Nakao sensei in Shanghai

28 02 2011

After a great weekend in Shanghai practicing a nice Aikido with Nakao sensei (6th dan Aikikai), this morning I had serious problems to get up from my bed!! Saturday after the first session, Ulrich and I went to a great bath – sauna – body scrub – massage place. Very relaxing especially after  an extremely dynamic Aikido session, 2 hours without break and with lots of movement and ukemi.

So today I spent a whole day in pain and feeling miserable miserable because the very upset stomach.. It is probably the second time only that some combination of food/drinks comes back with such a terrible revenge. But even if I suffered that already on Saturday I am quite happy I managed to decrease the effects for Sunday practice.  Today at work, though, from the stomach and the muscles the pain reached the head.. It will be a very relaxing evening, model grandpa 90 years old! 🙂 The only strange thing was hearing that also another friend in Shanghai had felt today like hit by a virus, so we both wonder if it is something related to the Aikido dinner of Sunday!

Anyway, back to the interesting part, the Aikido part of the weekend!!

It was the first time I met Nakao sensei from SeibuKan dojo in Kobe. My friends from Shanghai told me that it was not his first time here: he and the wife, Akiko sensei (5th dan), are close friends of the main instructors in Shanghai so from time to time visit the place, for fun, and they combine the tour with some sessions in the club. Perfect Aikido holidays!

Nakao sensei Aikido is very dynamic, energetic, moving a lot uke. Contact and control ideas, feelings were not too different from Endo sensei Aikido. From the very beginning uke was supposed to give a good, strong contact to tori, whose first challenge was to keep a relaxed body and center.

I am a little sad I did not manage to practice with sensei the first day: he was going around and practicing with several people both as tori and uke! A few time I stopped watching (mostly because my partner wanted: I need more active practice than just watch the teacher!!) but the first day I had no chance to practice with sensei. Better the second day, even if I was extremely interested to feel his execution during some of the techniques we practiced the first day. And get comments about the way I was doing that.. not such a good way, according to my own feelings!!

Even if I did not practiced with Nakao sensei the first day, I cannot complain, since for the first time since I met him, I managed to practice with Nokura sensei (Shanghai dojo main instructor, 5th dan Aikikai). Of course it was a very dynamic technique with lots of ukemi (morotedori udekiminage with both omote and ura entrance) and I admit I was in need of an oxygen bottle at the end of the exercise!! Great fun though! He is so soft and centered.. and nice!! 🙂

During both sessions, from time to time Nakao sensei used his wife as partner, even letting her showing the technique or as uke when he was looking for some “special” movements. In particular, we practiced a few movements where tori and uke clashed either chest against chest, jumping toward each other, or back (tori) against chest (uke) in an shomenuchi entrance anticipation exercise (tori stepping inside the attack and “contrasting” uke with the body). My personal interpretation of the first was about keeping the center (belly) in tension when jumping and clashing against the other “center” and of the second was about the timing of the entrance.

As you can imagine, this was another seminar for me with Japanese translated to Chinese 😉 so I probably lost quite a few explanations, even if I admit sensei was speaking quite little and moving a lot!!

A few other exercises reminded me even more of Endo’s Aikido, also in the way he performed a shomenuchi control and bring uke to contact, shoulder to shoulder. Or in other exercises, going from ryotedori to back to back contact, and move uke from that contact. Very Endo-like exercises!

Quite funny that the very last technique of the 2 days seminar reminded me 100% kata number 5 of Tomiki style Aikido: ushiro ate. Not only the form of the exercise, but also the way Nakao sensei performed the technique seemed perfectly like Bob, my first and only Shodokan Aikido teacher (I want to remind that I am 2nd kyu graded in Tomiki style Aikido, even if I forgot a lot!!). A pity I could feel it straight from the teacher, for a better comparison, since Bob threw me several times with the same technique!!

If (when) I travel to Kobe, I will certainly try to contact Nakao sensei dojo in order to practice there, if they will allow me!

After these exciting 2 Aikido sessions, on Sunday night all the people went to a nearby restaurant (that hosted several Aikido dinners, last Endo sensei party as well). And then the fun exploded! Helped by a good combination of Chinese beer, Japanese sake and Spanish wine (and I noticed but not tasted a bottle of Martini!!).. maybe that’s why my stomach exploded the day after???? 🙂

Aikiko senseiIn my little, I contributed to the party with my Japanese “sake bitoT-shirt, literally “sake man”.. party-man or.. alcoholist, depending on how much people like me 😉 And among the Aikido Japanese friends it made quite a success!! I also had a few laugh with the teachers, and Akiko sensei became quite “dangerous” when she got hands on Chinese baijiu and started going around toasting with everybody.. but she was drinking juice!!!

with Nakao and Nokura sensei



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