By Lee Lavi Ramirez
Life Is Short
Some of my peers have recently lost their teachers, as many of O’Sensei’s students have passed away in the last few years. Although the legacy and strong memory that their teachers have left within them, I can feel their yearning. This is a constant reminder that every moment counts, and every opportunity should be taken, as my teacher continues deepening his study of Aikido. As long as Sensei is here and as long as I am here, this is what Ichi-Go Ichi-E is about, capturing the Now and its offerings.
Learning, learning, learning
It never stops. No matter how long I’ve been a teacher—there is always more to unveil. Keeping my hunger and seeking into my study—and learning simply happens. Looking up to the finest resource, my Sensei, takes me on a journey of discovery, and unravels my evolution as a martial artist.
Continue Being Inspired
My teacher is an ever-changing master of Aikido. He is a true seeker of the Way, who is training daily on the mat. Sensei is a living example of pure research of the path of Aikido. His total dedication and one-pointedness are rare. Seeing Sensei walking this path is inspiring beyond words, it uplifts my spirit.
Benefits of Long Term Teacher-Student Relationships
Long term relationships have their friction; the friction of time. In a world that tempts hopping from one thing to the next, this option is not always easy. It is where the rubber meets the road. I know that the most enlightening lessons in my life were derived from this friction—and as so, I protect this wellspring, amidst its intense nature. It is priceless.
Sharing the Passion
Having students is what makes me a teacher. Every time I am back from visiting Sensei, I carry something for our Dojo members. I am not sure as for what it is exactly, although they feel it, and I can see it in their training. A gift is being passed from one student of the art to the next, precious and exciting.
Because of Love
Amoris amor creates, Love creates love. When one loves what they do, it is catching on to others, and the ripple grows. Love is something we do, not just say. The work of love is done by deeds, and by being present. For my love of Aikido was so often fired up by my teacher, visiting Sensei, as often as I possibly can, is one physical expression of this love—perhaps the clearest one of them all.
Written with deep gratitude to my teacher, I. Shibata Sensei
Lee Lavi Ramirez is the chief instructor of North Valley Aikikai, and has been training Aikido under Shibata Sensei for the past 22 years.