Later this week, we’ll release the first part of Aikido Journal’s interview with Patricia Hendricks Sensei (7th dan). Our weekend with her was filled with moments of insight, inspiration, and surprise. We’re excited to release the finished action and interview videos, but we also want to share the behind-the-scenes moments. We’ve received such enthusiastic feedback from the community, that we want to do everything we can to make you feel as if you were there with us during this special weekend.
This photo journal is from our first night with Hendricks Sensei, the evening before her interview and video shoot. We hope you enjoy it.
Nightfall at Ikazuchi Dojo. Hendricks Sensei was scheduled to arrive earlier in the day, but had flight delays.
A great smile. We’re delighted to welcome Hendricks Sensei to the Dojo.
Earlier in the day, the dojo hosted an instructor seminar with Roy Dean and Josh Gold. Some of the attendees were still around when Hendricks Sensei arrived and got to spend some time with her. Here, she talks to Ray Feliciano Sensei, Chief Instructor of Pasadena Aikikai and Maru Dojo, and James Young, instructor at Ikazuchi Dojo.
Hendricks Sensei meets Roy, who would be filming and editing footage from her video shoot. He was tired after leading a fast-paced instructor seminar all day, but was delighted to meet her and talk about their mutual acquaintances.
Talking with Josh about details for the next day’s interview and demo, Hendricks Sensei asked if we had a machete at Ikazuchi Dojo. We don’t typically have those kinds of exotic weapons lying around, but Mark Cheng, who was at the dojo for the seminar earlier in the day happened to have one in his weapons bag. It’s not a trainer though. It’s a razor sharp Cold Steel kukri machete. Josh and Mark freaked out a bit when she asked to use the weapon in her demo. She was mildly amused by our concern. As one of the aikido world’s highest level weapons instructors, she’s capable of using live blades in demos safely, with people flying around. Do not try this at home.
Hendricks Sensei was so excited to practice with the weapon, she got on the mat in her street clothes with her student Noah Levine to give the blade a test drive before the video shoot the next day.
At the end of the evening, Hendricks Sensei calls Josh and Anne Lee up to the shomen to present a gift. The gift was wrapped in fabric once owned by O-Sensei.
Hendricks Sensei presents Josh and Anne with a calligraphy scroll she brushed for them. She studied calligraphy under Seiseki Abe Sensei (O-Sensei’s calligraphy teacher) and brushed the piece in blue ink, the same color ink used in a piece given to her by Abe Sensei years before. The meaning of the calligraphy shall remain private for now, but has great significance and value for Josh and Anne.
A moment of gratitude for Hendricks Sensei’s support, guidance, and generosity.
Hendricks Sensei is ready to head to her hotel and rest before the next day’s events. She won’t leave without the machete though. She loved that weapon.
Filmed the following morning, the first part of Hendricks Sensei’s interview will be released on Friday of this week. In it, she’s asked to provide guidance for emerging leaders in the aikido world. We look forward to sharing her insights with you later this week.