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The World of the Foxes

Happy Aikido has the fox as its mascot. There are eight foxes, four girl foxes and four boy foxes. In Japanese mythology, the fox is a close friend of man, and sometimes possesses supernatural powers. Sometimes they are cunning and a little mischievous, but they also have an important role as temple guards outside the many Japanese temples. Fox is called kitsune in Japanese.

Our eight foxes have their special qualities, and in our exercise book Happy Aikido Codex you can get to know them. In the book, they tell about Aikido and how to act in the dojo. Carl Stenmark gives the foxes life through his pencils and brushes, and twice a year everyone at the dojo gets a summer and New Year’s card. Here are some of the cards and pictures of all the foxes.

The different foxes are responsible for different techniques and parts of the training, and sometimes you can get a workout with many different fox techniques!

Our Riai Theater regularly performes scenes from the lives of the foxes. It’s always exciting to see a new show!

Happy Aikido’s fox family

Name: Pika

GIRL Age 5-7 years
Character: Curious, imitator, open as a blank sheet of paper, happy, irrational
Likes: Fairy tales, stories, broccoli
Dislikes: Eating insects, cold
Specialty: imitating, mime, imitating
Misc: World best at making aikido animals
Shortcomings: mimics all unconscious, uncontrolled mimicking movements

Name: Goshi

GIRL Age 8-12 years
Character: Brave, cocky, does-it-herself no matter what, impatient
Likes: being outdoors, ramen noodles, pancakes
Dislikes: passive things indoors, to wait
Specialty: building, constructing, feeling for nature and natural materials
Misc: dreams of building her own forest dojo and living there, her role models are Kudo and Zubari; always has a ponytail on top of her head
Shortcomings: Sometimes does things too fast, does not always think everything through (eg a screw doesn’t have to be tight)

Name: Gocha

BOY Age 9-13 years
Character: clumsy, all thumbs, kind, has good intentions – but things often go wrong
Likes: props, headdresses, hanten, dress up (has a large wardrobe)
Dislikes: shoelaces, belts (everything you can get tangled up in); melted cheese, stringy and tangled up food like spaghetti
Specialty: creative
Misc: likes to fish and meditate (but always falls asleep right in the middle of meditation)
Shortcomings: Poor coordination

Name: Kudo, Smeknamn ”Jo”

BOY Age 14-17 years
Character: serious, reigi fanatic, versed in etiquette, order, reigi at the level of detail “knows how it should be”, besserwisser
Likes: detail oriented, likes style, medieval samurai dramas – he cries loudly and is engulfed completely in the drama. Series
Dislikes: disorder, Picasso and abstract art; to go to art museums
Special ability: tear paper animals behind his back
Misc: is the dojo police, corrects the paintings at people’s homes if they don’t hang straight, is a mediocre Manga artist
Shortcomings: always forgets to place his slippers in the right direction at the edge of the carpet, despite telling everyone else what to do

Name: Zubari, Smeknamn: ”Bokken”

GIRL Age 18-25 years
Character: serious, mature, has a sound set of values, important to practice what you preach, translates aikido into everyday life, life issues, goes out on his own, travels often
Likes: Snukfin, the harmonica, peaches
Dislikes: insincerity
Special ability: super good with swords, fused with the sword
Misc: is often invited to other places to teach sword art, is traveling with his sword quite often
Shortcomings: is super bad at cracking eggs (there are always shells left in the omelette or in the pancakes)

Name: Sensei

MAN Age 35-55 years
Character: experienced, calm, gives no straight answers, happy to answer in koan form, metaphors and pictures, peaceful
Likes: tea, flowers, ikebana
Dislikes: rush and stress
Special ability: cycling on a unicycle
Misc: grew up with a circus apart from his biological family. However, he abandoned the circus as he sought peace of mind and a new meaning to his life. Then found an older couple (Tessen and Gatsu-gatsu) who adopted him, as their own son. If there is a circus in the city, he secretly sneaks there to get a little nostalgia.
Shortcomings: Never tells when a circus is in the city, the training can suddenly be canceled because he has sneaked away without telling anyone or finding a replacement!

Name: Tessen

WOMAN Age Ancient
Character: Extremely skilled at everything budo. A thousand years of knowledge about everything in the field.
Likes: Fans, winter, slippers, small things, likes shiny things
Dislikes: laziness
Special ability: super fast
Misc: phobia of bullfinches and other small birds. Tessen has all the knowledge about ranks, members and their characteristics – in her sun fan. Is sensei’s advisor.

Name: Gatsu-gatsu Smeknamn: ”Generalen”

MAN Age Ancient 
Character: Always ready for battle, boisterous, dramatic, choleric, cunning, sneaky
Likes: sweets, bargaining, enka (Japanese melancholic songs)
Dislikes: bathing, anything which can ruin his plans, and prevents him from eating candy and other yumminess every day.
Special ability: armor and helmet specialist.
Misc: black pirate eye patch. Why?

Summer- and New Year Cards:

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