Monday, 17 June 2013

Visiting Seishinkai Frankfurt - 12 June 2013

During my first 1.5 weeks on this years visit to Europe I have already visited and trained with old friends and teachers in 4 different Dojos in and outside of Frankfurt. The first seminar on my list was under the instruction of my friend and longest-time sempai Mirjam Fisher, at Seishinkai Aikido Frankfurt.

When I first met Mirjam (about a year after I initially started Aikido) she had recently passed her Shodan grading. From that moment onwards Mirjam has been a (close to) daily (often also twice daily) trainings-partner, fellow traveller to countless seminars, direct neighbour, teacher and friend to me. To me, Mirjam has always been a genuine seeker of the Way of Aikido and it is still truly inspiring to see the passion and dedication that she brings to the mat day by day. With a playful streak of her own, Mirjam was always one to welcome and even support my playfulness on the mat, so for me, training with her was always associated with the perfect combination of seriousness and fun.

As for the seminar, all of the above was true just as much and I thoroughly enjoyed myself as she taught and trained with us. It was also really nice to see that, even though so far apart since I moved to NZ, Mirjam and I still have at times surprisingly similar interests and even exercises that we are researching (our last seminar in Tauranga came to mind here). There is actually a general sense of familiarity that I get with everyone at Seishinkai Aikido Frankfurt that comes not only from the openness and friendliness of everyone there, but also of the proximity of topics and training methods to those at Jikishin Dojo Auckland. To name but a few, there is obviously the study of Aikido AND Kashima Shinryu Kenjutsu, careful exploration of contact, the sensitivity to one's own (mind)bodily movement possibilities and the equal practice of form and free-form Aikido.

Though in different ways and from different angles, these topics were explored both by Mirjam on her seminar, as well as Thorsten Schoo Sensei during his regular classes that I was able to attend this week. So what I can say to those peeps that are coming to Schoo Sensei's seminar at Jikishin Dojo Auckland in October, including those that have already trained with us somewhere, is that you are in for a treat and will definitely get your braincells working and sweat going in unison along the lines of what I have described above!

There is more detail to everything, but as I am on a bit of a writing holiday I will just say that the 'contact' and friendship between Seishinkai Aikido Frankfurt and Jikishin Dojo Auckland is sure to grant us many more interesting exchanges in the future. I will be doing a few more hours there in July, but for everyone in Auckland there is obviously the upcoming seminar that will establish more clarity in the overlap of topics and interests. Mirjam has also already published a really interesting article on our webpage, and I am sure that there will be more to come in the future, and who knows maybe she or others from Seishinkai will also come to visit us in Auckland eventually.

The pictures I've taken are from both sempai Fisher's seminar, as well as Schoo Sensei's regular class and give you just wee bit of an impression of how the sessions looked. Tomorrow I am off to visit and train with Orban Sensei at this home dojo in Leipzig. I will keep taking pictures as I continue my travels throughout Europe and will update you shortly.
Until then, have fun and keep training,