…and nice to meet you Netherlands, Utrecht:
…and for starting with the right foot:
I spent last weekend in Turin: I had planned to visit my best friend Silvio and by chance I could also attend a session at Yoake dojo with Philippe Gouttard sensei.
First time I practice under his teaching and it has been a very nice experience: he worked a lot on the way uke should deliver the best kind of attack, a sincere attack that tori can use in order to perform the technique and learn also what is good or bad in the execution. As sensei said, when uke falls he/she must enjoy it as natural outcome of the movement, not like something that has been forced upon him/her.
Sensei pointed out as well a few errors in my movements that will certainly help me to be a better uke, and especially things that could be dangerous when practicing at higher speed with more advanced people (like harmonizing arm and body movements when receiving techniques like shihonage and nikyo ura).
I had also another first time at the seminar: first time I have to sit down during practice! OK, I’m not proud of neither my condition nor my belly, but I had always managed before to slow down keeping moving.. At this session we had probably 20 minutes of jiyuwaza changing 2-3 partner
I found a very nice interview with Philippe (wit a few videos) that tells more about his Aikido life and his personality. Furthermore, it made me think how it is important always to remember we are Western people doing an Asian martial art, therefore we have a good set of differences. As Philippe sensei says, he realized our Asian teachers are just normal human beings that are good in doing something we want to learn as well, but they are not gods, magicians or heroes! This is something some other sensei forget often, especially some Japanese ones!!
I leave you with just a couple of nice videos (of several) of Gouttard sensei in action:
The rest of the weekend turned out to be very relaxing and especially I enjoyed discovering some part of Turin that I never knew and a new word as well: the apericena in San Salvario area.
“AperiCena” is a neologism derived by the fusion of the 2 Italian words: “Aperi(tivo)” (aperitif) and “Cena” (dinner), being a nice new way to spend time with friends, enjoying a less formal meal, more various and cheaper than a typical dinner. A good example (from the net) is shown below:
The apericena we had was not too different in the restaurant called Lanificio San Salvatore in San Salvario area in Turin. The area had been for a very long time mostly known for the quite high criminality, being a multicultural aggregation of people, mainly industry workers or poorer. What I have seen in the streets around the area of Lanificio in the evening is an extremely nice meeting area, with several small restaurants and bars and a small square full of young people enjoying the still not too cold evening.
A very nice weekend all together, Aikido, friends and good spirit! And tomorrow I’m going back to Torino, even if no Aikido this time! “Just” friends!!
I also tried to introduce one of the best Aikido traditions I have learnt in my years abroad: a good ukemi farewell for Mattia! Unfortunately we were not so many people at practice but first we had a couple of runs where Mattia was tori and applying some technique from a given attack to each of us, followed (of course) by a couple of runs of uke role, where we could enjoy some throwing around of Mattia!
Best Aikido farewell to wish him the best luck in this new step of his adventure.. and of course he has already got contacts with some Aikikai Aikido club in Florence!!
Only bad feeling I got from the nice Endo sensei seminat at Aikido Dojo Kashin Roma is an unfortunate mix up of my keikogi jacket that probably happened the last day (Sunday session) and I did not realize until too late:
It’s 2 weeks now, I posted on FB on my page, the dojo one and several others of German people, but not only present at the seminar. Impossible one did not realize the mistake and talked with other that do have FB..
Anyway.. I post it here as well: if you had before a DanRho keikogi jacket and now you got a Tozando one,
A few weekends ago I went to Rome for my first experience with Endo sensei in Italy, at Aikido Dojo Kashin Roma. It was then also probably the first time I really understood what sensei was talking about, since his words were translated to Italian!! After listening to Japanese, Finnish, Slovakian, Czech, French and German translations, I can say I was happy for once to struggle less!! (Yeah, I know, I still have missed the Spanish, Bulgarian and Russian seminars of Endo sensei!!)
Just back from an extremely good and interesting seminar with Takahama Mitsunobu sensei, 7.dan, in Bolzano organized by Aikido Club Bolzano.
Many first times for me: first time going to Bolzano, that I discovered to be an extremely beautiful mountain city, with a gorgeous old part, extremely well kept , surrounded by the Dolomite; first time practicing with Takahama sensei; first time meeting some more active Italian aikidokas following Yasuno sensei style of Aikido; first time practicing in Italy with a good Italian friend I met in in Japan, Ennio, back in Italy after about 10 years in Japan, and ready to start his Italian Aikido adventure with his new dojo/project Ura Kasumi in Lodi, Pavia and Milan.