“I was eight years old. It was second grade in elementary school that I took a membership at Hombu Dojo. At the time there wasn’t a kid’s class at Hombu so I was going to have to practice with the adult members. My dad thought that I might be a burden to the adults, so a year before I was to join, my father took over our eight tatami room and we practiced basic techniques at home. Ikkyo waza, shihonage; just the two of us practicing at home for the year before I was actually signed up at Hombu. The memory of practice at home with my father is still vivid to me even though I am not sure if I can call that practice proper training or keiko. Even when I did join the dojo membership, I was so young that I felt that I was going to the dojo to play but with a little bit of Aikido thrown in. Nonetheless, I can say that my training started around that time, and that I joined Hombu when I was eight years old.”
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