Serbian Tour 2006
Kawaraban No. 67
by the head of the Tendokan, Kenji Shimizu
It was an unusully hot summer in Europe in 2006. Our destinations were Maribor, the 2nd largest city in Slovenia, Murska Sobota also in Slovenia and Kragujevac in Serbia, a jawbreaking name for me.
Kragujevac being the final destination of the summer tour. It's not the capital but it is considered the heart of Serbia.
In all 120 people from across the former Yugaslavia Republic took part in the 3 day seminar held at Yezero Gymnasium.
On the 1st day an exclusive press conference was held with the attendance of the deputy Mayor and officials from Physical Sports and Culture.
This summer I realized that Tendoryu in Serbia had changed considerably.
Previously there had been 1 leader but now there are 3 which make up the 'Troika' system.
Due to the many civil wars and political unrest in Serbia, Aikido has had difficulties to develp but now seems to be flourishing. I'm very happy that it is now and proud knowing that I did all I could to help.
Much to my delight the chairman of the Physical Training Facility offered to meet and talk after observing our first days practice.
I had wondered at first if it might be to complain about the correct use of the gymnasium but when we met his opening statement was, "This Aikido's excellent, I've never seen such a great Martial Art."
He went on to say that it was a great day because in all his fifty years he'd never felt so good.
While watching the demonstration, practice and teaching, he had felt his heart becoming pure and his body becoming at ease. I was glad to hear his thoughts.
He also admited suffering from backache and how hard it was for him to get up in the morning. However he felt better just watching and would return on saturday and sunday even though it were his days off.
Even if he were just being polite, it made me want to demonstrate Aikido to it's truest form as a tribute to his comment.
Although the country had sadly experienced long periods of civil wars, he and others did not seem perturbed.
I was impressed by this mans emotion and impulse to explore what he felt brilliant.
This is a common characteristic, in Serbia, Germany and all of Europe, and when ever I go abroad I'm happily reminded of it.
© by Tendokan