As I just got back from Florida Aikikai’s Winter Camp, I wanted to reflect on a few things as they relate to what I feel is a major mission in aikido training. And that is growth. Growth in your practice, in your technique, your ukemi, your relationships on and off the mat, and growth in your purpose. I feel we really have to take advantage of every opportunity here. These opportunities won’t be around forever. At Winter Camp, I trained in 13 of 15 available classes all taught by United States Aikido Federation Shihan. Yamada Sensei is 83 years old. The rest of the technical committee are in their 60’s, 70’s and one I believe in his 80’s. If you have your own dojo or have been training for 20+ years, these are the classes that will take you to the next level in your practice. These seminars are so special to me, now more than ever as I get some very unique opportunities to learn from these master instructors. I get the opportunity to train hard with my peers. And hopefully I get the opportunity to encourage a junior student through practice, a smile and new friendship. I think if we are going to continue to grow this art we need to commit to these trainings and I can assure you once you make that commitment it not only becomes a great training and learning experience but a life experience willed with joy, laughter and growth.