Further to Neil Shaw's account in the last news post, Pam Hughes has sent in her own article about the Australian Ki Aikido Course...
Over 10,000 miles for an aikido practice anyone?
Anytime – after meeting and experiencing, first hand, the commitment the teachers and students of Ki Aikido Australia have towards their aikido practice, the friendship they share and the hospitality they show to those travelling there, it was definitely a trip to remember.
The thought and care that had been put into preparing for the course, as well as giving us an Australian adventure during the week afterwards, was truly exceptional. In the most part this was due to Sensei Adrian's commitment, ably helped by 'rota girl' Lucy, Sensei Steve, Joye and Sensei Wayne.
Also, a huge thank you must be given to Richard and his wife Sue, both professional cooks, who planned the food for the whole course and prepared most of it. This included an exceptional, 'last supper', three course dinner, the night before the dan gradings. Both Nina and Brett successfully achieved their first Dan – congratulations.
The actual course with Sensei Hughes was a very enjoyable - nine sessions spread over 5 days. It was a positive, constructive and thought provoking experience – albeit a little hot at times! We all learnt a lot. There was a morning off, half-way through, with most of us taking advantage of a trip to Australia Zoo.
After the course, seven of us went on a trip to explore some of the sights and experiences that Queensland has to offer, again incredibly well organised. We dropped down to the Gold Coast, then flew up to Cairns, spending time in Port Douglas and the magnificent rain forest. The train up to Kuranda and the cable car trip back down was another highlight. Adrian had planned to take advantage of this romantic setting to officially propose to Lucy (which she accepted). They are a lovely couple, and we wish them a wonderful future together.
I believe Sensei Adrian is hoping to organise another course in two or three years time, so you've got time to start saving!
A very big thank you to all down under for looking after us so well.