Shobu Aikido of Boston had their annual fundraiser last night at their dojo in Newton. Word got around town and the turnout was tremendous.
For a $5 donation at the door, those who came out for the event were treated to some great food, beer, live music, and a wonderful and spirited demonstration of Aikido by members of the dojo and by Gleason Sensei (6th Dan) himself!
The party started around 7PM. Gordon's Liquor of Watertown provided the beverages for the event.
The Buddha Club warmed up the crowd with their music. Dojo members provided a variety of delicious food. All of the different dishes reflected the diversity of the members in the dojo (vegetarian, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, ...etc).
The demonstration started around 8PM. The traditional presentation or "Embukai" is a way for the dojo to share their art with the public and to show a face of Aikido different than that of Hollywood :-)
After students of all levels had their turn in demonstrating various techniques against different attacks, Gleason Sensei gave a brief explanation of some of the subtleties of Aikido.
Gleason Sensei emphasized that Aikido does not depend on muscle power, but more "mind over the situation". Sensei also noted there will always be somebody bigger, stronger, and faster than you... but if you can change the attacker's mind by "entering" into their attack, use their "defending" energy to your advantage, you can harmonize with and neutralize their aggression while protecting youself from harm.
If you have a fast connection, you can see a movie of Sensei Gleason's demonstration and maybe get a sense of what he means.