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May 12 – Inauguration Ceremony for the new Jis'r Azarka dojo
On May 12th, 250 attendees gathered in the Jis'r Azarka Community Center for a very special event co-hosted by the Edmond and Nadine de Rothschild Foundation and Budo for Peace. Following a short reception, dignitaries, children, families, Budo for Peace staff and supporters all gathered in the auditorium for a one-of-a-kind presentation. Opening speeches were made by Mr. Ezalden Amash - Mayor of Jis'r Azarka, Danny Hakim – Founder and President of Budo for Peace, and Mr. David Efrati – Vice Chairman of the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation. Their inspiring words about Budo for Peace touched the audience and were followed by demonstrations from various BFP dojos and projects.
First, youth from the twinned Arab and Jewish dojos in Kfar Yasif and Karmiel wowed the audience with a spectacular Aikido demonstration. A group from the twinned dojos of Bueine Nujeidat and Mitzpe Netufa presented moves from their Shotokan Karate lessons. Next, Ms. Hanan Drawshi led a demonstration of female strength with her students from BFP's new KiAi Club in Iksal. Finally, Arab and Jewish teens from Budo for Peace's Sempai Program shared a kata called Empi, Swallows in Flight.
The Keynote Speaker for the event was Professor Avishay Braverman, Member of Knesset and Minister of Minority Affairs, who spoke about the reality of minorities in Israel and the value of the Budo for Peace program. Guest of Honor, the Baroness Edmond de Rothschild, spoke about her Foundation and its sponsorship of the BFP dojos in Jis'r Azarka and Or Akiva. The event ended on a high-note with the inspiring first public performance of the 27 nine and ten year old students from Budo for Peace's new Jis'r Azarka dojo.
March 5th – Twinned Dojo meeting between Karmiel and Kfar Yasif
Members of the new BFP dojo in Karmiel travelled to Kfar Yasif for the first visit to their Twinned Dojo. 10 students participated in this afternoon which included a visit to the dojo, and a tour of the mixed, Muslim, Christian and Druze village. For a tasty finish, Hanna Jiryis, BFP Aikido instructor for both clubs, accompanied his students for a shared meal of local hummus.
February 10th –First official Twinned Dojos meeting: Bueine Nujiedat and Mitzpe Netufa
The Twin Dojos held their first training session in Mitzpe Netufa at the local synagogue. 60 participating children from the two communities were joined by a large audience of parents and guests. For many Bueine residents, it was their first time setting foot into their neighbor community. Throughout the 2-hour encounter, the children demonstrated karate techniques and played interactive games in mixed groups. The session ended after young leaders (Sempais) from Bueine ceremonially tied new karate belts around the waists of their Jewish neighbors celebrating martial arts achievement.
The next Twin Dojos session will be held in Bueine. It has already been planned and will begin with students and parents walking from Mitzpe Netufa to Bueine Nujeidat through the forest that separate the two communities.
December 22 - Holiday Party at Kfar Yasif
Chanukah, Christmas and Idel Adcha were celebrated together at one festive partyin Kfar Yasif on December 22nd. 200 parents, friends and guests arrived to watch students from the local Budo for Peace dojo give an Aikido demonstration, followed by the ceremonialpresentation of newlyacquiredbelts. The festive evening ended withspeeches by Danny Hakim, founder of Budo for Peace, and the Mayor of Kfar Yasif. Theexcitement of the eveningwas highlighted by the arrival ofConsuls from the Australian, Japanese, and Ghanaian Embassies.
December 15 - El HaLev Delegation visit in Abu Kuidar
BFP's dojo in Abu Kuidar hosted15 female martial arts instructors from abroad,along withIsraeli members of the El HaLev organization for a joint session presenting their martial arts skills. El HaLev is an Israeli non-profit organization working to empower women and reduce violence through martial arts and self defense training. Several members of Budokan Martial Arts and Fitness Program, a MASA program for 18-25 year old Jewish participants from around the world, also took part in the excitingdesert encounter.
December 10 -Chanukah Party in Kiryat Gat
Under the direction of Sensei Emanuel, the 9-12 year students in Budo for Peace's new dojo in Kiryat Gat presented theirnew skills at a festive holiday partyfor family and friends. The party took place at Neve Hanna Boarding School.
November 13 - BFP Demonstration for One-to-One Delegation in Timna Park
A delegation from One-to-One Foundation, one of Budo for Peace's longstanding partners in the UK, cametovisit Israel and enjoyed a one-of-a-kind presentation inthe middle of the desert. Twelve students from BFP's Abu Kuidar dojo travelled southward to Timna Park (near Eilat) to give a karate demonstration while surrounded entirely by sun, sand and beautiful mountaintops. The delegation was impressed by the abilities of Abu Kuidar's 9-12 year old martial artists, and the students had an opportunity to personally thank their sponsors.
May 5-6 - BFP End of Year Event at Kfar HaYarok
Over 210 children and parents from dojos throughout Israel participated in a two-day nation-wide Budo for Peace Camp at Kfar HaYarok. The children were split into 8 groups of 20, each comprised of members fromvarious BFP dojos and communities. Each group was co-facilitated by one Arab and one Jewish Sempai, who worked together in solving linguistic and social barriers, leading the childrenthrough interactive activities, role playing games and martial arts training sessions.
The event was a huge success. Parents and children enjoyed themselves, while staff was thrilled to see the Budo for Peace vision in action. The Sempais reveled in the fruits of their labors after many months of planning the event's programming. Budo for Peace staff and management were all very proud of what this group was able to achieve together after a year of Sempais Training Seminars.
July 7th – Final BFP event at Ulpan Akiva, Netanya
On July 7th all BFP members gathered together at Ulpan Akiva, Netanya for the closing event of the year 2007-2008. The Ambassador of Japan Mr. Yoshinori Katori and the Ambassador of Australia Mr. James Larsen were official guests of the event.
Four twinned clubs Jaffa– Kfar Yasif, Daburiya– Abu Quidar, Kiryat Gat – Abu Quidar and Jerusalem – Bueine Nujeidat had lunch together and split in separate auditoriums for special coexistence activities which were run by professional facilitators throughout the day. Each twinned club had a 45 minute martial arts session which included the theme of budo value.All students and teachers filled out questionnaires about the activities during the year. The students who passed the final examination at their club received a badge to be placed on their belts.
At the end of the day Mr. Danny Hakim presented the 2 selected senior students who received a scholarship to represent BFP in the United States for 3 weeks .
April 14-16 - Visit of Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa
From April 14th till April 16th 2008, Budo for Peace was honored by the visit of Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa from Japan, 10th Dan – president of the Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation and spiritual leader of Budo for Peace (BFP).
On the first evening of the visit, Kancho Kanazawa was welcomed as the guest of honor at the first Budo for Peace annual dinner held at the residence of the ambassador of Japan, His Excellency Mr. Yoshinori Katori. The ambassador and his wife also hosted the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Meir Shitreet, the Ambassador of Australia James Larsen, The Israel director of UNESCO, the CEO of Sugat Industries, Mr David Franklin, the Israel Director of One-to-one foundation and other dignitaries and over 200 supporters, friends, staff and students of Budo for Peace.
The highlight of the event was a budo demonstration by BFP students and a master techniques demonstration by the son of Kancho Kanazawa – Sensei Nobuaki Kanazawa.
On April 15th, Kancho visited Yad Vashem, the Kotel and then held a training seminar for members of SKIF Palestine.
On April 16th, Kancho Kanazawa visited a school and the BFP club in the Bedouin village of Abu Quidarin the Negev desert. Thirty Bedouin students demonstrated their physical and mental abilities by participating in karate training while presenting the knowledge of the values they learnt from the BFP educational program. Kancho Kanazawa also taught the students and after enjoying a traditional Bedouin meal at the house of BFP educator Hazem Abu Kweder he flew by helicopter over the Negev desert enjoying the scenery of the Masada fortress and Jerusalem.
Later in evening, Kancho Kanazawa conducted two technical seminars at the Wingate Institute of Sport and Education. More than 300 budo practitioners from the age of 6 to 70 from all over Israel enjoyed the sessions with Kancho Kanazawa and his son sensei Nobuaki.
The highlight of the event was the demonstration of the 160 students from 8 Budo for Peace clubs: Kfar Yasif, Bueine Nujeidat, Daburiyya, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Petah Tiqwa, Kiriyat Gat and Abu Kweder. Each club presented its budo skills in aikido, karate, tora dojo and daitoryu.
The 3 days of activities were very successful and BFP members and supporters were both moved and inspired by Kancho’s visit.
February 1st– National Joint Meeting with Clean Up Israel
On February 1st 160 BFP members gathered for an environmental joint event in Mevuot Yam, Michmoret. 121 students, 17 senior students, 18 parents and 4 official guests participated in the event. The goal was to strengthen relationships and coexistence between BFP students by means of educational activities for environmental protection.
The theme of the event was "Respect the environment, Respect each other”.
The opening ceremony included greetings by Danny Hakim, Eli Hadar from Clean Up Israel, Mr. Iwasaki - Cultural Attaché from the Embassy of Japan, James Larsen- Ambassador of Australia , Hedy Wax -Israel Director One to One Israel and David Franklin – CEO and Chairman of Sugat Industries. After the opening ceremony all the students split in 4 groups which rotated to 4 different activity stations:
Eco Ocean lecture – explanation of sea and beach protection
Turtle station – explanation about turtle rescue and sea life
Beach reservation and clean up activities
Ice breaking games.
After the activities everyone enjoyed lunch together and gathered in the sport hall for a closing ceremony. A joint performance by senior karate students from Jerusalem, Ra'anana, Bueine Nujeidat demonstrated a synchronized kata then followed by aikido techniques by Kfar Yasif members.
June 26th - Final Summer Camp at Wingate Institute
On June 26th 110 BFP students gathered at Wingate Institute for 2007 final joint event. Students from Jaffa, Jerusalem, Abu Quidar, Afula ha Elit, Kadoorie School, Bueine Nujeidat enjoyed a day divided into 2 parts. In the first part of the day all clubs mixed for ice breaking games, martial arts and budo values applications. After all the students had lunch together, each group had 4 hours of activities held in Kfar Activi (summer activities sponsored by Coca Cola and Wingate Institute) including: challenge course, visual games, capoeira, and physical obstacles course. All the students received BFP shirts, hats and a special present from Kfar Activi.
April 20th - North BFP Students Gather in YMCA in Tiberius
On April 20th 2007 BFP junior and senior children from North of Israel traveled to Tiberius and gathered at YMCA Peniel, situated along the Sea of Galilee. 50 students with Israeli, Arab, Cherkezian, Russian, Ethiopian, and Druz origin from Afula ha Elit, Khadouri School and Bueni Nujidad enjoyed the scenery of Galilee and practiced in the Christian chapel of YMCA. Professional facilitators took care of the ice breaking games and afterwards senior students from Bueni Nujidad demonstrated high level karate techniques in front of the juniors. Aharon Lopez – BFP educator from Afula ha Elit demonstrated shorinji kempo sparing techniques. After the activities the children had great lunch on the terrace of YMCA overlooking the beautiful view of Galilee.
April 13th - Center and South Dojo Meet at YMCA Jerusalem
On April 13th 2007, more than 50 BFP students from Jaffa, Jerusalem, and Abu Quidar gathered together to meet, play and practice martial arts. The joint meeting was held with the cooperation of BFP new partner - YMCA, and took place in the YMCA´s headquarters in Jerusalem. Jewish, Arab and Christian children from Center and South of Israel had lunch together and enjoyed 2 intensive hours of games, karate and budo introduction by Danny Hakim. BFP was happy to host Ms. Junko Sato – a representative from the Japanese Embassy in Israel, who greeted BFP students and wished them luck in their mission to spread martial arts for peace.
November 2006 - BFP participates in World Karate Championship held in Japan
In November 2006, BFP sent "an ambassadors team" of 12 Israeli and Palestinian senior youth to Japan in order to participate in the 9th World Shotokan Karate International Championship held in Tokyo, Japan.
On the first night of the trip, the BFP team was welcomed at a party hosted by Israel´s Ambassador to Japan. Danny Hakim presented the association to Japanese and foreign diplomats, businessmen and educators. BFP children spoke about their experience and benefit from being a BFP member.
On November 5th the team marched together at the tournament´s opening ceremony under the flag of Budo for Peace and received a standing ovation from the 10,000 people audience who packed the stadium. The 16 Israeli and Palestinian BFP members demonstrated a complex series of karate moves (kata), initially facing and attacking each other in two separate lines, then moving quickly to a series of handshakes and joint synchronized movements. The display represented BFP´s main goal: to overcome fear and mistrust through budo values of respect, harmony and self-control. Danny Hakim addressed the audience and his message outlying the goals of BFP was printed in English and Japanese in the official program . The event was reported on the front page of the Jerusalem Post (November 5th 2006) and was covered by the Japanese media.
One of the highlights of the Japan trip for the BFP members was participating together in a special zen meditation session at original zen temple where the founder of modern karate meditated.
The BFP peace tour to Japan was the second overseas trip for the youth. The importance of bringing youth from conflict areas together to participate in an overseas trip, away from their local area should not be underestimated. The tour created a sharing experience whereby initial barriers of fear and distrust were replaced by memories of excitement and respect for one another. The overall positive experience empowered the BFP youth - our future leaders- to work towards coexistence in the region.
June 2006 - BFP students meet Japanese sumo wrestlers
In June 2006, 13 Japanese top sumo wrestlers arrived to Israel on a week long "Fellowship and Peace". Their visit intended to strengthen ties between Japan and Israel. Budo for Peace participated in a special event held at Frishman beach in Tel Aviv, where the sumo wrestlers played with local kids. 30 Jewish and Palestinian children also had the opportunity to try their techniques against the big budo fighters. After the event everyone went swimming and practiced karate in the sea.
February 2006 - "Run for Peace” Marathon
In February 2006, 40 budo senpai from BFP, aged 12-16, met in Metzoke Dragot, a small campsite in the desert on the way to the oasis of Ein Gedi. This venue was chosen as it offered a spectacular and inspiring view of the Dead Sea. The remoteness of the location created and an atmosphere of intimacy and common survival.
All the boys slept together in a Bedouin tent and the girls in a hall. The purpose of the seminar was to break down barriers of ignorance and fear and to build a team of responsible young adults.
On the next day all participants practiced karate and prepared for a performance to be held that night for the opening of the Ein Gedi "Run for Peace” Marathon. The performance went very well. All the participants had a great time sharing the "pre-stage fright” together and basking in the common glory of a successful performance.
On the second day, 60 children from BFP - 20 Jewish, 20 Arab Israelis and 20 Palestinians aged 9-12 arrived at the Ein Gedi spa site. They were given numbers for the race from the youth leaders and then ran the 2 km race. The event had a carnival atmosphere and the children had a great time.
After lunch all 60 children and 40 senpai traveled to the Massada fortress where they hiked up the snake track. On the top of the fortress the children practiced karate together as partners. The view and the ancient ruins of the site became an unforgettable experience for the young budo practitioners.