Nippon Kan Aikido - My Visit to Nippon Kan.
I spent last week training at Nippon-Kan in Denver, Colorado with another student from my school here in Thunder Bay Ontario.
I was so impressed by the way the students treated us.
The school is also very nice and the instructors very helpful.
There are so many people to thank there that I am writing a letter to the school that I will mail this week. But I wanted to share with everyone on Aikiweb about how positive this place made me feel and how wonderful of an experience it was.
On the first day I met Emily Sensei, who was always very helpful on the phone with my arrangements. Unfortunately she was recovering from back surgery and unable to teach. The first night I had a little bit of adjusting to the different customs they had then our school, but it was so close that it was very simple.
I had two awesome classes that night. One was the beginner class and the other was the Hakama Kai class. I remember doing Kotegeshi, Shionage, Sumi Otoshi and Koshinage. I really enjoyed the high falling practice we did and learned a new way to practice high break falls. I also love their mats, much softer then ours. After the first night we went out to a place with some of the seniors and had some awesome buffalo burgers.
The second night Mike Sensei did a class that was an awesome work out. Combined with the high altitude (5200 feet higher for me) I was sure I was going to not be able to make it, but I did. It felt really good, and we did some really good Aikido. You learn how well your Aikido works sometimes when your tired.
Wednesday was the nigh Homma Kancho taught, and he did a memorable class. I found him a little bit harder to understand because of his accent, but I was still able to get most of it. This is probably because my Shihan at home has a strong accent as well. Homma Shihan was humorous and very good at explaining things. At one point to illustrate how he wanted us to extend our energy in a kokyou throw he brought out a paper airplane and threw it, illustrating the extension part. Showing how the plane would not throw if you put your energy down, but rather you had to extend out and let the plane fly.
Thursday we went to three classes, one of which was called technical expert class. I think that class was the most exhausting for my brain. So much stuff to take in, all of which was really awesome to experience.
The dojo was beautiful, there was a lot of work and staining done by the students to make it that way. There was an awesome restaurant they attached called Domo that was also started by Homma Shihan. We went there to eat a couple times after class with some seniors from the dojo.
I bought a copy of Aikido for life at the dojo, a great book Homma Shihan wrote, and I got him to sign it. He asked me if this was the only book of his I had of his, and I admitted that it was. He smiled and said that was ok. He went into the office, and came back with copies of all the other Aikido books he wrote, and signed each of them and asked me to share them with the students at our school. I was surprised, and I took them to share with the seniors at our school and that one day he would like travel here and to visit us as he had never been to Canada.
All of the techniques and customs were a little different from my dojo, but in the end it was really the same stuff. I really enjoyed seeing the different perspective on the techniques and I learned a lot in the short time I was there.
I plan on going back to visit soon with another couple students. I really would like to offer that experience to a lot of my training partners. I really had a great time and I hope anyone who is reading this from Nippon-Kan realizes what a wonderful place you have, and how awesome everyone is there.
If anyone is in that area and thinking of starting Aikido and joining that school, you can’t go wrong.
So thanks to everyone at Nippon-Kan, and I will be sending Emily and Gaku Homma a letter of thanks for them and their instructors in the next little while.
Last edited by Amendes : 03-24-2007 at 04:44 PM.