Spiekeroog: a new German adventure!

22 05 2015

No, Spiekeroog is not the name of a new girl I like, but the location where I will be this weekend for a great seminar with three impressive teachers, Dirk Müller, Jorma Lyly and Michael Masch.

Unfortunately the place is quite far north but apparently it is a lovely little island, where we will be able to have great Aikido and.. relax!

Relax though is not the word I got on my mind right now, because apparently “ze Germans” are not anymore the perfect system providing a perfect railway service.

Since back in Europe, for different reasons, I have traveled often to Germany and punctuality of the trains has never impressed me! Japan has a “perfect” system, Germany.. come on! Read the rest of this entry »

Both feet on the scale

19 05 2015

They are, they are! And I am not hanging from a bar on the ceiling! After ages that is my real weight getting under 75 kg!!!

<75 kg!!

<75 kg!!


It is not going to stay there very long since the picture was taken when I got home, with empty stomach, after about 2.5 hours of Aikido practice at Aikido Amsterdam!

But it is one of my goals to get my weight well under 75 kg with some stability.

I got there thanks to a little bit more controlled diet, with normally lots of fruit, cutting off on sofa drinks and sweets (decreasing not canceling completely) and some good habits of home gym (trying to keep up with a person not in my life anymore, by doing, for now, 100 sit-ups every day and working a little on push ups and similar as well).

That does not mean I completely cut off the best part of eating or drinking.. that is why I will have my weight challenges for long!

For body and mind though, I must restart a regular Aikido practice and also use more my bicycle: I have seen I probably can get there. No chance I get the body of a climber or a rock guitar player (long hair and all) in their twenties, but I can aim to have a better condition I had for a long time and then enjoy more the day by day life, whatever it will bring me, good or bad!

My life without HER is no life!

16 05 2015

I need HER….

I feel so empty, so useless, so lost, so pathetic without HER…

I have no courage, I have no confidence, I have no balance, I have no self respect without HER…

I have no motivations to go out, to meet people, to make new connections and experiences and share the old ones, without HER…

I want HER, my love, my life, my precious…. Read the rest of this entry »

Ethiopian Aikido Gradings – A Photographic Reportage

23 04 2015

The dojo exists because of the meaning we give it. This meaning can never be lost from its place in the world because it is that place. The dojo is where we declare it to be. Each moment can be a place of awakening, of learning, of walking toward life.

Richard Strozzi-Heckler

A magic photographic report from a very good Aikidoka and photographer, David Ellard. Read the rest of this entry »

Street art in Sofia

7 04 2015

During the break between the Aikido classes on Saturday at Kuribayashi sensei seminar in Sofia, a good friend, Stancho (local Bulgarian but currently living in Stavanger and practicing in the same place where I practiced, Jūshinkan Aikido) took Masha (good Russian Aikido friend) and I to visit some parts of the center.

Interesting walk through the streets of central Sofia and in particular “Tzar Shishman” street: a location that has been almost preserved as it was at the beginning of last century, typically visited for the architecture of the buildings that used to be from the local government. Also famous the old Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Temple, firstly built as a mosque and then became an Orthodox church. At the beginning of the century Tzar Shishman street was indeed still quite similar (with 2-3 stories building, differently from Sofia after WWII, past the destruction, of course, but where the buildings started getting higher).

But what I found extremely interesting has been the street art:

Street art in Sofia Street art in Sofia
Street art in Sofia Street art in Sofia

Since my good friend Vittorio introduced me to stencil and street art artists, I admit that when I travel especially to new cities (mainly I do it for Aikido, and now a “new” passion got linked to that!) I always keep an eye (or two) out for street art. To the point that I ask to residents where to find some hot spots for this kind of art. This time I did not ask before, but I was certainly very lucky!

Street art in Sofia

Thanks Stancho for the great time!

On the way to Sofia!

3 04 2015

Sofia, as the capital of Bulgaria, not as a pretty woman that can make my new life better. Sofia, as the place where I will enjoy another most probably very good seminar with Kuribayashi sensei, after Hungary.

I admit I had to refresh a bit my geography: I had not such a clear idea where Sofia and also Bulgaria were! I realized also why it has been a challenge to find a flight to Sofia that would have not required a stop over in Rome, Paris or Belgrade! Unfortunately, the direct flight I have will not allow me to use properly Easter Monday holiday: return flight at 7:15 am, back home probably at midday! And given the practice time,  not so much time to explore the city I will visit for the first time!

All in all, a typical Aikido weekend, I know!

Practice practice practice for an Easter period where I want to do all but stop and think..

Half of the planned way..

31 03 2015

End of March and I have reached more or less half way in the planned Aikido weekends.

After a nice time in Finland and Sweden with Endo sensei and Vanadis teachers, Lyly sensei and Nevelius sensei, unfortunately I missed the weekend in Sweden with Bachraty sensei but then things got better in the following trips:

  • Pécs & Budapest with Kuribayashi sensei
  • Vienna with Shimizu sensei
  • Wasquehal with Yasuno sensei

And the next weekends will take me:

  • Sofia with Kuribayashi sensei
  • Dublin with Irie sensei
  • Prague with Nevelius sensei

..then one long “free” weekend.. or better with no Aikido but with some other activities planned: visiting Keukenhof park to enjoy some colorful tulips, and then the Monday after it will be the King’s birthday holiday, looking forward to repeat the funny experience of last year.

But now seeing the “end” of this period coming up fast, and having planned only a couple of Aikido activities in May (one short week of practice with Lyly sensei in Berlin), then July (Lillsved summer camp with Lyly sensei and Nevelius sensei), I see the need to start planning for more weekends (got almost no holidays left and I still have one trip in the “almost impossible wishlist”: Irie sensei in Indonesia again), followed by Bachraty sensei in Stavanger in August and the Kuribayashi sensei in Oslo (September) and then in Belgium (October), hoping this latter one will not crash with the celebration of 30 years of the club where I started Aikido, Trondheim Tekisuikan NTNUI Aikido.

So, I’ll soon start having a look around, but, remember:

I am very open to suggestions as usual


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