Ethiopian Aikido Gradings – A Photographic Reportage

23 04 2015

The dojo exists because of the meaning we give it. This meaning can never be lost from its place in the world because it is that place. The dojo is where we declare it to be. Each moment can be a place of awakening, of learning, of walking toward life.

Richard Strozzi-Heckler

A magic photographic report from a very good Aikidoka and photographer, David Ellard. Read the rest of this entry »





Un PAGLIACCIO per il primo Maggio!

7 04 2015

Post in Italiano per una volta (short English summary below): la band di un caro amico e compaesano Biellese ha la possibilita’, se votata a sufficienza, di partecipare al concerto del primo Maggio a Roma, quindi, godetevi la loro musica e votate cliccando il “mi piace” in alto a destra.

Bella musica, che non solo puo’ rallegrarvi, ma anche far pensare un po’..

For my not Italian readers, a band from my hometown can have the chance to play at a major Italian concert on the first of May if the get enough votes, so follow this link and then click on the op right side the “Mi piace” icon (Facebook style “Like”).. Let’s help them to get to a great event!!





Street art in Sofia

7 04 2015

During the break between the Aikido classes on Saturday at Kuribayashi sensei seminar in Sofia, a good friend, Stancho (local Bulgarian but currently living in Stavanger and practicing in the same place where I practiced, Jūshinkan Aikido) took Masha (good Russian Aikido friend) and I to visit some parts of the center.

Interesting walk through the streets of central Sofia and in particular “Tzar Shishman” street: a location that has been almost preserved as it was at the beginning of last century, typically visited for the architecture of the buildings that used to be from the local government. Also famous the old Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Temple, firstly built as a mosque and then became an Orthodox church. At the beginning of the century Tzar Shishman street was indeed still quite similar (with 2-3 stories building, differently from Sofia after WWII, past the destruction, of course, but where the buildings started getting higher).

But what I found extremely interesting has been the street art:

Street art in Sofia Street art in Sofia
Street art in Sofia Street art in Sofia

Since my good friend Vittorio introduced me to stencil and street art artists, I admit that when I travel especially to new cities (mainly I do it for Aikido, and now a “new” passion got linked to that!) I always keep an eye (or two) out for street art. To the point that I ask to residents where to find some hot spots for this kind of art. This time I did not ask before, but I was certainly very lucky!

Street art in Sofia

Thanks Stancho for the great time!





On the way to Sofia!

3 04 2015

Sofia, as the capital of Bulgaria, not as a pretty woman that can make my new life better. Sofia, as the place where I will enjoy another most probably very good seminar with Kuribayashi sensei, after Hungary.

I admit I had to refresh a bit my geography: I had not such a clear idea where Sofia and also Bulgaria were! I realized also why it has been a challenge to find a flight to Sofia that would have not required a stop over in Rome, Paris or Belgrade! Unfortunately, the direct flight I have will not allow me to use properly Easter Monday holiday: return flight at 7:15 am, back home probably at midday! And given the practice time,  not so much time to explore the city I will visit for the first time!

All in all, a typical Aikido weekend, I know!

Practice practice practice for an Easter period where I want to do all but stop and think..





She’s the only one that makes me sad

2 04 2015

She is everything and more
The solemn hypnotic
My Dahlia bathed in possession
She is home to me

I’m a slave, and I am a master
No restraints and, unchecked collectors
I exist through my need, to self oblige
She is something in me, that I despise

Full lyrics

She seemed dressed in all of me, stretched across my shame.
All the torment and the pain
Leaked through and covered me
I’d do anything to have her to myself
Just to have her for myself
Now I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do when she makes me sad.

She is everything to me
The unrequited dream
A song that no one sings
The unattainable, she’s a myth that I have to believe in
All I need to make it real is one more reason
I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do when she makes me sad.

Full lyrics

…and when I am sad, I just need to release some energy..





April fools

1 04 2015

The main thing about me is that I don’t need the 1st of April for feeling myself as a fool. But of course today the feeling is more proper ;-)

So why not change something…
Read the rest of this entry »





Half of the planned way..

31 03 2015

End of March and I have reached more or less half way in the planned Aikido weekends.

After a nice time in Finland and Sweden with Endo sensei and Vanadis teachers, Lyly sensei and Nevelius sensei, unfortunately I missed the weekend in Sweden with Bachraty sensei but then things got better in the following trips:

  • Pécs & Budapest with Kuribayashi sensei
  • Vienna with Shimizu sensei
  • Wasquehal with Yasuno sensei

And the next weekends will take me:

  • Sofia with Kuribayashi sensei
  • Dublin with Irie sensei
  • Prague with Nevelius sensei

..then one long “free” weekend.. or better with no Aikido but with some other activities planned: visiting Keukenhof park to enjoy some colorful tulips, and then the Monday after it will be the King’s birthday holiday, looking forward to repeat the funny experience of last year.

But now seeing the “end” of this period coming up fast, and having planned only a couple of Aikido activities in May (one short week of practice with Lyly sensei in Berlin), then July (Lillsved summer camp with Lyly sensei and Nevelius sensei), I see the need to start planning for more weekends (got almost no holidays left and I still have one trip in the “almost impossible wishlist”: Irie sensei in Indonesia again), followed by Bachraty sensei in Stavanger in August and the Kuribayashi sensei in Oslo (September) and then in Belgium (October), hoping this latter one will not crash with the celebration of 30 years of the club where I started Aikido, Trondheim Tekisuikan NTNUI Aikido.

So, I’ll soon start having a look around, but, remember:

I am very open to suggestions as usual








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