By tradition, twice a year there is a seminar in Skien led by Nanbu Doshu-Soke, one in the early June, the other in early December. This year was no exception and I took part in the latter one.
The journey began from the Ljubljana airport, Slovenia, where I had the time to write notes while waiting for the waiter. After 40 minutes without being noticed, the check in for my flight began and I soon left the grounds of Slovenia. Flight went through the Stansted airport in London, England, and continued with another airline later on to Torp, Norway. In between I had the change to sleep one night in a park in Birmingham and one in the Stansted airport.
The bus to Skien, which took some 45 minutes, had got from 90 NOK of the previous year, to 120 NOK. By the rate the price increases, I would imagine that some years ago the passangers were travelling for free and even before that, actually paid to use the service.
Enough of complaining, now starts the seminar.
Each day from Monday to Friday had four training, of which two last for the adults. Both Finnish participants took part in both of those trainings daily. I must say here how proud I am of the progress that Kalle Lönnroth has shown in his understanding of Nanbudo.
The emphasis of the week was on Nanbu sotai kihon, which led to three separate randoris. The natural movement of relaxed body and the idea of motion used in Jurandori were not forgotten.
Doshu-Soke put weight on the importance of the spirit which each nanbudoka should posses and reminded that the competition is only a fraction of the universe of Nanbudo. The training for competition should not take too big role in the goals of training.
Skien Nanbudo Club has build a unique social environment in their home town, making the club work as a big family. The most concrete example of this is the mothers and fathers outside the training, who are giving their support for the club. I really like the waffles made by Mrs Gulseth.
In Saturday the gradings were held and some over one hundred nanbudokas passed their exam, Finnish participants included. Also the ceremony for nomination Jan Moen Renshi was held, where the founder ties the new belt around the Moen's waist. A video of this event is available in my personal web site (paazio.nanbudo.fi).
High number of foreign nanbudokas participated in the seminar: Croatian, English, Finnish, French, Scottish, Spanish, Swiss, and Wales. Most of us slept in the dojo, where there were a separate area dedicated for us.
Seminar was concluded in a dinner and a party in the dojo. In the back side of their big dojo, the people of Skien Nanbudo Club had build a bar where the party continued to the early hours of Sunday.
In Sunday there was finally some snow, which unfortunately melted before the day passed. I began my return journey in Monday, while Kalle travels straight to the next seminar location, Zagreb, Croatia, in Tuesday.
Jukka Paasonen, 3 dan