Barbara Ellen Klein (March 18, 1944-Oct. 3, 2023)
On the highest level, Aikido is not something we do, it is something we are. Barbara Sensei embodied Aikido—she was always kind, considerate, polite, welcoming, encouraging, and a healer. Barbara Sensei was soft-spoken, of calm and composed demeanor, pleasant to be in her company. I spent many delightful years with Barbara Sensei, on and off the mat. She was always supported me and my work, for which I will be eternally grateful. Once Barbara Sensei and I were walking outdoors crossing over a rough patch of ground. I realized that we were holding each other up. “Holding one another up until we reach our destination together” is an apt definition of Aikido. Barbara Sensei loved Aikido—as it was developed by the Founder Morihei Ueshiba—and widely promoted his teachings by continually hosting and attending seminars over the years. Bob Sensei was her life-long training partner. I don’t remember ever seeing them apart. When I was unable to travel because of various ailments, the two Sensei visited me whenever they were in Honolulu. The visits were another form of elevated Aikido training. I have the deepest condolences for Bob Sensei, but as he told me, “I will carry on in Barbara’s spirit.” Although Barbara Sensei is no longer with us, in many traditions there is this belief: “If we encounter a person in this realm, it means we encountered that person in a previous realm, and will encounter that person again in a future realm.”
Farewell and Aloha my dear friend. Rest in Peace.