Anne Ducouret in Trondheim!

29 10 2007

Anne, 4.dan from Le Cercle d’Aikido Parisien in Paris visited Trondheim for the.. thousandth time??? 😀

group pic

Anne was the sensei of Mathias in Paris, and starting a few years ago, it has been a tradition to have a seminar with her in Trondheim once or twice per year. And I am pretty sure she will visit Norway for a long time, especially since I do not see Mathias moving from here for a long time 😉

relaxing at pub after practice..All this visit made Anne expressing an extremely nice thought: when coming to Trondheim she does not feel like she is going to have a seminar in a foreign place, but time after time she has almost the same feelings than when she practice in her own dojo among her own student.. a more familiar and relaxed feeling that helps always during an Aikido seminar, in order to learn more in a joyful and not stressed atmosphere. That is probably one of the reasons that make me coming back to Trondheim every time I got a chance, using all the seminars up there as a poor excuse! 😛

jo This year seminar with Anne has included quite a lot of weapon work, both jo and bokken practice. A tradition of these seminars is also the final joexercise“, involving running, balance, control and relaxation.. together with a good laugh! 

A quite different school from the kind of weapon practice I am used: Anne is following Chiba sensei, and for example, in the jo practice, he is more oriented to the yari (spear) forms using the short staff. The kata learnt on Sunday requried quite a lot of attention, especially for the number of movements and cut that, if not focus, might lead to injures.. On Saturday, the bokken practice was less dangerous for the head (except when Mathias hit Anne on her head!) but more for the fingers… even with the tsuba (necessary) on the sword!!

All in all, I enjoyed very much the practice, in truth, I enjoy it more every time!


An almost different weekend..

25 10 2007

After 3 weekends away from Stavanger (Paris, Trondheim and Eschen) and before other 6 weekends around for more Aikido seminars (Trondheim, Oslo, Cologne, Oslo, Stockholm.. passing through Prague in the week days to Vienna for the first weekend of December) I had a weekend at home! My “lovely” Stavanger! The most beautiful city in the world.. yes yes, this home! 😀

And for such an occasion, I experienced something new:

  • on Saturday, I ate lobster with 2 good friends
  • on Sunday.. I organized a small Aikido workshop about atari, 当たり, and musubi, 結び, connection and blending, 2 concepts more and more fundamental in Endo sensei Aikido.

immersion!About Saturday: lobster party! Together with Nicola and Thomas, we got a fat (1.1 kg.) lobster, good wine, I made tiramisu and we met for an afternoon-evening of football, food and movies.. The best way to use a Saturday! For me it was the first time eating a lobster, and it was great! Really tasty meat, especially from the claws, and a bit more weird tasting mess from the main body.. It was also good to follow step by step the preparation: from the “killing” performed by Thomas, to the cutting and arranging, done by Nicola.. me? Eating and documenting!!! 😀

All together: WOW! Except of course for the price… but at the end, split by three, it was not that shocking, and we also treated ourselves with a very good white wine..

And then it came Sunday. Not long ago I received the ordered DVD from Way to Mastery about atari, 当たり, and musubi, 結び, connection and blending.. Extremely interesting, since I started thinking a lot about these two key elements of sensei practice, after the good seminar in Zilina, Slovakia.

So, even if it was my only Sunday free of seminar, I decided to organize a small workshop here in Stavanger, for the people with already some Aikikai basics or interest. The response has been small for a reason or another, we were 4, myself included. However, I really enjoyed the practice and also the other people left with a big smile, quite tired and, I hope, with some motivations for joining me one day at an Endo sensei seminar.

A new Aikidoka…

23 10 2007

..has come..

Huge CONGRATULATIONS to Håkon (tori, 取り, in the picture below, throwing me) that today became father of a little boy!!!!

Best congratulations to Håkon and his wife!!!!

katatedori shihonage

Endo sensei in Liechtenstein!

21 10 2007

Eschen churchMy first visit to Liechtenstein has been because of an Aikido seminar.. what a surprise! 😀

Before traveling there, I had asked information about this seminar to my previous instructor, Erik from Oslo Aikido dojo, and he had suggested to rent a car. I thought that the reason was the difficulty to find Escheen, the place where the seminar was taking place. So I was very surprised when Svein and me arrived there with an extremely easy travel by plane to Zurich, train to Sargans and next bus to this village in the heart of Liechtenstein.. But after the first few hours there we realized that the car was necessary for something else: for finding anything (life.. people.. restaurants.. pubs..) around this village, Eschen, in the middle of nowhere!!!! DSC03731Great the webcam picture from the main square! When not practiticng, the situation was bordering the mind black-out!!! I guess sensei started visiting this place looking for peace after months of traveling around Europe.. but this year they said that the cow bells kept him awake during the night..

Enough talking about this place of quiet and mind purification.. and, I admit, really good food!!! Especially for the dinner in a Schaan hotel with a lot of biological fruit juice and interesting beers!!! 😀

Practice was extremely good: luckily, there was much more space than in Paris and it was possible to perform all the techniques to an end without crashing 10 times with the neighbours.

The level of the people on the mats was quite variable, but I had many chances to partner up with amazing good students of sensei, people that practiced the kind of Aikido I will take a thousand years to learn properly.. even if I am feeling more and more confortable: I sense some elements clicking together.. I sense I am understanding a bit more what sensei is talking about, even if my body maybe is in a too bad condition in order to perform properly, especially the very few times that sensei comes around and lets me be his uke

When I am so lucky to have a good partner, I try to stop as least as possible during the seminar just to watch sensei: since Slovakia, with a little of sadness, I have realized he has not much fun with me as uke. So, even being very entarteining watching him performing impossible relaxed movement on whoever is attacking him, from high graded to highly un-coordinated beginners, I have decided that a lot of practice is the main purpose why I travel to seminars! And lately I had a lot of fun with quite high ranked students of sensei.

Brain usage!

15 10 2007

A short post about a quite interesting effect of vision and brain, before I will be able to use more my brain for writing a complete report from my last trip to Liechtenstein..

So, which side, left or right of the brain do you use more? Follow this link to know the answer..

I am a clockwise dude.. and most part of the description really fits me.. a few not.. but that is life, right?

Some people see the figure rotating in both direction.. the colleague that sent me the link says: ” I see her turning anticlockwise when focusing on the text, but the monent I focus on her, she turns clockwise…so I am logical when I am out of focus..” 😀

Another friend of a friend says he saw a ballerina.. finish.. dead brain??? 🙂 I actually saw a revolving (not revolting!) naked girl


11 10 2007

Second big seminar of my favourite sensei, Seishiro Endo, 遠藤征四郎 8.dan Aikikai in a short time. This time I am in Liechtenstein, from Thursday 11th October to Sunday 14th October. After Paris (with Endo sensei too) and Trondheim (with Jan Nevelius), this will be my third seminar in 3 weeks!!! 😀

Anyway, I am quite happy to travel to an Endo sensei seminar right now: a few days ago I received the ordered DVD from Way to Mastery about atari, 当たり, and musubi, 結び, connection and blending.. Extremely interesting, since I started thinking a lot about these two key elements of sensei practice, after the good seminar in Zilina, Slovakia. I admit I have not published the post because I do not feel confortable with my thoughts.. not yet.. 😀Maybe after this seminar I will have understood a few more things in order to write something reasonable.. and not the usual blabla! 😉

Jan Nevelius, 6.dan, in Trondheim

10 10 2007

Last weekend I was at the first seminar of Jan Nevelius in Norway, organized by my first dojo, Tekisuikan Aikido in Trondheim. As Jan said, it was his second visit in Norway, after Tekisuikan Aikido 20 years anniversary in October 2006 with Christian Tissier sensei!

It was a medium size seminar, for Norwegian standards, with a quite good response from the more advanced people from Trondheim dojo, even if few beginners came, but most have started just a couple of weeks ago.. and it takes time to start enjoy, unless you are a freak!!!! There were also quite a few from OSI Aikido Oslo, Anne Berit from her new club in Arendal (with 1 of her students? maybe.. yes! read the comments 🙂 ), one Finnish guy visiting and 2 (1, beside me, yipppyyyyyyyy!) from Stavanger! I probably forget someone else.. that’s life! 😀 In a way, it was much better than the too crowd seminar of a Endo sensei in Paris!!!

I could only take part to 2 sessions because of late arrival in Trondheim (interminable flight from Stavanger: stops is Bergen and Ålesund.. and if you ask really really nice, the pilot may land in front of your house in some other village on the way!).

Practice had been extremely interesting! I always enjoyed training with Jan, a couple of times in Vanadis dojo, or during the other seminars organized by Vanadis people. Jan’s Aikido shows a good deal of thinking and developing over all the years he has practiced, influenced by the several senseis he has met in in martial art path. It was also extremely interesting to chat with him, during the Saturday evening dinner. As Svein commented, given the close contact between Jan and Endo sensei, for once it was good to get explanations in an understandable language of some of the concepts that Endo sensei developes.. instead of the usual translations of sensei words, from Japanese to French, Slovakian, Finnish or German!!!! 😀

As it has been asked me yesterday, I strongly recommend seminars like this one of Jan Nevelius to all Aikido practitioners, independently of the level: Jan has been very effective at showing the technique on people of very different level.. enjoying kicking yudansha asses and helping beginners to understand properly both uke and tori ways!