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This weekend my dojo and an other dojo in Amsterdam had worked together to bring Domenico Zucco Sensei over from Italy to give a easter seminar at our dojo. Although he isn't directly connected to my sensei it was a very fun, enjoyable and productive visit and I know I'll be there again when he's around!
I was really looking forward to it, I had seen him once before at our dojo and was really impressed, especially by the hojo and this one kata we practiced in that first meeting. The funny thing was after the hojo kata (don't know what the name of the kata is cold, I've looked some info up on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashima_Shinden_Jikishinkage-ryu) my aikido felt different, I was more centered and had more extesion all over my body, it was real fun! Unfortunately, this time I couldn't attend the hojo seminar, but I did attend the 'normal' classes.
One of the things that we noticed was that Zucco Sensei said a lot of things that my Sensei also tells us at our classes, so although the message was slitely different the essence was the same: aikido is about connection, feeling, sticking to your uke/tori, it's about choice, breathing, zanshin, openings, entering and inner smile.
Haven't been doing aikido for long yet, but I'm really enjoying and I have enough food for thought and body untill the next visit!