Spiritual Aikido!!!

28 08 2008

As most of my friends know, in the middle of August the Aikido club where I practice has started an exciting adventure in a new dojo in the center of Stavanger. We changed place mainly because the previous one was never a martial art club, despite the name, but more a sport and aerobic place, where most of sessions where musical ones.

In the last year also we had to face many times problem with people that forgot the meaning of the word respect: maybe they were practicing sport much more effective or funny than Aikido (for them!), but it is not a good habit to make fun of what other people do (especially when they were doing that during our practice, just on the side of the mats).. Furthermore, the sessions before and after us always where either longer or starting earlier and taking our place on the mats.. Discussing with trainers and people (where the majority are in their twenties) had no effect and brought no improvement. Also it seems that Aikido had been promised a dojo location for some time, but it never happened..

New Aikido dojoSo when we got a good offer, we decided to move and we made all the steps very clear, even asking the owner of the previous boss if he wanted to find a dojo for us, so we could have remained in the sport center group. The answer was that they had no money to invest in a dojo, so we moved out.

I, personally, did not have any problem with the owner of the previous sport center. I quite liked him and his efforts, even being more on the commercial side. But that is his work. And I always supported his initiatives, for free, never taking advantage of being an instructor there.

Unfortunately he decided that I was the origin of all the decisions for the Aikido group, while even in the new place, I am not even considered by the new landlord!!! I am just a trainer.. nobody asked me anything before, nobody asks me anything now.. I am the technical adviser, the only thing I care at the end..

So, the previous owner has been contacting Aikido people trying to convince them to stay there, offering mysterious self defense courses taught by the other Aikido instructor (forgetting to mention this to him 😮 ).. but all the people practicing there Aikido moved, being interested only in Aikido..

And lately he said that..

..I just practice a spiritual Aikido, nothing close to any real effective self defense martial art forms..

Hilarious!!! A genius!!!

He meant this in the worst way, even if I work also on developing the “center of balance”.. the ki, individual energy.. but that was not his meaning!

The thought of these words did not make me angry.. it makes me laugh.. as all the people that heard that laughed! Especially people that ever practiced with me.. or watched my trainings.. Yes, he never did!! That is the level of respect I’m also talking about!

Something else makes me angry: I had nothing against the previous sport center boss, I did even suggest that place for practice to people when being asked.. and I never wanted that the move out resulted in a traumatic separation, since it was only based on the intention to practice good Aikido, both for me, the other instructor and our students.

And after all of this, since we made official we were moving, I have been treated like a shit, even not deserving anything close..

Now, I am pissed off!!

I hope your prayers will be granted: come and meet my atemi, 当て身, you genius!!!!

So, just a reminder:

The ONLY place in Stavanger where at the present time adult can practice AIKIDO with high-rank graded instructors (ranks officially recognized by Aikikai organization) is STAVANGER AIKIDO CLUB located in MMA dojo

…everything else written in other places is just words… and words do not make a martial art… Aiki(do) is a martial art and I try to practice it in this very form!

The Way of the Warrior is in practice
Miyamoto Musashi


Thanks.. again!!

27 08 2008

For the second time I have ranked in the “Growing blogs – Blogs of the day” page of WordPress!! I even got a better rank than last time, and for this I can only say thank you, my dear friends (and not only) for visiting the blog!!!

I still have many posts to write from my experience in Beijing.. and many pictures to publish!!

blog of the day (13 Aug. 2008) - rank 71

blog of the day (13 Aug. 2008) - rank 71

PS Maybe this rank is updated quite often.. I admit I seldom check the rank! But it is nice to see I am there when I do it!! 🙂

Keep on dreaming..

25 08 2008

Yesterday the Olympics in Beijing closed with a ceremony that many people and media liked very much. I saw it from my home in Stavanger, and I also like it very much! And I felt so sad, at the same time..

Han Xu and I came back from Beijing last Tuesday but I can say that even if I had already started working and practicing Aikido and meeting the friends and colleague here, this wonderful Beijing holidays got to an end only yesterday, when I saw the closing ceremony.

But I want to keep on dreaming, and I know I will visit Beijing again, for doing the many things I had no time now. And there will be more visits of China and the other wonderful places in East and South Asia that I want to see, soon!! Possibly with local friends showing me around!! 🙂

Today, also, it is the first official practice open to beginners at Stavanger Aikido club, our new and unique Aikido reality present now in Stavanger!

Thanks to Jacqueline and Bob especially for the great work done on and off the mats!

This is the first step of a common dream, the dream to practice Aikido together with nice people interested mainly just in practicing, learning, improving this wonderful Japanese martial art! People that I hope will find in our new dojo a good place to meet and build something together! Dream and experience!

Dalai Lama shot and killed several Chinese!!

22 08 2008

1456.342 dead.. Dalai Lama keep on shooting, words (mostly in French, weird??), praying necklaces and used underwears.. and a lot of people, mostly Chinese but not only, are falling dead at the contact.. or at the thought!

 from LeMondaneBullShits

This is the way French news agency give news: without any proof!!! Followed closely by Italian newspapers, German, English, American, etc etc etc, ie. Western media..

Of course, the real war in Georgia had taken the lights off Tibet, so the media had to shoot some bullshit in order to get attention again, and Dalai Lama, not anymore a spiritual leader, but just another Bossi, has understood the tactic!

Unfottunately when you skip the big titles and you really read the news, you see that they have no idea what they are talking about, but of course the tile is what 80% of readers remember. I have been a journalist too 😉

Of course this post is under Blabbering category, it means “To talk volubly, persistently, and usually inconsequentially”, the same way that those newspaper wrote!! If you read through, you will see my point.. but I am sure I will get angry comments only from the title!! As these so called journalist should!

W the freedom of speech, right?

PS Italian athlets now want to get their voice heard.. their stong voice against bad bad China.. In the last days, their voice was only about the problem of taxes on the money they will get after winning some medal at Olympics!! Yeah!! Good, make your voice be heard!!! Assholes!

Storm at the Summer Palace

14 08 2008

Today, 14 August we visited the Summer Palace, 颐和园 (Yi He Yuan) and we had a bit of a wet day!!! Yeah, remember the shoes after the storm in Biella? Same shoes, same or even worse storm, since we had a bit more smaller cover, with a bit more people!!! 😦
I start thinking those shoes are a bit of a bad luck!!! 🙂

So we started the visit of Summer Palace in a bit of a cloudy day, where the forecast announced light rain.. and for about 20 minutes we have been blocked in a quite small pavilion (Pavilion of Mesmerizing Scenery) because of a sudden and scaring storm! Maybe, for us at least partly cover (the construction was open on 2 sides and really really crowded), there was not so much fear, but many boats have been surprised when still in the lake, and most of them were pedalo’ ones, no motor.. I took a short and bad quality video, just look the waves toward the end. Actually these 2 guys have been fished out from the lake after their boat tipped over.

After the main shower (with extremely strong wind), both Han Xu and me were soaked to the bone.. but we still spent the day in the park..

About Summer Palace: it is just GORGEOUS! (Not all the pics have been uploaded yet) I have been really amazed.. and we managed to visit only two thirds with the time (and energies) we had.. Given that Forbidden City is majestic, I think that as an emperor I would have loved Summer Palace. It must be remembered that the “palace” had been destroyed by French and English once and next by other forces, so we see now only the last reconstruction, from 1902.

Just the names (English translations!!) of the different location in Summer Palace huge area are an unforgettable experience.. A few examples: Hall of Benevolence and Longevity, Natural Affinity of Water and Trees, Garden of Harmoniuos Interests, Hall of Happiness and Longevity, Abode in Clouds and Pines, Heart Purifying Pavilion, Hall of Serenity, Hall of Outmost Blessing.. and many many others..

This is a place I will visit again, for sure!!!

Just out of curiosity, since yesterday I opposed Severgnini (a well known Italian journalist-bloggist from Corriere delle Sera) thesis that one cannot find “gadgets” in Beijing, today I actually took pictures of Olympics souvenirs shops, in Summer Palace park! We managed to pass only 3 of the 6-7 gates, and, not a surprise for me, everywhere there was a stand for official Olympics things!!! QED, Mr. Severgnini!!! ;-)

Another Olympic note, to the Swedish wrestler that lost against the Italian one (maybe I’m too patriottic): he behaves bad with him and bad at the medal ceremony.. and the Nordic people (Swedish, Danish and Norwegians) always consider themselves the perfect example of honesty and respect toward the rest of the world.. Exactly like this, right? We Italians have football memories about the honesty of SWE and DAN.. but we have done the same too.. At least, we, Italians, win on self-irony level and we never thought we can teach the rest of the world the meaning of the word “respect”..

Ah, I love Nordic countries!!! 😉

PS Tomorrow evening it will start my Olympics: 韩旭 and I will go to watch beach volley, women eigth of finals.. and we will assist to China, Brasil, Norway and other top teams!! So cool!!!!! 😀

Beihai park map & Huan Huan

13 08 2008

(Please pardon my grama mistakes.. a different keyboard, early hours and a thousand degrees messed me up a bit these days 😉 and with Notepad in Chinese I can’t find any corrector!!)

Today post is related to a blog of one of *those* journalists that today says something really amazing!!! No politics, just.. a weird comment from someone that should have a lot of experience from here..

Beppe Severgnini is famous for a blog about Italian people living abroad. He has been in Beijing many times, he says. And today among other things, he is complaining (Italian) that he cannot find enough Olympics gadgets (but I think he means souvenirs).

OH MY GOD!!!!! That is so funny for me!! 😀

I have been here 10 days and every time Han Xu and me visit a new place, attraction, park, museum, anything, the fisrt thing that she points out for me it is a shop selling Olympics souvenirs!!!!!!

Today, 13 August we have been to a place called World Park (where they have made reproduction of important world sites) and next to a park called Ditan Park: in both places there were at least 2 shops for fuwa (friendlies) related things!

Other places, maybe with the only exception of Forbidden City, ALL have souvenirs shops!!!! Just to mention a few of those I visited: Water World, Zoo, Aquarium, any shopping center, especially in Wan Fu Jing road, Bei Hai park (today picture shows the map at the entrance of the park: notice Huan Huan in the middle and there were many small shops with Olympics souvenir everywhere!), every small shop street sells souvenirs (they appear everywhere among the “normal” ones!)..
Actually, I was thinknig now about Forbidden City: there is a place about in the middle where we bought ice creams and I am pretty sure Han Xu showed me there too some Olympics “gadgets”..

Han Xu is sleeping now, but that will be the first thing I will tell her tomorrow morning: good to start a day with a good laugh!!! 😀


12 08 2008

Hi folks!!
Do not despear.. I haven’t posted in the blog and in Flickr for a couple of days, but it does not mean that I haven’t taken new pics!!!
It’s just that we are getting up quite early for activities, and in these last couple of days I felt quite heavily the weather..
Maybe not so much yesterday, 11 August but it had been a long day of walking around Beijing zoo. Here there is only a small preview of the future pics, and what better than starting with lovely Panda?? 😉 The Chinese name of panda is 熊猫, xiong mao, literally “bear cat”.. lovely!!!

Today, 12 August on the other hand I felt really hot!!! Every step I had to clean my face from liters of sweat!! I see now that the weather forecast for tomorrow is rain and not too warm.. I hope in the second.. 🙂

Today also we had quite a walk in Bei Hai park, a lot of staircases, quite steep ones.. and all of them very sun exposed!!!

Anyway, in less than a week we will be back in Norway (I see that in Stavanger it is raining or it is cloudy..) and I am very much afraid I will not manage to visit some of the major places in Beijing. The Great Wall is scheduled for the day after tomorrow, with Han Xu’s mum that will take us by car (yeah, it is not really *in* Beijing!!).

Time to sleep now!!!

Ciao ciao.. sorry.. Zai Jian, 再见!!!