First days of Swatch FIVB Stavanger 2007

28 06 2007

team japan shinako tanaka 田��姿��

Sunday I spent most of the day around the training courts hoping in some luck for meeting who I really hope to meet.. but luck and me usually seldom cross paths.. Anyway I could watch the practice of a couple of Japanese teams, both men and women. And some other teams were also around getting warm and “tasting” Norwegian sand.. Actually Miwa and Take arrived only few hours before their match on Tuesday, and from the little I understood from Take’s blog it was not so well organised..

After a short break from the fields, “break” spent at work (yippy.. since saturday I have more than 100 extra hours… and still a lot of work to do 😯 ), I went back to the fields to enjoy also the great sun.. a further proof that guessing weather (check the last paragraph of the post!) is not an easy thing in Norway!!! 🙂 The result of the sun exposition was, as usual, a good red shade over my exposed skin.. making the ground for real sun! From last year, quite unused, I still have sun-filter and after sun lotion.. 😀


Monday was the official start of the women tournament, with country quota selections, and a lot of field practice for most of the teams.. For the country quota, I assisted in the main court the duel between Brasialin teams: Maria Clara Carol and AgathaShaylyn. The former team, Maria Clara – Carol won 2-1 (21-17, 14-21, 16-14) an extremely nice and well fought match!

Tanaka Shinako, 田��姿��  - Koizumi Eiko, 小泉栄��Tuesday has been the real thing: qualification day for the women and some country quota for the men. Tanaka Shinako, 田中姿子Koizumi Eiko, 小泉栄子, a team I did not know much before but I am really appreciating their smiles now :-D, won the first match without major problems against the Dutch team v.d. Heuvel-de Vries [seed 22]: final score 2-0 (21-10, 21-18) in 37 minutes. The smile here and another one the day before are one of the reasons that I really hope to meet this team again 😉

Miwa Asao 浅尾美和For my favourite Japanese team, Asao Miwa, 浅尾美和 – Nishibori Take, 西堀健実, the competition did not last very long.  They played the first, and only, match against the German team GollerLudwig, who had qualified through the country quota matches. For Take & Miwa there has not been any real winning chances: final score 0-2 (15-21, 12-21) in 33 minutes. I did not really understand the situation at trainer level for Japanese beach volley: it seems there was no Japanese trainer assisting their match. A bit weird 😕

ShinakoDestiny made the same German team facing Tanaka – Koizumi. Shinako & Kae came very close to victory. Unfortunately a couple of mistakes from the Japanese team and some very lucky saves by the German ones, let the latter win and approde to the Main Draw – Round Robin phase. The final score for the Germany victory had been 2-1 (22-20, 21-23, 15-11) in 1 hour, a very nice battle.. but not with a happy ending for Japan and me! 😦

With pleasure I noticed that the Brasilian team Maria Clara – Carol successifully went through qualification winning both rounds 2-0 against first Erni – Graessli SUI [25] and next Keizer – Leenstra NED [9] 😎

Wednesday presented the Round Robin tournament for the female competition and the qualification for the male one. For the latter, I assisted only to the winning second match of the Japanese team Nishimura – Watanabe, a very easy win (2-0 with partials 21-16, 21-13 in 35 minutes) against the Norwegian team Ingeborgrud – Goranson E, seed 29. The Japanese were totally superior but they lost some points with ingenuity, probably because of their superiority. That might be a problem for them in the future. Especially since from today they are in the Round Robin part.

P1060782Anyway thanks to the speed of this match, I could go and assist to the another very nice victory of the two Brasilian girls Maria Clara – Carol against the American couple Boss – Ross. These two American tough girls had come through the qualification tournament winning at Round 2 against the Chinese team Zuo Man, 左曼 – Lu Wang, 王露, in one of the first “wet” matches here in Stavanger. The final score was 2-1 for Brasil, with partials: 21-16, 15-21, 15-13 in 50 minutes.. under an almost constant rain!! The terrible weather is really killing the competition. Very little people around, and, trust me, when you stand or sit out there, in rain and wind, it is not so easy to enjoy the match.. you just hope they finish as soon as possible! But with these victory, Maria Clara & Carol are now leading Pool D together with another Brasialian team, Renata – Talita: today match between these two teams will decide the final ranking for the next phase, but both teams are for sure qualified!


A bit more unsure is the situation for the last women Japanese team, in Pool G: Teru Saiki Mika , 佐伯美香Kusuhara Chiaki, 楠原千秋. With 1 win (2 sets to 0) and 1 loss (2 sets to 1), they are playing today with a French team, with lower seed, at least on paper. Right now they are second in the Pool, same point as a local Norwegian team but better set win/lost ratio, and they still have a chance to get the first and better place.

頑張る 日本!!!!


Swatch FIVB Stavanger 2007 – Women’s Grand Slam

23 06 2007

Swatch FIVB Stavanger 2007

Monday kick off of FIVB beach volley women tournament here in Stavanger, Norway!! I have already purchased the ticket for saturday, whole day, final of the female tournament, the only one I am actually interested in! 😉

I don’t need to say again that my eyes will be focused, time and their results permitting, to the Japanese teams, and bit more to Miwa Asao, 浅尾美和,  and Take Nishibori, 西堀健実.. and I admit that also Chiaki Kusuhara, 楠原千秋, and her top career, are quite interesting to me!

A few days ago I saw how they brought the sand to the tournament area: a really big ship delivered the tons of sand on location.. and, strange for Norway, in a couple of days they have finish preparing the whole area. When they want, they can work effectively! 😉 Unfortunately the weather is not as good as last year and the forecast were not too promising, but one thing is sure: here the weather changes quite fast! And today there were already some teams practicing! 🙂

Great seminar in Moelv!!!

22 06 2007

mouliko & sannaMy first time in Moelv for the summer camp organized by Sunyata Aikido dojoAikikan Norway Aikido Federation has been a really great experience!! 😀
Besides the very good level of the instructors present on tatami, Mouliko Halén (6. dan), Jan Nevelius (6. dan), Jorma Lyly (4. dan), and the extremely nice people that came to this seminar from different dojos in Norway and from Sweden, Germany, England, Iceland..
besides the Aikido, 合気道, part, I mean, Moelv was really a perfect place for the seminar, the weather was wonderful (I had my first swim of the summer 2007 🙂 ) and the Saturday evening party was great fun!!!!

josefinEvery day was starting with one hour weapon practice on a grass field just outside the dojo with the group split in 2, one with Mouliko and one with Jan & Jorma. Next, the day proceeded with 1-hour sessions instructed by each sensei in turn, while the other 2 were going around the mats and practicing and advising us.. Really good formula! And especially there was always the possibility to get the real feeling of the technique from one of the higher graded! Quite important! 😀

We have been lucky with the weather too: it was great summer weather but not too hot.. there was always a quite enjoyable fresh breeze, so the training hall never became a terrible sauna! And that was actually my first and biggest fear!! Too many years in Norway, I’m not used anymore to warm weather!! 😀

An extremely nice Saturday evening barbeque on the shore of the lake helped to know each other better, and the organization of a couple of funny team games (I was in Team #1 and we won a special race carrying a person..) gave an extra boost to the fun of the evening! 🙂

Weekend in Moelv!!

15 06 2007

Friday to Sunday, Bob and me will be off to Moelv for the summer camp organized by Sunyata Aikido dojoAikikan Norway Aikido federation.

Takemi “Take” Nishibori, 西堀健実 “タケ”

14 06 2007

take nishibori 西堀健実Take, Nishibori Takemi, 西堀健実 is probably the reason that I started to write more posts about the Japanese beach volley teams, after my brief encounter with them last year here in Stavanger.. 🙂
After that I have tried to leave some comments in her blog but I admit that the language limitations are huge.. my non-existent Japanese on one side and I think a very basic English on her side!! Besides, I have never seen her replying the fan in the blog.. for example different from another Japanese player, Kusuhara Chiaki, 楠原千秋, who spends time in replying in her blog too! Even to my basic babelfished comments.. when not in English ( アンドレア it’s me 😀 )

Anyway, Take is the less known part of the team Asao Miwa, 浅尾美和Nishibori Take, 西堀健実 being Miwa quite famous as the pretty model who’s also a professional beach volley player with many supporters (and I admit, she’s very cute!).

take nishibori 西堀健実But even with no real contact after one year of blogging also aobut them, I still remember an incredible nice smile that Take directed to me here in Stavanger.. no, it was not love at first sight, but I liked that girl! And I liked a lot also the hard work they did every evening in Stavanger, even if they had lost very early in the tournament..

And this hard work payed back, because yesterday Take & Miwa acceeded to the Main Draw of the FIVB tournament in Portugal. That was the first time for Take and for both of them as a team (Miwa has entered Main Draw three times during 2004-2005 with other partners, more experienced players like: Shinako Tanaka, Ryo Tokuno, Rii Seike).  It has been a very exciting qualification. They won against 2 other Japanese teams: Makabe Miho, 真壁美穂 – Oguri Sachie, 小栗幸恵 in the country quota match and next the higher ranked couple Urata Satoko, 浦田聖子Suzuki Hiromi, 鈴木洋美. I guess anyway that the most difficult step has been the following one, when they defeated the Canadian team Mondor – Boileau, the match you are afraid to win:

55 12-Jun 17:00  Mondor-Boileau CAN [26] Asao-Take JPN [23] 0-2 (12-21, 12-21) 0:30

The Main Draw tournament ended also in the same day, yesterday, June 13th, 2007.. with an impossible to win match (for now) against Larissa – Juliana, number 1 Brasilian team, seed 2, one of the best team in the circuit (Juliana and Larissa set a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour record for single-season earnings for both men and women teams with $409,750 in winnings in 2005 as the pair claimed six gold medals and 14 podium placements in 15 international starts).

They ended up ranked in the 25th position, after losing against Schwaiger – Schwaiger, from Austria, a team maybe not much superior to Take and Miwa, but with a far better seeding start position (#15, index 11.0) so that they did not have to go through qualification tournament.

But it was a great day anyway, and for that, タケさん:


take nishibori 西堀健実

Endo sensei in Hamburg: katawaza

10 06 2007

seishiro endo sensei

Last weekend I was in Hamburg for a very interesting seminar with one of my favourite sensei, Seishiro Endo, 遠藤征四郎, 8.dan Aikikai. My first visit in Hamburg and I really enjoyed the city, a lot of green areas and great architecture, even if I had not really much time to spend for tourism. The first session on friday was at Aikido Schule and the rest of the seminar was in a larger dojo, at MoMo Budo Zentrum, a place where they teach martial art to policemen.

Even being an unexpected large attendance and quite a few high graded on the mats (a couple of 6.dan and many 5.dan!!!) the organizers did not fall in the temptation to split in smaller groups: all the people there was for Endo sensei!!

And sensei, even admitting that the space was not too good for doing what he would have liked, focused more on “basic” movements and exercises than kata, 型 (form) ie. the “sequence of movements” that we are used to perform during graduation, for example. He repeated several times that when practice at our own dojos it is ok doing kata but when we attend his seminars it is more interesting working on waza, 技 (technique) to understand the art itself, to feel what in the kata partly disappears because of the “silent agreement” between tori and uke.

aikido and me... ;-)I needed to look a bit more into kata / waza distinction: very interesting comments always find origin in discussions among practitioners, with a result of a nice post mentioning different major senseis. The tori/uketopic led to another important (and difficult) concept: awase, 合わせ, “blending not clashing“.. More to think about, in the future 😉

Among the 5.dan present, there was a well known Aikidoka for the Norwegians: Frank Ostoff from Aikido Dojo Düsseldorf. I had a couple of chances to practice with him and it was a very good feeling! 🙂 Same feelings I got from many other people on the mats.. I wonder if any of them got good feelings from me!! 😉

It was also interesting the graduation: one guy graded to 3.dan and sensei was directing the exam and deciding the outcome (in Germany it is either Endo sensei or Tissier sensei responsible for grading over 2.dan, in the federation following these two instructors).

As a bonus related to this post, an interview with Endo sensei from Aikido Journal and a similar one, but in Spanish.

…and for future reference, I have updated the seminar page and bought today my ticket to Prague for attending this summer the seminar with Endo sensei in Slovakia, at Žilina (info in English here, with only the year wrong in the date field!!).

sensei Seishiro endo

I dreamt of you last night…

6 06 2007

you had really tiny shorts…
dark blue or black
beautiful legs

a black t-shirt..

loose hairs

sitting at the pc i was on your side
you stand up and take my hand

i look at you..
and next only at your eyes…

and you hold my hand for a while…
and it is so peaceful..

next i wake up
my hand is still warm..
and i feel so empty because you are not here..

but i got hope to hold your hand one day
next life maybe..

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