Nightmare at Charles de Gaulle

31 01 2012

The list of airports where I slept gets longer: I added now an airport I did not like it even just as a traveler!!

Paris Charles de Gaulle is a mess of airport. And a nightmare if you have to get a might sleep there!!

All seats have armrests on both sides, making impossible to lay down. I checked 2 different terminals. The same hideous red, orange and dirty yellow seats, with armrests, not that comfortable to seat even!!

And then I found in terminal 1 – arrivals the round bench shown below… Only chance to sort of extend the body.. On a curve!!!

I did manage to sleep a couple of hours but my body is far from rested!!

And no shop open during the night, only some automatic distributors for chocolates and sodas and coffees..

Beware folks… But at least it is cheaper than any airport hotels!!


Martufi sensei in Torino

30 01 2012

First Aikido seminar in Italy for me, with Franco Martufi sensei, 6.dan Aikikai, in the Aikikai Italy federation (under Tada sensei and Fujimoto sensei guidance).

Actually it is the second seminar in Italy, but the first time with an Italian sensei: my very first time was with Tissier sensei, still in Torino, quite a few years ago..

During all these holidays in Italy I practiced with clubs belonging to Aikikai Italy federation. Interesting to experience for the first time this kind of Aikido.

Aikido in Torino

Martufi sensei has a very solid defined position. With a strong kamae, very well centered, sensei showed a good combination of techniques during the weekend. The session opened with techniques from katatedori ai hanmi attack performed striking uke with an atemi (stepping in with irimi) that was met by the partner free arm. Then the techniques were performed pivoting (tenkan) around this new contact point. First from a static step by step form, then in more dynamic way, nice and interesting application.

During the weekend we worked also on more traditional techniques from and morotedori attacks. Lots of variations and combinations. A good balance between basics and more advanced forms.

From shomenuchi attack, sensei showed different situations for ikkyo: anticipating the entrance or delaying, both that could be caused by a “mistake” by tori. In truth, there is no mistake unless tori starts “fighting” or using force in the technique. Early or late entrance can lead as well to nice forms of ikkyo, as we practiced. As long as the “wrong” timing does not make tori taking “wrong” decisions: with an early entrance, tori can effectively stretch uke upper body and control the technique. With a late entrance, uke‘s arm would be almost completely stretched, therefore just a step backward of tori and using tenkan or sokumen movements would allow again to completely control uke.

All in all, ikkyo is always the perfect technique for working on Aikido concepts!!! It is said that o’sensei used to make his sutdents work for years on ikkyo before passing to other techniques.

Most of the techniques were very direct. Effective at the first contact, or so. Sensei positions were generally higher than the Aikido I practice more often, but the timing was impeccable. Quite fun indeed the throws!

An interesting weekend where I managed to meet a nice bunch of new people, very nice practicing with them.

Aikido in Torino

Sensei has an elegant Aikido: his solid kamae and very straight position contribute in the cleanliness of the techniques. Seeing him throwing effortless around his uke during the seminar was quite nice. I am sad I did not manage to receive any technique from him, but it did not surprised me, being the first time visiting that federation.

I certainly hope to practice again with him!

FUNNY THING OF THE DAY  – In Biella railway station there is a funny little self-service ticket box: in order to skip the normal queue for the ticket office, I went for it. Set the ticket route, paid, got the tickets (return).. but no change. Then I looked better at the 2 papers I got: one was actually the return ticket, the other was a credit note to use in the ticket office in order to get the money! So I went back to the queue.. got to the counter, and the guy there, according to “regulations”, he said, asked me for my personal document, wrote the number and made me sign before giving me 8 euro!! Not such a good system in order to cut.. queuing times!!

Snow magnet!!

30 01 2012

I left Hefei in China for this trip to Italy and it had just started snowing!! I feared not being able to get a taxi to the airport first, and then get some delays or cancellation that would have ruined the trip to Italy.. but all went ok!

This weekend I was in Torino, for my first full Italian Aikido seminar (more to write about it, but it was a quite good experience! Fun, yeah!).. and apparently the snow followed me there as well!!

Talking about the bad timing!!

Snowing Snowing
Snowing Snowing

I love snow, but not when later today I will have to go to Malpensa for continuing this trip to France, for work, before starting back to China..

A special Aikido Thursday

28 01 2012

Thursday morning and afternoon I had a couple of very nice Aikido experiences here in Biella!

Thanks to Ivano, main instructor in Aikikai Biella dojo, in the morning I joined him and a few of his students for a special class of aikido as self defense in a local high school, where 99% of the students were 19 years old girls!! (actually there was one boy in the class, and everybody of us was surprised!!)

Aikido - school girl class

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On the way to Torino..

28 01 2012

..on the way to my first completely Italian Aikido seminar: I already participated to an Aikido seminar in Torino, but it was with Tissier sensei.

This weekend, for the first time, I’ll take part to an Italian Aikikai Aikido stage with Martufi sensei, 6.dan Aikikai, at Piero Villaverde sensei (also 6.dan) dojo.

Quite curious after the experience of this week practicing in Biella, to meet also more people from the same group, under Tada shihan and Aikikai Italy.

Even more special, during the off-Aikido-time I’ll have the chance to meet my best friend Silvio and another good friend from Trondheim time, Marco, both long time resident in Torino!

Have a great weekend everybody!!

Training at Aikikai Biella dojo

28 01 2012

Tuesday night I visited another dojo in Biella area: Aikikai Biella dojo, located at the very beginning of Valdengo, just outside Biella. Earlier Ivano, the dojo instructor, had also classes in Biella, but now he invested time and work developing an extremely nice dojo in Valdengo. Lots of work for now, but when finished he will be rewarded by several satisfactions!

The dojo has already quite a lot of students:

Training at Aikikai Biella dojo

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Training at Ken Kyu Sei Biella

25 01 2012

Monday night, for the best jet lag cure, I visited a dojo in Biella where ages ago (I think 1999) I had already practiced once:  Ken Kyu Sei dojo, with Vittorio Beloli for instructor. I had the great chance to participate to both a beginner and then an advanced student sessions.

Aikido at Ken Kyu Sei Biella

Aikido at Ken Kyu Sei Biella

Vittorio’s Aikido (as he told me) is a combination between Tada sensei and Fujimoto sensei teachings. For me are both quite new. I practiced with Tada sensei in Japan, and I met Fujimoto sensei students, mainly at Endo sensei seminars. Read the rest of this entry »