Michael had the honor of participating in an Aikido demonstration on Tuesday at Philadelphia University. The demo was initiated by a visiting professor from Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, Gulmiza Seitalieva, who you see here practicing with him before the demonstration. Gulmiza is a Professor of Philosophy and Islamic Religious Education at Kyrgyz State Academy of Physical Culture and Sports, and is a visiting professor at Emory University in Atlanta, GA for this academic year. She holds the rank of 4th Dan in aikido and founded the Aikido Federation in her home country...quite a lot of accomplishment for a woman in her culture.
It was a wonderful experience, even though there were only a few spectators in attendance. I do think we will have three new students at the dojo because of it, as well as a little more exposure of the concept of Aikido to a new audience. The university is only a short drive from the dojo and I think new friendships have been formed through this collaboration, which is always a good thing. I know that Michael was very affected by the whole experience, in very good ways. George was there as well. He had been sick over the weekend, and so was not up to performing, but was well enough to come with us on Tues and helped with setting up the mats and bringing them back to the dojo with Russell Kleinbach, who is a Professor of Sociology at Phila. U. and who has spent several years in Kyrgyzstan where he met Gulmiza and her family, and he is responsible for bringing her to PU and setting up this demo as well as several lectures that she gave this week on the subject of Islam in Central Asia.
One more photo...
she is actually carrying Michael here, as she also did with several of the men who are much larger than she is. She practices a form of aikido called aikikai, which is different than the kokikai that my sons practice, and there is quite a bit more strength involved along with throws that involve lifting the other person and flipping them onto the mat.