2011 November,
The seminar in the Slovak Republic

From November 16th to the 22nd, I was (teaching) at the seminar in in Bratislava, the Slovak Republic.
This is the fourth time I have been there. When I arrived, the temperature was zero, so I was firm. At night the temperature dropped below 5 degrees.
In this country BUDO is thriving as well as all sports. It happened that at the same time as the seminar, there was an international fencing competition and Ice Hockey trainings being held. Athletes from around the world stayed at same hotel as me, so there was an atmosphere full of excitement.
This seminar was held for the second time at a high school gymnasium. It lasted for 3 days, from Friday to Sunday and we had a total of 10 training sessions. I focused particularly on training weapon’s techniques. There were people from 15 countries and new faces, too.
In seminars, when practicing weapon’s techniques, I am always very strict on teaching that we should always consider a real fighting situation. If you do not do this you will not have a good form and it will be dangerous.
It is important to learn a stable TAI SABAKI (body movements) and to eliminate wasted movements, irrespective of speed and strength. I taught them about the difference between KEN SABAKI (body movements with Ken) and TAI SABAKI (body movements), and the difference of the body’s angle with Jo, by showing (explanatory) drawings.
Lastly, I said, “The current practice is made under the strict thought of the Founder and Morihiro sensei. As there is no shame in it, please try to practice.”
During my stay I could feel firsthand the old Slovak culture and its buildings. I am deeply grateful to the people who joined in the seminar, and to Stefan Kurilla sensei and his students, who organized it.
21st, Dec., Early morning at Hotel in Austria
Saitou Hitohira