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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,939,595


In General some summer camps Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #15 New 08-13-2010 08:00 AM
some summer camps A training camp is called a gasshuku in Japanese. I remember one summer camp that was like an intense high school sports club summer camp. The training was outside on the grass (and the grass and earth stains were impossible to get out of our keikogi later). We had to clear all the pebbles from the grass before we started. Then after the training the black belts threw the white belts a hundred times. It was in the middle of the hot and humid Japanese summer. On the first day when we had a break in the middle of training a woman brought out a tray of cloudy white drinks. It was Calpis, a sweet fermented milk drink you dilute with water. It was the first time I had tasted it. On that hot day it tasted wonderful - like liquid silver. Ever since that day every time I drink it I remember that summer.

At one summer camp there were some university aikido clubs training at the same place. Some of the students knew me from Arikawa Sensei's class at the hombu dojo and they all came over and bowed politely to me. They trained very hard all day and they partied hard late into the night. On the way home from that camp all the trains were stopped because of a typhoon. We were lucky - it was only for a few hours. A week earlier they had stopped for two days.

The largest summer camp I've been to was at La Colle-sur-Loup in the south of France - not far from Nice. The teachers were Tamura Sensei and Yamada Sensei. It was in 1986. I know that because Tamura Sensei signed and dated his newly-published book in Japanese for me. It was just called Aikido. It's a magnificent heavy book. It's in French. It has some interesting historical information and photos but its best point is that it is full of photographs from cover to cover of clear, detailed sequences of techniques. I think it was published privately by some of Tamura Sensei's senior students. It is easily the best technical book ever published about aikido. Unfortunately it is out of print and almost impossible to find. I have seen copies on the internet for hundreds of dollars.

Tamura Sensei and Yamada Sensei knew my teacher Kinjo Asoh Sensei and they were very kind to me. That summer I was the only aikidoka who came to the camp from Japan and also the only British aikidoka so they asked me to teach a class. I was so sorry to hear of Tamura Sensei's death. His aikido was extremely impressive and he was a pivotal figure in the development of aikido in Europe.


photo by fyda http://www.flickr.com/photos/fyda/4819781334/ used under creative commons licence

© niall matthews 2010
Views: 4256 | Comments: 8

RSS Feed 8 Responses to "some summer camps"
#8 11-30-2010 07:22 AM
niall Says:
Thanks for those links Carina.
#7 11-30-2010 06:55 AM
guest1234567 Says:
and here the post of Yamada Sensei http://entrenandoaikido.blogspot.com...oshimitsu.html
#6 11-30-2010 06:54 AM
guest1234567 Says:
It is very sad, I have the letter in my blog, although they told others to delet it, but not me, I think it is worth to be published, http://entrenandoaikido.blogspot.com...rca-de-su.html
#5 11-30-2010 06:17 AM
niall Says:
I didn't hear that about his sickness. You know in Japan even today they are reluctant to tell patients if they have cancer or a fatal illness - they tell the families who also often keep it from the patient. So many people who have serious illnesses die without preparing themselves or coming to terms with death.
#4 11-29-2010 03:16 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Nice memories Niall, I also went to a summer camp in Wegimont, naturally we spanish people were the noisiest during the meals and after dinner in the bar, but the others enjoyed watching us and even toke part in our card games. One of the last days one guy kept calling outside the bar: Tissier, Tissier and he came out and started to sing: Y viva España I was also very sorry about Tamura, I read a letter of him, he was very wise and aware about his body and his sickness.
#3 08-18-2010 11:02 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Daisy - yes, tastes and smells are so evocative. Cheers Billy!
#2 08-16-2010 06:19 AM
Makochan Says:
Nice blog Niall, it brings back many good memories. I remember when you went to Tamura Sensei's course it was not long after I had started in Aikido. I remember that delicious drink as well. The name is a bit unfortunate as all the Gaijin called it something different, started with cow... Best, Billy
#1 08-13-2010 12:38 PM
Daisy Luu Says:
I've had "Calpico"--they are readily available at the Asian supermarkets here where I live. Perhaps I should have diluted it before I drank, but I remember it tasted intensely sweet in the throat. However, after a crazy training session, I can see why this beverage would be so refreshing. It's interesting when we associate food or beverages with a certain place or memory.

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