My first seminar with the founder of Nanbudo, Yoshinao Nanbu doshu, began in Monday 28th in Oslo, but the trip began two days earlier from Turku, Finland. In the previous Saturday I took a ferry to Stockholm, Sweden and arrived there in Sunday morning. Half a day later, which was well spent walking in the streets of Stockholm with the borrowed back bag, I continued through Sweden by train. Unfortunately there were some trees fallen on the train tracks just before the border of Norway and the passengers were moved to buses, which then transported us all the way to the Oslo central station.
Since I was very inexperienced with travelling, I did not made any plans for the accommodation. I had some discussions with the local nanbudokas via emails, but as I departed so two days prior, I did not even receive the crucial phone numbers. For a time I tried to sleep in the train station, but the security personnel kept me awake. At some point in the night I decided to take my changes and started to look for a suitable place for a few hours of sleep. Without a map. It turned out to be some four hours of walking and finally got to one children playground at 2 o'clock in the morning. I managed to sleep under the slide not more than two hours and continued walking on sunrise.
In Monday morning I got the map of the city and some details of one hostel a bit further from the centre. Now a bit wiser I took the tram nearby to the hostel, booked myself in for the night and was able to prepare for the training. Earlier walking revealed to me the location of the Oslo Karate Club, thus it was no more difficult to find it.
Trainings began and I was welcomed to the seminar. I wasn't actually the only foreigner, there was also Christian Conzalvez from Paris, France. Trainings were held in the evenings, two trainings for different junior grades and one training for adults. For my luck, we did _Kinanbutaiso _in parts, which eases the struggle of learning such a long kata. Also bunkai for Kinanbutaiso was studied with each of the parts.
Nanbudo is build on three sections of technique classification: Budoho, Kidoho _and _Noryoku kaisatsuho. The first one is most closest the ones I have mostly done, faster karate-type techniques. The main focus of the seminar was in this section. We did several randori katas, Shihotai _katas, _Nanbu _katas and _Seipai _with its bunkai training. Basics like _chokusen _combinations and _tenshin uke were also done, with a kata called Genki Nanbu ichiban, which is from Kidoho group and meant to strengthen the inner energy by mainly using the meridians of the center line of the body.
Days passed quickly, I visited as many places of Oslo centre as I could and took the every opportunity to have more training in Nanbudo if some of the locals would have time for it. After few nights in the hostel, they did not have any more availability, but my new friends helped in this situation. Hanne Gulseth invited me to stay at here place, where Christian was staying too. This gave me the opportunity to learn from him during the daytime.
The last training was in Friday evening, followed by the examinations in Saturday morning. Examinations lasted for five hours and nearly one hundred nanbudokas took their test under the inspection of Nanbu doshu. In the evening there was a barbecue in the park nearby.
The last night I spent in a student apartment, in the hospitality of Junior Maih. In Sunday morning my train to Stockholm departed, where Junior made sure I would make it in time. There would been one more week for training in some other part of Norway, but I planned my trip just for this one week. Not even well planned, but even the apes learn by doing. In Stockholm again I had a half a day to get from the train station to the ferry harbour. Ferry left to Turku in the evening and arrived in the morning. By noon I was already in Järvenpää and back to work at the bicycle workshop.
The next trip is already planned. It will be in Spain in the end of July. When Nanbu doshu gave me the details for it, decision to go was instant. Also there will be seminars in Norway, two times a year, so I don't need to worry what to do when I have some vacation.
Jukka Paasonen, 1 dan (sankukai)