POULSBO — A rare opportunity for Aikido enthusiasts is nearly upon the residents of not only North Kitsap, but the entire Pacific Northwest.
For the first time in Kitsap Aikido’s 13-year history, the organization is hosting the Pacific Northwest Aikido regional seminar demonstration at Poulsbo Middle School. The event, which begins at 4 p.m. Aug. 11, is free of charge to the public.
It will also bring world-class guests.
Yoshimitsu Yamada, Head of the United States Aikido Federation and Chief Instructor of the New York Aikikai, will make his inaugural appearance in Poulsbo at the event. Kitsap Aikido Chief Instructor Dan Delaney said the regional seminar typically takes place in Seattle or Portland.
Yamada told Delaney of his plans to visit Poulsbo during last year’s seminar.
“He told me, ‘I am coming to your place next year.’ I was pretty excited when he told me that,” Delaney said.
Yamada was a student of the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba who died in 1969. He has been an eighth degree black belt and has been Chief Aikido Instructor since 1964.
“This year he chose to come visit us. It’s a huge honor for him to come here,” Delaney said. “He comes to the Northwest for a seminar every year but we haven’t hosted the seminar in Poulsbo before. Having him visit lets us know we’re a legitimate enough Aikido organization for him to come visit. We have planned for his visit this past year.”
Aikido is a Japanese martial art based on classical jujitsu and weapons but seeks to resolve conflicts peacefully. Its movements are circular and flowing and designed to utilize the force of an attacker rather than fight against it, Delaney said.
Delaney said Aikido technically isn’t a sport due to the fact that no competition is allowed. Only demonstrations are permitted.
“Competition was banned by the founder (Ueshiba). Public demonstration is often the only time the public can see this beautiful and dynamic art in action. People don’t get to see a public demonstration very often. It’s a rare opportunity,” he said. “It’s just spectacular to watch.”
Delaney said people will be coming from all over the west coast, Canada and other parts of the United States to participate/attend this seminar. High ranking teachers and students will also perform in the demonstration.
Yamada and Delaney have known each other for 30 years, and the latter said his elder counterpart is fairly amazing.
“He’s 69 years old and he’s still teaching (Aikido),” Delaney said. “Every time I see him he looks great.”
For more information regarding this event, visit www.kitsapaikido.org or call Dan Delaney at (360) 697-3772.