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 »





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





Yes, I was in Budapest!

16 03 2015

Technically I still am… but since I have posted pictures mainly in Facebook and other Chinese media, I want to post a couple of shots here as well before going home and spend some time editing more pictures.

I spent two half days or so as tourist, at the end of the Aikido seminars (Pécs and Budapest). Both walk around the center took me to the west hilly side to have a look at the center from some height.

Especially beautiful yesterday night from the Citadel. And tiring climb to the place!!

Saturday night after practice I went to my previous Norwegian Aikido teacher, Erik, to an open air Turkish thermal bath, and it had been a great choice for my body..

A few pics here, more hopefully will come!

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On the road again..

10 03 2015

My trip to Stockholm was cancelled, but tonight I will be on the road to Hungary for 2 events (Pécs and Budapest) with Kuribayashi sensei, one of my favorite teachers, since the first time I met him at hombu dojo in 2008, when with a nice group of “Norwegian” aikidokas we were on the way to Tanabe.

A couple (more than 2!) of people will not leave my mind, but they never do. I will miss them and always hope they were with me, but it’s part of life…

Tonight I will test Budapest airport, certainly hoping it will be open during the night! Tomorrow morning train to Pécs where I have rented an accommodation through Air bnb, also for the first time!

Lots of first time things for my first visit of Hungary, and it will be mostly Aikido.. but I certainly will plan maybe a summer visit of Budapest!

Also, last but not least, I have never kissed a Hungarian girl.. hope in this first time as well ;-)

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What’s wrong in this picture?

6 03 2015

Only because I love more Stockholm than Oslo or Copenhagen I get punished?? :-(

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Nobody listened to my “prayers“.. as usual..








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