Dojo News

Dojo News for January

January 11, 2016
Once again I am wishing us all good health and fruitful accomplishments in the New Year.  I want to thank you all for your thoughtful and delightful gifts for my birthday.  I was unaware of the existence of the photograph that you had framed of me presenting a gift to the Doshu, probably in 1988, with Chiba Sensei looking on in the background.  I was very touched to see it and recall the moment.   I am also very much looking forward to the Seventeen Samurai, Taiko drummers performance in March. January was off to a good start with the 1,000 strike suburi challenge.  It was a powerful and exhilarating experience with 13 students cutting and counting in unison. 
  • Saturday, January 30th, Didier Boyet Shihan will be visiting the dojo and will teach the 10:15 and noon time class.  Both classes will be open to all students.  He will be at San Diego Aikikai the following morning.  Details to be announced.
  • The following weekend, February 6 and 7, Boyet Sensei will be the guest instructor at our SoCal Regional Seminar to be held in LA at Daiwa. Car pooling will be arranged for our dojo.
  • I am very pleased to announce that we will be hosting a seminar the weekend of March 5 and 6, with Kristina Varjan and Cindy Bluhm Senseis. Please watch for further details.  We will have three visitors coming in from Hawaii and two of them will need lodging.  If any of you would be able to put them up please let me know.
  • April 26 O-Sensei’s memorial.  Special class to be announced.
  • Friday April 29 through Sunday, May 1, San Diego Aikikai will be hosting a sesshin with Genjo Marinello Osho.  For those of you who haven’t experienced zazen sitting meditation and would like to, you are welcome to sit with us on Thursday evenings from 6:15 to 7:00.


- Crane Sensei

In Loving Memory - T.K. Chiba, 1940-2015

June 5, 2015

On behalf of Birankai International, with deep sorrow, Birankai North America announces the death today, June 5th, 2015, of our founder and teacher T. K. Chiba Shihan.
Martial artists here and around the world salute his life as they mourn his passing. During more than 50 years of training and teaching, Sensei inspired, forged and changed the lives of generations of students.
United in gratitude for the great gift he gave us, we offer our condolences to his family.

Dojo News for April

April 1, 2015
  • On April 11 there will be an examination for teens during the 9am class, followed by testing for adults in the 10:15 class. Please support these students by being on the mat and available to take ukemi. These students have been preparing diligently for some time now and your presence is invaluable. All students in the noontime fundamentals class are invited to join the mixed class at 10:15.  The noontime class will be cancelled and we can share and celebrate this time together over lunch at Fidels.
  • Sesshin will soon be here. It will take place at San Diego Aikikai from Friday, April 17 through Sunday April 19.  There is still room to attend if you are interested but have been holding back. Also, if you are on the fence about it come and talk to me or Eddie Fetzer at the dojo.  Please consult the flyer for further information.
  • April 26th is O'Sensei's Memorial Day.  This year it falls on a Sunday.  We will be holding a special practice in his honor on the day before, Saturday, April 25th.  All students are welcome to attend this 10:15 class.
  • More detailed information will soon be out regarding the Udansha Seminar that North County Aikikai will be hosting May 16 and 17.  This will include classes open to kyu ranks. There will be many ways and opportunities for all members to support this seminar to ensure that the seminar runs smoothly.
  • Birankai North America Summer Camp July 16-21.  More detailed information can be found online at  If you are intending to go book early.  Fares are quite reasonable at the moment:  $135 each way from San Diego to Seattle.

Thank you to Mark Drake who has volunteered to be the advisor on Summer Camp.  Thanks also to Mara who will be in charge of our dojo's participation in the raffle. I am also very pleased to be able to pass on to you the following information regarding the Birankai SCHOLARSHIP Program.  The deadline for applying is APRIL 26.  Please let me know if you wish to apply.  Non-instructors and Fukushidoin will need a brief letter of recommendation from me.

- Crane Sensei