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The 4th international seminar in May 1998 successful
The fourth annual Saku International Aikidô Kenshûkai (seminar) was held from May 1st to 5th at Saku city Budokan and Saku Dôjô. It was a great success with the total number of participants this year nearly 200, which was more than last year. About 40 people from 9 different countries visited Japan. We were favored with fine weather and some enjoyed going back and forth by bicycles between the Dôjô and the Budokan, which is about 3 kilometers away. The Dôjô was almost full to capacity as the number of participants has been increasing year by year. As a result, some people stayed at hotels such as the Sakurayama Pension located near the Budokan, which they could walk to in a few minutes.
Practice was from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a short break for lunch. Endô shihan explained a lot in both Japanese and English. Overseas participants fluent in Japanese made every efforts to interpret him by turns. It was not simple technical explanations, but instead placed great importance on how to handle mutual power, movement and balance, and how to feel or look at things. What Endô shihan mentioned was rather deep in meaning even if the Japanese words themselves he used were from everyday language. At times therefore the interpreters were at a loss for words.
After practice on the first day, Endô shihan and the representatives of the overseas participants paid a courtesy call on the mayor of Saku City. The mayor also came to see the eighth Saku Aikidô Embukai (demonstration) on May 4th. That evening, an annual get-together was held in the garden of the Saku Dôjô. Next year will be the fifth anniversary of the founding of Saku Dôjô. We sincerely hope that the Kenshûkai will be a great success next year too, and would like to welcome once more many participants.
1998 Saku Dôjô Yûdansha Seminar
The 4th Yûdansha Seminar was held at Saku Dôjô from 7th November to 8th, 1998. More than 50 Aikidôka participated. We saw more younger faces than before.
We practiced on the first day, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and on the second day from 10 a.m. to noon, two hours each day. The theme at this seminar was "Ninin-gake" (facing up with two partners). In the beginning, we practiced the movements of Ninin-gake with one partner. After that, we tried with two partners. However, everyone seemed to have had some trouble moving, and making the partner move, and we were sweating all over. On the second day, we tried "Sannin-gake"(facing up with three partners).
On the evening of November 7th, the customary meeting without drinking alcohol was held. We brought a television to the Dôjô, and watched a video of Mifune 10-dan, which is one of Endô Sensei's treasures, and also a video of the founder. In addition to that, we saw the video that was taken on that day of the Yûdansha Seminar. All of the participants were very interested to see it.
After finishing the meeting, we had a friendship party and fostered our spirit for the next day of practice. We had a very nice, comfortable evening, since it was fair and we could see the stars very clearly.
We ended up the Yûdansha Seminar successfully with the support of many people, including the University students. I would like to express my hearty thanks to them. Endô sensei mentioned how we must keep the mood toward the Aikidô practice in this seminar. I want to take this up in my mind, and practice more and more. (November 18, 1998)