At the start of this New Year 2017 we would, of course, like to present each and everyone of you with our best wishes.
We would also like to congratulate the following practitioners :
Malcolm Tiki Shewan who has been awarded the title of Shihan.
Dominique Pierre (France) promoted to 6th dan.
And promoted to 5th dan:
Cedric Russo (Suisse),
Farouk Benouali (France),
Fritz Kemler (Autriche),
Sergey Gnatchuk (Russie).
We would also like to extend our many thanks to Yamada Shihan for his support and also to wish him an excellent new year and, more especially the best of health possible.
We would also like to take this occasion to emphasize a very essential aspect that runs through all of our practice and study of Budo - courtesy or respectfulness. To be courteous at all times is the fundamental realization of etiquette (reishiki) in daily life. As Aikido practitioners we should always be able to demonstrate courtesy, the true expression of mutual respect, which lies at the very basis of Budo as expressed in "Hei-ho, Hei-ho desu" - "The Art of War (兵法)is the Art of Peace (平法)". Without 'living' this principle Martial Arts practice will only degrade and become violence and brute force.
The fact that we do not agree with someone's view or opinion does not authorize in any way the use of undignified speech, malicious accusations or actions. These things will always be a source of senseless and negative conflict and they can be avoided by courteous and respectful discussion/exchange.
We would ask you to think and reflect on this subject and try to make it a source of positive inspiration in your practice.
Pace et Salute
M. T. Shewan
Mutokukai is structured as an organism that is non-bureaucratic, decentralized and organized as a network for exchange between Martial Arts practitioners. Each national branch organization possesses a complete administrative autonomy so that it can deal freely with the conditions and particularities according to its own local situation. (For example, it is obvious that the administrative questions in France concern in particular french people). The technical direction of Mutokukai is assured by a 'technical committee' co-opted by the founders. Since we do not wish to be a federation, nor to become one, we reserve the right to select all of our members who may be in the form of a dojo, a group of dojo(s) or individual members. The fact of being a member of Mutokukai does not, in any way whatsoever, exclude participation within other organizations be they federal or other.
Mutokukai is apolitical and has no intention of being involved or in competition with federations. Federations everywhere are administrative organizations with the responsibility of organizing sports practice and the representation of sports practitioners within the ministry of sports or the equivalent (Olympic Committee etc.) In France these organisms receive a delegation (recognition) from the ministry in order to organize exams for national grading and/or national teaching diplomas. It is not our intention to be involved in these processes. Mutokukai considers that sports activities (the framework, the spirit & objectives) have no place within the practice of Aikido or other traditional Budo. Mutokukai simply does not consider that the practice of Aikido (though based on physical activity) can, in any way, be considered "sport activity". We promote 'traditional practice' based on the teachings passed on by Tamura Nobuyoshi Shihan and numerous other teachers with similar outlooks (all students of the founder of Aikido) who have deliberately avoided ministries of sports and rightly preserved the spiritual and the cultural elements in Budo. We wish to leave 'sport' in its place as sport.
We have opened a main dojo in Arenys de Munt to the north of Barcelona (Catalonia) in Spain. The dojo itself will have 500m2 (400m2 of tatami), a reception area for the practitioners and the possibility for extended term lodging. Mutokukai is presently awaiting official recognition by the Aikikai - Aikido so Hombu.
Yamada Yoshimitsu Shihan is the technical advisor and Malcolm Tiki Shewan and Stephan Benedetti are the founders and technical directors.
The Heart Sutra (Hannya Shingyô) puts forth the very essence of buddhist teaching and the activity of the bodhisattva (an awakened being). One of the virtues of a bodhisattva is that the desire for personal gain (得) or acquiring for oneself, is absent (無). Wisdom and compassion are not means for acquiring awakening but rather are part of the Buddha-Nature. Thus it is this 'selflessness' (無得 - mu-toku) that makes the bodhisattva an awakened being. In this same manner, the practice of Aikido cannot justify itself through the desire for grades and titles - this only strengthens a state of 'attachement' of the individual and is contrary to the self-developing nature of 'free spirit' in Aikido. The most important thing is 'selfless' practice - this will bring true freedom.