you and look forward to seeing you and the dojo continue to grow. It is a privilege for us to have so many great students with such diverse personalities and backgrounds. Watching you progress not only in your physical abilities and technique, but in your intellectual understanding and application of the philosophy of Aikido is very rewarding to us as instructors. It is, as our teachers did with us, the sharing of ourselves with you and seeing the fruits of your labor that brings the most joy to our hearts.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. We’ll see you on the mat soon!