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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 11:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 820,758

In Training 30th Anniversary Saskatoon Seminar (09/05-06) Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #235 New 09-09-2008 02:12 PM
Five of us (Sensei, Jim, Lisa, Anders & I) recently went to Saskatoon to participate in their 30th anniversary seminar this past weekend and came back happy to have made the trip (cramped legs and sore backs from the long drive notwithstanding). Due to it being a rather "special" seminar, not only did Kawahara sensei instruct, but so did the founding instructor of the dojo, Makoto Otsu. I suppose my only regret (as usual) would be in only being able to train during the Saturday instead of all weekend; mainly due to the long drive that would take up most of Sunday.

I really appreciated how Kawahara sensei focused greatly on Kaeshi Waza (reversals) during his portion of the class. Considering how reversals (along with Henka Waza: variations/combinations) form a part of our upcoming Ikkyu test, it was nice to see how Kawahara sensei in particular does them. I'm sure Jeremy would also have really appreciated seeing this as well. I did feel rather sorry, however, for some of the "greener" Mudansha (white belts) who I trained with that obviously had little to no experience with these techniques and were struggling --- sensitive to the etiquette regarding "shadow teaching", I was allowed to assist very little and felt badly about leaving them in the dark and tried to drop discreet hints here and there wherever I could in the hopes they'd figure things out on their own.

Another unique thing to note was seeing Kawahara sensei demonstrate a sacrifice throw as a variant of a particular technique --- not something we see him do very often.

It was likewise interesting to see another shihan-level practitioner's technique in watching Otsu sensei teach. He spent much of his portion of the day focusing on five principles that he felt greatly influence the success of one's technique:
- sugiashi (shuffle) forward and backward properly to draw the opponent
- tenkan (turn) properly; sometimes our turns are not complete/are less than they need to be to move the opponent
- use both hands in shihonage (not just one) - it's more powerful
- always keep (or remember to return) hands in centreline during technique as it effects balance and power
- uke needs to attack properly/realistically
Of course, add to all this that we got to see this 70-year-old take ukemi (in this case, do a forward roll) --- quite impressive; I think we're all hoping to be that spry when we get to that age!

One thing that was especially nice about this particular seminar (incidental as it is) was that no one from our dojo had to test at it, so no huge pressure --- I can tell you that it can be rather nerve-wracking to go through a whole day of practice (at the end of which, you're pretty tired) only to have to test at the end of it. I really felt for the gentleman from Saskatoon who had to do a Sandan test that day --- I can't say as I blame him for spending the time that he did doing exercises to stay loose and limber (and most likely shake off the nerves) before it. I'd definitely do the same.

In the evening, the host dojo held a banquet on the same floor as the practice space (a tasty roast beef dinner) and not only did Anders get to wow those in attendance with some very cool walkaround magic but we got to see a slideshow of pictures from the past 30 years which included a much younger, thinner Kawahara sensei and our own Sensei, Jon, when he was in his twenties and was not only massive from powerlifting, but sported a poufy, wavy haircut and cheesy goatee --- ah, the 90's!

Sheesh, I use the word "interesting" a lot. I should substitute it for "awesome" or "sugoi!" So that was a bit of a boring post. Mostly because the coolest stuff I discovered at the seminar is pretty much top secret and if I told you, I'd have to kill you. And Aikidoka just don't do that. So I won't.

I promise though that the next one will be much better since I'll soon be going on about the agonies of perfectionism and Jeremy's and my uphill battle to get to Ikkyu. Stay tuned.
Views: 2057 | Comments: 2

RSS Feed 2 Responses to "30th Anniversary Saskatoon Seminar (09/05-06)"
#2 09-22-2008 01:54 PM
jducusin Says:
Hi Ilia! No, unfortunately I don't --- but I seem to recall that Don's wife was going to e-mail the pics at some point (though I remember hearing that the pics turned out too dark); if I do get some, I'll definitely post them on here via the gallery.
#1 09-19-2008 01:39 AM
I was at that seminar as well... do you happen to have any of the group photos from it?

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