Sunday, May 16, 2010

Photos, photos and more photos

Out doing the japanese at taking photos was a special emphasis of the seminar, most are on facebook but am tracking down the public links

Photos by Danny
Photos from Craig Mils
Photos from Colin set 1

The seminar also appeared on Japanese television,  enjoy

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tenchinage - Kotai to Kontai - 5 levels

Maruyama Sensei continued his progression of techniques through the 5 levels of technique in the Aikido Yuishinkai syllabbus. See the clip and the historical context of the 5 levels of technique

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A demonstration by Hashimoto Sensei

Hashimoto Sensei was awarded his 6-dan by Kodokai founder Minoru Oshima. A part of this was to give a demonstration for his students here are some clips

A demonstration of an ikkyo taigi

Goningake - a five man attack simulation

The Last Supper

Finally the seminar came to a close and for those that elected to go on the tour there was a night at the Asanokan Ryokan (a traditional guesthouse by the sea), near the famous wedding rocks. here we indulged in traditional foods, luxuriated in the Sento (bath house) and attempted to stay connected with the modern world

Another day at the dojo

The day began like many other days at any of a number of dojo, around the world. bowing, taking ukemi (not an optional activity here) and generally giving each other a good thrashing. But nestled amongst the rice paddies of rural Japan there were a few surprises, a 10th dan was presented, and a 4-dan and 6-dan grading followed by a night of celebration at a local Japanese restaurant.

Congratulations Williams Sensei on 10-dan Aikido Yuishinkai

Mistaking Sunter San for Santa-San he is asked for an autograph many times

Bento lunches...very derrishess
Hashimoto Sensei gives a stellar demonstration for 6-dan Aikido Kodokai

No pressure but Maruyama sensei is watching

Fabulous Shabu-shabu followed by sushi, tempura and many other fabulous dishes

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Creaking joints and ukemi

Day 1 we all arrived at the Matsusaka budokan, feeling really special only to discover there was a karate seminar on Tonfa and Bo on and a Kyudo practice as well. Enjoying the mayhem of slippers, negotiating the toilets (and yet more slippers) has us all in the change room and onto the tatami in no time. A big sigh of relief for participants as the hard tatami are actually on a sprung floor so its not so bad to take falls on - though can be a little hard on the knees when listening to speeches. The seminar was open by an ikebana demonstration for display on kamiza and then some speeches by Williams, Hashimoto, Maruyama and Oshima and a local town dignitary - it was Shugyo training for some as they battled to maintain seiza - though the wiser opted for sitting cross legged (you can hide anything under a hakama).
Maruyama Sesei was up first and outlined some of the framework of Aikido Yushinkai for the benefit of the other schools attending the seminar and following his class it was time for our Bento lunch (its a kind of Japanese smorgasbord in a lunch box) which we all enjoyed o the steps f the Budokan. Once finished we hurried in side only to find the ladies in our group had been whisked away and were in the process of being dressed in traditional Kimono. (lookout Paul Gabby chose the wedding kimono!)

Second class was held by Williams Sensei who upped the action in what became a Japanese / Australian ukemi competition. By now our bodies were beginning to understand what was happening and get into gear. All to soon the second class was over and there was time for a quick drink and to sneak next door and watch the Kyudoka at work before hustling back to see what Oshima Sensei had in store for us.

What ensured was wht could only be described as a high energy class with the pace building relentlessly right up until it was time for the end of class. See video here of Katedori tenkan Kokyu nage

A quick soak in the local Sento and it was off to dinner at a local Italian restaurant.

Sake with friends

Hashimoto sensei welcomed seminar participants on the eve of the seminar with a sake sommelier or sake tasting party. It was hosted at his mums pub, just a 1k or so from the hotel through some back streets and a couple of wrong turns. A gritty back street establishment frequented by colourful characters. It was a night of good food, plenty of sake (who knew there were so many) and lots of laughter. It was a nice ice breaker for participants. Sensei herded us out at a respectable hour so we would be fit and able for the seminar the next day.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Eating Natto and visiting Ise

Well its our first day in Japan and like any other day it starts by sharing breakfast together. Resident gastronomist Gabby demonstrates how to eat Natto (the Japanese cultural equilent of Vegemite)

After breakfast, we venture forth to the Ise Grand Shrine, via a few trains and to enjoy the village of Naiku. Unfortunately along the way sensei is accosted by a gang of youths and has to do some fast talking.

Arriving at Naiku we enjoy local foods from street stalls, do some sake tasting, see some taiko drumming and visit the shrine.

On the Road at last

Fortunately my sons Matthew and Samuel made sure I was awake in plenty of time to drive down to Coolongatta airport to catch the plane on time, co-pilot Gabby. By luck we ran into Williams Sensei and John Ward with Jim Nicholls dropping by for some last minute advice. With the inevitable Jetstar delay we were soon on our way on what was a mostly empty plane, allowing us to all stretch out a plenty.

Its a ~9hr flight so there was plenty of time to talk about aikido, doze, watch a movie or two, talk some more aikido and catch up on a bit of sleep. Touching down in Osaka international airport (which is in the middle of the bay) we experienced our only significant delay, Gabby's Red suitcase had gone missing! But fortunately we found a blue one that was close enough in size and took that one instead. John Ward, ever the dillantte took the opportunity to practice some waza.

A series of trains, including this one right out of Gotham city soon had us on our way to Matsusaka. Arriving at our hotel with some minor comedy and pantomine to establish we had a booking it was off to the local shop for some midnight snacks and some sake for sensei.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Japan Friendship Seminar - A beginning

In 2006 i first met Hashimoto Sensei at a seminar by one of his teachers Oshima Sensei, since then he has returned to Australia several times to hold seminars in Brisbane and Melbourne making lots of friends. Over tea one night he expressed a desire to strengthen the links between Australia and Japan for Aikido and there was much discussion late into the night about the best way to do this across several organisations. In late 2008 Hashimoto Sensei sent a letter of invitation to join him in a friendship Seminar in rural Matsusaka Japan with a view to inviting a few organisations to participate in what might become a regular event. It was a happy out come that Master Koretoshi Maruyama and Michael Williams Sensei from Aikido Yuishinkai agreed to teach together with Minoru Oshima Sensei from the Kodokai Aikido and planning began in earnest.

With a few visits each way to fine tune the details and many many emails the friendship seminar was realised though the support of Aikido Yuishinkai Australia and many students who wanted to come to train to practice aikido it turned into a reality.

The seminar will be held in Matsusaka, Japan from May 2-4 and is followed by an optional cultural tour. The seminar website lists all of the seminar and cultural tour details for intending participants and some images. So far we have many aikido students from Australia and overseas gathering for the seminar together with a strong contingent from all over Japan.

With the seminar now just under a week ago this blog site has been setup for participants to post experiences, links for photos etc. too

As Hashimoto Sensei would say 'Let's have fun'

best wishes,