Finally France. I have been traveling around the Europe to attend nanbudo seminars for almost six years and finally I made it here. I had heard so much good about this seminar. It was about the time I'd travel to France, which happens to be the second home country of the founder of nanbudo.
The first thing I noticed on the seminar was the relatively low number of participants. I have to say relatively. It's not like there were just few people. But I couldn't help comparing this to Zagreb seminar, which took place very recently. And compared to that the tatami felt roomy. Which is actually a good thing, cause tight space never adds to the safety and comfort of training.
My seminar trip was very much focused in training. I took a peek at the Paris as well. It would have been foolish not to – hey, it's Paris after all. But having two sets of trainings each day both enduring 2,5 hours... It inevitably makes the most of the day.
We did a lot of Nanbu sotai. Emphasis was put on aiki and kani -techniques, of which we did both undo rehearsals and complete randori no katas. Nanbu was clearly feeling experimental. Many of the things we did were either new to me or at least some sort of applications.
So called old randori no katas (dantai randori) were pretty much not trained at all. The purpose of fast and hard pair technique was filled by bunkai of nanbu and shihotai katas. The other extreme, being the slow and soft side of nanbudo, was represented by Nanbu keiraku taiso katas, four first ones of which we trained with some time and effort.
During the seminar there was some old superstitions that I managed to get rid of. I used to be a bit prejudiced towards the French. It was worth while to travel here, even though this meant a hasted celebration of Christmas.
Kalle Lönnroth, 2 dan