It occurred to me last weekend, before the stop at the Krystal’s in Brunswick, after the visit to the Georgia Welcome Center, closed for cleaning: I love the USAF.
I love the USAF for what it is, and for what it has given me—the opportunity to meet so many talented and dedicated martial artists; the chance to take a road trip, like I used to a lifetime ago, with two of my dear friends, Grady Lane and Charles Shami; the space to train and discover, at Peachtree Aikikai two weeks ago, Savannah Aikikai last week, and Lake Aikikai next weekend.
(And incidentally, I am so looking forward to seeing Nobu Sensei again. I remember well my first Aikido test, a mere six months into training, and fumbling over tenkan; and later, my second kyu test, and my nervousness, when I visited his dojo in Hyde Park.)
It is something I remember every time I attend Winter Camp, every time I visit New York Aikikai. It is something I remembered last night, talking to Ashton at the dojo, telling him stories, and tall tales, and memories of seminars past.
The USAF is a family. It’s my family, and Dee’s, and yours too. It’s the best part of family, really, and let’s be honest: Whom else can you flip in koshinage, six days a week?
Of course, I’m biased. I met my beautiful wife, Dee, in Aikido. I’ve met my best friends in Aikido. Aikido is the world to me.
Thank you, USAF, for everything. ♥