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Open Forum Successfully Launched

by Diane Bauerle

Aiki News #87 (Winter/Spring 1991)

We are delighted to announce the start of our new Aiki News department, “Open Forum,” which will make its debut in AN88. “Open Forum” has been designed to be YOUR space, and will feature highlights from regular discussions among aikidoka and Daito-ryu practitioners of all styles and varying experiences hosted by the Aiki News staff. Geographic realities will limit these discussions to those who can travel to the Tokyo area, and they will usually be conducted in Japanese. However, we want to hear the voices of non-Japanese speaking folk as well and so will establish an English-language counterpart, to be known as “Reader’s Forum.” In each issue we will announce a topic for your consideration, frequently one similar to that discussed in a recent “Open Forum.” Think about it, talk to your friends and teachers about it, then write us and let us know your thoughts. We will then edit, assemble and present what you have had to say. This is a wonderful chance not only to share opinions and feelings on specific issues, but also to let our Japanese readers know how foreigners perceive various issues.

Survey Drawing Winners

We are pleased to at last be able to announce the results of our prize drawing for those who responded to our questionnaire in AN84.

And the winners are: Mr. Brian Workman, Kaiden Shihan Sandaikichu, Hakko-ryu Jujutsu and Mr. James R. Garrison of the World Oriental Martial Arts Federation. Each will receive his choice of videotape from our Aiki News video collection. Congratulations to Mr. Workman and Mr. Garrison.

I’d like to thank the 8% of our readers who took the time and effort to respond to our survey. Your enthusiasm for our publication is evident, not only in the fact that vast majority of you report reading Aiki News cover-to-cover, but also in the fact that 90% of respondents did not want to tear out even a single page of the magazine, and sent us photocopies of the survey. Again, thank you all for your support.

The profile of our readers which emerged is not particularly surprising. You are practitioners of aikido or Daito-ryu (88%); two-thirds of you have dan ranks in one style or another. 82% of you are over 30 years of age, and all but two of you are male. Over half of you have practiced aiki-related arts for more than 10 years, and 80% practice or have practiced other martial arts as well, with most of your experiences being with karate or kung-fu, judo, or kendo or iaido.

We were delighted to discover that over half of you first heard of Aiki News through a friend or sensei. We’d like to urge you to continue to introduce us to your friends; get one of the average of four people who read your copy of Aiki News to buy their own subscription. The wider our readership, the more book translations, compilations, new videotapes and events we can undertake. Currently in the works are a collection of interviews with uchideshi of Morihei Ueshiba, and a translation of Kenji Shimizu Sensei’s book, Zen and Aikido.