The first Nanbudo seminar in Finland began in the Saturday morning at the sports hall of the Järvenpää vocational school. The seminar continued until the Sunday evening with four training sessions all together, each lasting for two hours.

The teacher for the seminar was Thomas Aasen (5 dan, shihan-dai) from Sandefjord, Norway, where he has his own club. He had actually travelling to Finland in a work related matters and this is how we got this opportunity to practise under his guidance.

In the Saturday evening all of the participants and the teacher as well, gathered to the kitchen of one of the participants and had the founding meeting for the Finnish Nanbudo Federation. This is how the federation had its official beginning.

The main focus of the training sessions were in the Nanbudo basics, such as kinanbutaiso, randori ichi no kata, chokusen waza and_ shihotai as well as_ nanbu shodan, nanbu nidan katas.

Aside from the trainings, I had the best opportunity to spent time with the teacher in questions and discussions about the martial arts, while he lodged at my grandmother's place where I was lodging too. Despite the fact that my grandmother does not speak any English, yet she was able to communicate with Aasen sensei about the weather and other small talk topics.

The International connections are the best part of Nanbudo, with those we are able to have a seminar such as this one and I do hope we have the opportunity to have something similar soon.

Jukka Paasonen