1. Dutch Aikido 50 Years Party and the Tatami Heros
Paul Jungschlager sensei reports about his experience of the 50thyears anniversary event of Aikido in The Netherlands from the
perspective of the tatami brigade. It is beautiful that The
Netherlands have reached this remarkable Aikido milestone and it is a
time to remember the great teachers that passed through the
Netherlands (to my mind comes Dedobbeleer sensei, Fujita sensei, Bacas
sensei and of course there are others that I am not so familiar with).
The 50 years annual event brought to recognition all of the players of
the pioneering Aikido days in Holland.
While it is important to remember these great pioneers, we should not
forget the behind the scenes organisers and the volunteers that took
action to ensure that there were mats on the floor.
Ultimately, in any aikido event, the tatami brigade is one of the most
important teams in making a successful event. In the CABN, it is
usually Paul Jungschlager who is coordinating this and, for the 50th year anniversary event of Aikido Nederland, Paul was called for his help to ensure that the CABN made their tatami contribution successfully.
some of the tatami heros!
One might think there is not a lot to it and, in theory this is the case. However, in practice, successfully laying the mats at an aikido event needs a coordinated effort of willing volunteers, organising a truck to take mats from place A to place B, organising driver(s), making sure mats arrive on time, making sure the mats are tracked in
case they have to be returned to different dojos, making sure the mats are laid down in a orderly fashion. In this procedure, it is not always certain things will go right. Thankfully, with Paul's team on the job, the result is usually a success.
These volunteers rarely get the limelight and I thought it should be just to give them some attention and recognition for the silent efforts they make at each aikido event throughout the year because, clearly, without such motivated people, aikido events such as the AN 50th anniversary would be much more difficult to run.
According to Paul sensei, the 50th year anniversary event in Almere as: "Big Fun" as there was more of a party feeling than the usual aikido event that one might go to. A lot of different organisations from the Netherlands came together to practice aikido and to party after training.
During the event, a certificate in recognition of Bacas Sensei's service to Aikido in The Netherlands was presented for which Paul sensei wished to declare thanks from all connected dojos for the result of Bacas sensei's dedication and, in the first place, to Fujita snesei for his long time support and dedication. During this moment of presentation, Bacas sensei's wife, Marja, was busy to clean the grave where Bacas sensei's body is lying.
2. Ditz Hartung Sensei, 4th dan Aikikai Bokken and Jo in Bonn
On Saturday the 22nd of October, Ditz Hartung (4th dan aikikai) presented his yearly bokken and jo seminar in Bonn. The morning class was focused on the Jo and, in particular, kumi jo kata number 5 (using katate gedan gaeshi). Further in the afternoon, the practiced was focused on the bokken and especially bokken dori (taking the bokken from the partner). Some useful instruction was given about some of the details (such as how to release the bokken from the partner's grip on performing kote-gaeishi). When Ditz sensei is around, then the music is also not far away. Usually he brings his mouth harp with him and starts playing the blues or some Irish music. Another aikidoka present had his accordion with him and there was a party atmosphere after the training.
In this clip, I am practicing kumi jo number 6 with Ditz sensei: