Seminar reports have some special meaning. They create some content into our website, but first and foremost writing them provides a change to look back into things learned and moments lived. Perfection fascinates, and because the nanbudo seminars taken by Finnish nanbudokas are countable, mind yearns a perfect set of reports from all of these. So I do my part and trace back approximately three years to my first seminar aboard.
I had been a nanbudoka for merely half a year. Slovenian Miran Pibernik visited our Frozy Camp just some time ago and this made me thinking of going somewhere to experience some more, though I was a bit uninterested about travelling. Some weird seminar bug had bitten Jukka and he was luring people to go with him into Keckemet of Hungary. So two of us went.
The seminar trip became a legendary adventure - and not only because it was my first one. Our way there was the more simple one. Nevertheless we succeeded in getting a nasty fine for travelling in Budapest underground without sufficient ticket. This we happened to get on a videotape by accident.
The seminar was on two parts. First there was a two day “meditation training” for higher grades, which I could not - being a newbeginner - participate. I was walking along the streets of Keckemet slightly bored until in Friday the actual seminar started, open to all nanbudokas. From that moment onward there was no time for boredom.
Technique-wisely the seminar is pretty much lost from my memory. At that time I had not understood the importance of making notes. We did solo and pair techniques, katas and randori no katas, from both budo ho and kido ho categories. One interesting, later forgotten series was kinanbutaiso sho, a short version of kinanbutaiso. Although I was pretty much confused how to do things during the whole seminar I still managed to develop a bit arrogant attitude which was pointed out to me, which in turn made the seminar mostly educating in a painful way.
On our way back the language barrier was crossed in unforgettable way. We needed to know how to get from Keckemet into Budapest the next day. With my best will I could not make the personnel in train station understand my English (or not even anyone else present), but Jukka got the schedule all clear by using comical wannabe-Hungarian-gibberish and making strong gesticulations. I had to lean to a wall with my head to prevent myself falling literally on the floor laughing.
Being really cheap (which later has become a habit) we had booked our flights from Tallinn via Berlin Schoenefeld and this route we were also taking on our way back. On our way from Finland to Hungary we had to sleep a night in that German airport but now we had a chance to sleep in the ferry (from Tallinn to Helsinki) which was laying in the Tallinn harbor for quite small amount of money. We were not interested paying any extra, though the freezing snow storm outside was a bit frightening sight. The terminal was closing for the night and we were about to got driven out, but then the terminal worker felt pity for us and leaded us into “for personnel only” door. We entered and spend our night in stairway, just one door away from personnel facilities.
During this trip I bonded some new friendships that have carried and paid off all the way to present.
Kalle Lönnroth, 6 kyu back then