Heaven & Earth Aikido
Assisting Veterans with Misogi Aikido
HEA developed a curriculum and hosted a half day seminar that included three courses, all geared towards helping Veterans and others that have mental and physical disabilities caused by trauma. These same activities can also be used by those who are over stressed or simply dealing with daily life. The courses include one hour of Misogi Aikido, a no-impact version of the art that helps develop stronger balance through gentle movement. The movements help develop the small muscles that improve strength and balance while also helping the practitioner better develop concentration. The second hour of class uses similar practices to help practitioners learn to better work with other people. Simple movements are used to help two or more people work together in harmony, learning to adjust to one another and find ways to work as a unit. The final hour of class is a demonstration of how many veterans have been able to work in this way with service dogs. There is a demonstration of how the dogs and humans work together to help the veterans reintegrate into their lives followed by a discussion of how all of these activities can be combined to help improve people’s lives.
“To Go Home”
“Stand amid this world’s evil and corruption as a missionary for the art of peace; work tirelessly to restore the balance in society.” O’Sensei.
Heaven and Earth Aikido is proud to contribute to Luna Safar’s efforts helping refugees with Help Displaced Children in Iraq. If you can please consider making a donation. The Go Fund Me is on the site. Even a small amount will make a difference in the lives of people who have lost everything.
Gassho, Luna. Aikido is for making a better world. You practice Aikido better than many of us who have been on the mat for many years. You are doing Big Aikido. I am inspired by your example.
Assisting Iraqi Refugees
As we have talked about since opening the HEA dojo, an important part of our path is assisting others. My friend and mentor Sugano Sensei said this is the way we make our Aikido real. To take the ideals of Aikido- assisting others, being giving, helping- and act on them.
We recently were able to finally get the funds we raised at Christmas/New Years for Christian/Yazidi refugees over to Iraq. As I have been in the field assisting refugees I know all too well how money can get thrown away and wanted it ensure it got to the right people. Our friend Firas Safar, was able to give the $800 to Father Douglas Bazi who is working directly in the camps to help those displaced by brutality of ISIS. Here is video of the Father receiving the funds. He will send pictures of where the funds were used as well. It is not a lot but if it can help some in a time of need we have done our mission.
Helping Our Neighbors
Cornerstones is a nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare, and other human services. Learn more.
Heaven and Earth Aikido is proud to assist Cornerstones during this holiday season. If you have any book, clothing or food donations, please drop them in the boxes at the front door. Donations accepted from December 9th through January 5th.
Helping Veterans with VK9 Solutions
VK9 Solutions is a Non-Profit that was developed to save two lives at a time. The company, run by Jerry Lyda, a Vietnam Vet and Professional Dog Trainer, seeks out abandoned animals that have the right temperament and intelligence to be trained as service dogs. The dogs are matched with a veteran, who are most often suffering from severe PTSD, and trains to dogs to meet the needs of that veteran. Each dog is different and each set of skills is tailored to the needs of the individual. By doing this the organization saves both the dog and the veteran.
Our fundraiser brought four of the veterans and their dogs to DC. We toured the Town of Herndon, introducing the businesses and residents to the dogs. We worked together to better understand Misogi Aikido and Working with the dogs might be used together to help those suffering from PTSD.
Sugano Sensei Memorial Seminars
“Aikido is love… Aikido has this as its philosophy, its center. One must act on these ideas… If you train you give yourself. We must help others around.” – Seiichi Sugano
Every year, we pause around the anniversary of Sensei Seiichi Sugano’s passing (August 29th) to
train and honor his memory, serving his instruction to assist others through our practice.
In 2014, $800 from his memorial seminar was donated to assist veterans at Fisher House Foundation.
In 2015, $1500 was raised and donated to buy heaters and school supplies for Iraqi families and children in refugee camps in northern Iraq.
In 2016, funds were collected to assist needy families.
In 2017, $1000 was raised to aid the people of Puerto Rico.