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Old 02-09-2004, 03:20 AM   #1
batemanb
 
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1800 people on the mat

I have also pasted this on Aikido Journal.

Myself and a friend spent the weekend in Paris training with Doshu and more than 1800 other people on about 700 tatami,and thought you might like a quick brief. My own entry tickets were numbered 1652, so I guess the number is probably fairly accurate. When we all lined up in seiza for the rei in, there was proabaly less than 10% of the mat space uncovered! I have to say that whilst I enjoyed the opportunity to once again observe Doshu teaching at close range, the chance to actually do any real practice was limited and claustrophobic. The mat was so crowded, each technique was split into two sessions, although this didn't really seem to help that much. There was no space to really do the sabaki movement that Doshu was teaching, without tripping over or clipping someone training next to you, we were unable to really do any ukemi, and even the pins weren't taken to the ground for fear of someone treading on you or falling over you. There were a few exceptions, a few individuals who seemed not to care for the melee surrounding them and still insisted on throwing their uke's in a big way as they "displayed" their Aikido, not uncommon, but a bit bonkers if you ask me.

From an impartial observer, we did notice more than a couple of clubs and partners who obviously came together, and would only practice with each other (same partner) for the entire weekend. Personally I always look at these seminars as a chance to experience other Aikido, we did try to partner up with them a few times, but they always apologized that they had a partner and went back to their "regular". I'm not really sure why they bothered to come, they could have done that in their own dojo any time.

There was only one thing that really disappointed us over the weekend though. We were staying in a hotel full of Aikidoka, on Saturday evening we ate in the hotel restaurant and sat at the hotel bar, both wearing our club sweatshirt (with Aikido in large kanji on the back), but not one other Aikido person spoke to us. In fact my friend commented that in 20 odd years, that was the first course/ seminar that he had been on where no one had shook his hand at the end. I've practiced Aikido around the world, the one thing that has always been consistent, has been the camaraderie, I think it disappointed me, but I don't think that would stop us doing it again.

There were a couple of bizarre instances involving Noro Sensei. Noro Sensei used to be an Aikikai 6th Dan, he was sent to France by O Sensei in the early sixties. He later left the Aikikai and around 1979 he made his own art "Ki No Michi" which is based on Aikido like movement. He was an invited guest, but there were two or three times when Doshu was actually teaching or talking, when he got up and interrupted by wandering in front of Doshu, insisting that the crowd moved back to make more space, very surreal.

All in all though, we both enjoyed the weekend immensely, Doshu was excellent as ever,I was very impressed with the turnout, and I trained with some excellent Aikidoka with some very nice Aikido. Merci beaucoup et vive le France.

Last edited by batemanb : 02-09-2004 at 03:23 AM.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 02-09-2004, 03:50 AM   #2
batemanb
 
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Missed from the previous post, it was very nice to see Doshu using his son as an uke over the weekend.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 02-09-2004, 03:06 PM   #3
Hogan
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Re: 1800 people on the mat

Quote:
Bryan Bateman (batemanb) wrote:
... the chance to actually do any real practice was limited and claustrophobic. The mat was so crowded, each technique was split into two sessions, although this didn't really seem to help that much. There was no space to really do the sabaki movement that Doshu was teaching, without tripping over or clipping someone training next to you, we were unable to really do any ukemi, and even the pins weren't taken to the ground for fear of someone treading on you or falling over you. There were a few exceptions, a few individuals who seemed not to care for the melee surrounding them and still insisted on throwing their uke's in a big way as they "displayed" their Aikido, not uncommon, but a bit bonkers if you ask me....
I hate that. Groups, man, group practice !
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Old 02-09-2004, 03:18 PM   #4
John Boswell
 
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Hey Bryan!

Thanks for the feedback. I was very curious how that went.

Questions I have are:

what rank are you?

and

did you see Doshu do any technique or get any gems of advice that you had not seen or heard before?

Just curious.

Thanks!

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Old 02-09-2004, 10:12 PM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Thanks for posting. Lets me know what I may have to look forward to.

I plan to see Doshu in Oakland, CA USA March 13-14,2004.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:45 AM   #6
judd h.
 
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Re: 1800 people on the mat

Quote:
Bryan Bateman (batemanb) wrote:
From an impartial observer, we did notice more than a couple of clubs and partners who obviously came together, and would only practice with each other (same partner) for the entire weekend. Personally I always look at these seminars as a chance to experience other Aikido, we did try to partner up with them a few times, but they always apologized that they had a partner and went back to their "regular". I'm not really sure why they bothered to come, they could have done that in their own dojo any time.
Well, while I think the same as you, in the fact that students should take the chance to work with unfamiliar people so that their "feel" for different and unique people is broadened, I think the reason they stay together is that they're told to for the most part. Reason being, especially if they are lower belts, is that their sensei doesnt want them to get hurt because a person from a different school just throws a technique at them at full speed and leaves them with broken arm. I mean, either way you look at it, you can't blame them, but I do agree with you.

I notice that if I work with someone my size for a good amount of time, then go work with my girlfriend, I have a hard time adjusting to her size. So that to me proves that I for one need to broaden my "feel".

"We are the leaders of the Free World. That is a role that comes with great responsibility."
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Old 02-10-2004, 02:09 AM   #7
batemanb
 
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Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
Hey Bryan!

Thanks for the feedback. I was very curious how that went.

Questions I have are:

what rank are you?

and

did you see Doshu do any technique or get any gems of advice that you had not seen or heard before?

Just curious.

Thanks!
Hi John,

I didn't notice Doshu teaching anything that I hadn't seen him do before. There are people on here with more experience of Doshu than me, they may know otherwise, but whenever I've trained with him, or seen him demonstrate, he pretty much seems to stay with the basics.

Szczepan over on Aikido Journal posted the following link with some pics from the weekend:

http://www.aikikai.it/aikinosu/aikid...parigi2004.htm

You don't really need to know owt about me, but there's probably more than you need at our dojo's home page here

Regards

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 02-12-2004, 05:14 PM   #8
Eric-aikipract
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Re: 1800 people on the mat

I was at the training course and what a crowd !

it was difficult to fall or to make large movements but that remains a very good experience nevertheless,

there was people from all Europe and even from United States! well done !

what I retain of the training is that doshu gives very great importance to the bases

linked to specific displacements. I did not feel the effect of group but especially the effect of mass ;-)

but indeed in this type of training course it's more interesting to practice with people from everywhere.

in fact Noro Sensei was representative of aikido in France and Europe before Tamura Sensei arrive there until

he had a serious car accident nearly to lose the life, thereafter he adapted his aikido practice by proposing

the principle of energy in its practice of aikido for definitively becoming

ki No michi = the way of energy, a practice very close to aikido, which takes many

of its principles but which is not the aikido.

Thanks for English people who finally appreciates our country ! ;-)) vive la reine !
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