I am very much thankful to the Aikido Aikikai Association, Nepal (AAAN) where I got the chance to meet our Sensei Arjun Shrestha, founder and chief instructor of AAAN. For this experience to happen, I have been searching for years. With no doubt, not just the techniques fulfill my seeking, the concepts, the class atmosphere, and most importantly, our sensei Arjun were the inseparable and undeniable factors of this happiest martial arts training which I have ever had in my life.
Because of my parent’s guidance, I practiced martial arts when I was younger, but I was never truly motivated and wasn’t willing to continue practicing. It was more like sets of gymnastics movements
or aggressive interactions which requires much time spend in developing muscle strength. Back then I was lazy and I didn’t consider that those practices are efficient so finally I gave up. Two years ago, a friend from the US visiting China mentioned Aikido to me, he invited me to do some basic movements with him for a try. I was so amazed by the concept of movement with peace, a technique that mainly for defensive protection which one
does not apply violence but overcome the opponent by accepting and using the strength of the opponent with ease.
He told me that he was going to Japan for a 6-month training after years of practice in the US, and I felt really happy for him but also sad for
myself —- despite I didn’t lose my interest in martial arts, I had nothing to share with him as I had already stopped practicing many years ago.
Since then, I started to search for Aikido center in China. Perhaps, due to political conflicts with Japan, I could only find three centers on the internet and they were only in the northern and eastern China while centers of other types of martial arts could be found everywhere in the country. I was upset because I lived in southern China but the logging for learning Aikido continued in my subconscious mind.
Luckily, I had a chance of visiting Nepal this summer for a program. During the middle of my planned visit, I somehow thought that maybe I can find an Aikido sensei in Nepal.
And I did. Finally, I started my classes with Sensei Arjun by the beginning of September. As I only had a short amount of time in Nepal, and there were only two group classes each week so I also had one on one training with Sensei Arjun. Apart from Aikido, I was able to learn Philippino and combat practices since Sensei Arjun is an instructor of these fields as well. Unlike those who became a sensei after a 4-year study a degree of sports, Sensei Arjun has worked as a police officer in Singapore for over 25 years with lots of practical experience.
After one and a half months spent in training with Sensei Arjun, I am now much more confident than ever it was for continuing practicing Aikido and protecting myself from an unexpected attack. And I have developed more diligence and consistency in my life. In Aikido, before each session starts, we meditate and pay respect to the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, and our sensei.
We bow down to our partners before and after each interactive practice. At the end of each session, we again do the same steps and then we pay respect to classmates as an appreciation for those show us the path, who taught and corrected us. And I think the class did it really well! This is my favorite part about the class, as it gives me clarity of the purpose of doing Aikido, which shares peace and love with others. Nowadays, martial arts lessons are being conducted everywhere, but very few of them involves the guidance for its purpose. These procedures in a class simply transform martial arts practices as a sports to a way of living that involves loving kindness.
In the end, I would like to encourage people who live in Nepal, please do cherish and value this tremendous advantage of joining
the association to learn Aikido, you will gain the great happiness of life.