Document Type


Publication Date



Sensei claps his hands and calls “hai douzo!”, and it is as if I woke up from a daydream, though I wasn’t daydreaming. I’m sitting seiza (traditional Japanese kneeling posture) in an aikidō seminar taking place in Jerusalem. In the large mirror, which is installed on the opposite wall, I can see my friends sitting near me in a row that extends to my left and to my right. At the center of the hall, sensei is demonstrating a technique. We observe his physical movements closely, while at the same time we also follow his verbal explanations. Yelena, my colleague and student, is assisting him: as she attacks he performs the correct defensive set of movements. Sometimes his movements with Yelena strike me as so aesthetic, so beautiful, that I become emotional and my eyes become wet. “Hai douzo!” is a cue: we quickly rise from seiza and pair-up. Now it is for us to perform the technique that sensei has taught, attempting to do so as effortlessly and as perfectly as he has.

Rights Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Published in M/C Journal, v. 15, no. 4.