Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Smiling Sensei

Dear Simon,

In our hearts you will always be remembered for the smile you wore during classes, and the silly but amazing techniques you showed us. Rest in peace, you will be missed. 

Marrie, Emma, Hanneke, Maarten, Jaro & Chiel

In addition, some of us wanted to express some more additional words in your memory. 

Emma's personal message:
Ik heb even bij Simon mogen trainen, veel te kort, sinds september. Zijn Aikido had ik wel eerder gezien, bij stages's, begreep nooit zo goed wat hij nou eigenlijk deed! het zag er zo makkelijk uit, tot je het zelf ging proberen en er niets van kon maken! 
Wat ik nooit zal vergeten, is hoe Marrie en ik zijn verwelkomd in zijn dojo. Het gevoel dat je zo welkom bent is bijzonder geworden, en iets wat ik zal herinneren aan Simon.
Veel sterkte gewenst voor zijn familie en dojo.

Jaro's personal message:
The camper rolled on the field, in there was a man. A small beard, but a big smile on his face. Giru-san introduced me, so I said the first thing that came to my mind. "You want a beer?" The smile grew a bit wider, and so we sat there. My first night at the Yuwakai Summerschool, back in 2007. And my first introduction to you, the broad smile and a few minutes later, an even broader smile and a beer. 

On the tatami, you were the one with the devious tricks, placing your hand a bit different so you can take over, when Tori was attempting a technique. Top speed, a whole lot of words, and always a broad smile. Two three times, and the: "Let's try". Especially with your boken (wooden sword). Quickly, looking around, see us goofing, shake your head. One more show and off again. Putting ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo etc. in one move. My complete disregard for technique made me hate that exercise. But every training I went which was lead by you, we did it at least once! It was only after I decided to take a different look at techniques, that I started to value the exercise.

In my Aikido journey I met you, you taught me. And the greatest lesson you taught me was the nonchalance, the charm and the smile. You seemed to enjoy every moment of life to the fullest. Although maybe a cliche to say, but you really did it. By doing so you made sure that everybody felt welcome in your dojo, and in your presence.

So Simon, where ever you are: keep smiling.

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