Hono Embu at ISBAS 2018
This is the first part of my travel diary to the Ken Jutsu and budo seminar in Calais. Today: Hono Embu at ISBAS 2018. You can find the other parts here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.
After Misogi (part 6) the rest of the day is all about the final Embu (demonstrations). All participants and all the instructors will show a kata series to demonstrate what they learned during the seminar. Everybody is supposed to show something that he feels reasonably comfortable with and where he made some progress.
In the morning everybody has the chance to prepare and to practice what he or she plans to show ini the afternoon. The beginner’s group starts and the intermediate group members is taking ukemi. The it rotates and the previous ukes are doing their shite part and the advanced group takes ukemi and so on. That way everybody has ample time to intensively prepare and practice their performance.
At the end of the class Udagawa sensei takes me to the side and explains some details about Fudoken (unmovable sword ) to me. At the end he encourages me to show my very best at the embu – no pressure!
Performance time! I decided to show the 4. series (Jissen Tachi) and will perform only at the end. In groups of 3-6 everybody enters the tatami and shows their katas. YOu can’t choose your partners but get one assigned just by your position in the row.
There is a video of my performance and I will link it here as soon as I get it.
UPDATE: Here the video of my performance together with Josette Nickels-Grolier as uke, i.e. as attacker (6th Dan, from GAMA Aikido Chatillon, France)
Until then let me show you the demonstration by Okuda Sensei (shite) and Aoki Sensei (uke). They show the second series (Ura Tachi). In the second part they also show alternate endings to emphasize the problems the defender has to solve in these katas.
The japanese instructors closely watch the demonstrations and the pressure is significant. But that is actually the whole point. After that the senior dojo leaders perform followed by the japanese teachers. Araya Kancho, the director of Shiseikan Budo Dojo, ends the demonstrations with Bato Jutsu forms (drawing the sword and cutting) with the real katana.
The seminar ends with a closing shinto ritual performed by the shonto priest ;Mr. Kato. After ample bowing we conclude. At the end everbody is served a tiny sip of sake (rice wine) and given a small farewell present – japanese sweets made from beans and a small souvenir from the local organizers.
But we are not yet done. As usually in Japan it follows the exchange of gifts. First all japanese visitors plus the translators receive presents from the french organizers. Then the japanese delegation presents gifts to the local organizers, the translators, etc.. After that everybody helps to move the mats and we head back to the base. Because now it is time for the
Everybody comes to the farewell party.It is very sociable and we attack the fingerfood. Beer and wine flows freely, but we abstainer have to be content with water. But that doesn’t spoilt the evening and we join the fun.
Of course there are some speeches. Araya Kanhco, the director of Shiseikan, is very moved. He will resign from his position at the end of the year and invites everbody to visit him at his new place of action in Kumano and to practice together.
The british delegation receives many cheers for their funny performance and there is a lot of singing and laughter. I give my thanks to Araya Kancho and we have the obligatory photo.
That’s it. ISBAS 2018 is over – it was great. Like what your read? Want to try Ken Jutsu for yourself? Come to a trial practice!