Congratulations to JCCC Aikikai

I would like to congratulate our friends at JCCC Aikikai on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. They celebrated with a very successful international friendship seminar last weekend.

When I first moved to Toronto as a junior white belt, I tried to attend as many seminars there as I could. (Who else out there remembers the rock-hard, abrasive tatami in the original dojo?)

I am still grateful for the kindness of Obata-sensei and Ochi-sensei in helping with my training.

For those of you who don’t remember Kenji Ochi-sensei, he was a mainstay of the dojo for many years. He was an absolutely amazing aikidoka to practice with — extremely precise and vigorous, but patient with inept beginners like me. He moved back to Japan many years ago and has since passed away, but I still have many fond memories of working with him on the tatami.

This dojo is one of the seminal Toronto dojos, teaching and inspiring generations of Aikidoka, and we look forward to training with them for years to come.