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.
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.
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!!