Skip navigation

The Seminar has Finished

Kawaraban No. 68


by Y. Sato, member of the trainer team

Mr. Sato (project planning, lodging negotiations), Watanabe Sensei (chairmanship), Takahashi Sensei (financial controlling and administration), Nakamura Sensei (allocation of cars), Waka Sensei (Dojo information), Mr. Mitsumiya and Mr. Maezawa (planning of party games), Ms. Kitani (Dojo Ikebana, preparation of the games), Ms. Fukuya (preparation of gifts), Mr. Koki (poster and miscellaneous), Mr. Oda (preparation of mailing list) and others organized the autumn seminar 2006 (November 3rd – 5th) with the cooperation of all students.

The direction of Shimizu Sensei was “we do not limit ourselves to friendship only, but we want to organize the seminar by a management, where the senior students as role models pull the younger students”. The members were no guests, and they all worked hard for a meeting, where all participants took the initiative.

At this year’s seminar the negotiations with the Hotel Kannon Onsen in Shimoda/Izu, where we lodged, did not go so smoothly. We hoped to get the room assignments which we applied for in the beginning in August, but the conditions for the lodging of all participants in the main building could not be confirmed (they apologized that the room reservations for the appointed days were changed, and as a service they offered us the dish ‘Funamori’ (miscellaneous Sashimi served on a wooden ship) and Red Snappers cooked in Soya sauce). Furthermore one week ago the building was renovated and therefore the Dojo could not be used, and the hotel management even asked us to use a gym for practice.

Although we received the OK to use the Dojo somehow, we still were anxious, whether we could make the Dojo preparations in time, and therefore first of all we checked the Dojo at the first day of the seminar. The Dojo itself had been cleaned properly, but the corridors to the exit and to the entrance were still under construction, and under these conditions we at no time could wipe out the feeling of remodeling. We also felt somehow cramped in the new rooms, as 7 persons instead of 5 used them now. On the other hand the separate lodgings, which were called ‘Ubunasu-Tei’, were more popular than the main building because of their quietness.

But regarding the separation from the main building and visiting each other we felt considerably inconvenient, as we predicted at first. The hotel provided one vehicle, and we made use of the coming and going of the staff, but when moving by bus we still each time had the feeling of seeing off and meeting on return.

Regarding the recreation at the second day the hiking group to the small island Tsumekizaki was blessed with good weather, but because the wind was quite strong, we had difficulties taking our Bentos (provisions). After lunch there was no fixed schedule, and we wanted to visit the lighthouse in the surroundings, but this try also failed as the lighthouse was closed after 1pm, and so we went back to the lodgings earlier.

Regarding the group (19 persons), which participated at the Red Snapper lunch in the Japanese restaurant ‘Okada, there was the problem that nobody was really hungry as the time period between the 9:00 o’clock breakfast and the early lunch was very short. This shortened time schedule was quite inconvenient. Thereafter we did a round course from the Ryosen temple to the mountain in the Shimoda Park and then returned back.

During the training this time we avoided too much movements, and we started with a form of Sankyo, where we hold the elbow on the back, which we usually do not practice. Shimizu Sensei emphasized especially that we practice such techniques to feel well how to develop the Ki to catch the partner in advance.

At the second day we enjoyed at the party playing the game ‘Tatami Room Volley Ball’ by an idea of Mr. Maezawa, where we divided into groups of nine and fought in three rows according to a tournament system against each other. Just in the middle of the small banquet hall we set up a field, fit a net, which was hand-made by Ms. Kitani, using two canes, and sitting on three cushions we started playing with a paper balloon as volleyball. Mr. Nakamura, who is experienced in volleyball, was the judge. During 5 minutes tournaments we fought for victory or defeat, and we played cheerfully. We finished there at 10:00pm, but in the separate ‘Ubusunagami’ lobby we continued without interrupt until 0:30am.

Finally I want to state a summary of my impressions. Generally I had the feeling that the time schedule was a little too tough. Because the journey from Tokyo took 4-5 hours we were fit until the second day, but then at the third day’s morning practice all showed some mental fatigue. And because this time we stayed during consecutive holidays, the lodging service was lower than normal (because of the many hotel guests there weren’t enough helping hands) and furthermore we had not such a happy feeling, as we were expecting congestion of traffic all the time along the way during the necessary journey there and here.

Next time we should avoid consecutive holidays, and we should plan in a way that the journey becomes a pleasant event. Regarding Kannon Onsen we want to provide a schedule, which gives us enough time for training, meals and the bathe in the Furo (hot spring).

© translated by Ichiro Murata and Peter Nawrot 03/2007