Sensei Per Gästgivar from Sweden practices "Tawada no Sai"
Under the leadership of Shuseki Shihan (Grandmaster) Sakagami, the 2018 Ryukyu Kobudo Kongo Ryu seminar was held in Honbu Dojo, Yokohama Tsurumi (6th – 8th of October 2018).
Broadly speaking, the 2018 year seminar was a direct continuation of the 2017 seminar. The 2017 seminar in principle covered all the basics of achieving first Dan. While the 2018 seminar, knowledge-based, was a build-up to higher levels.
Besides representatives from Japanese branches, a number of international branches were represented at the seminar. Sensei Göran Crafoord and I from Sweden, Sensei Howard Leong from Australia and Sensei Manzo Rheinan from Philippines.
In addition to the Kongo-ryu main weapon (Bo, Nunchaku, Sai, Tonfa), a new weapon was introduced to me – the Kama. The Kama is quite spectacular in Sweden since this farming/gardening tool does not exist anymore in Sweden.
The first day was dedicated to Bo. Starting with rehearsal of Bo basic techniques and basic moving practice. Furthermore “kihon kata” 1 to 3 and kata “Shushi no Kon Sho” and “Ryusei no Kon” was rehearsed.
The second day was a continuation of the 2017 seminar. Starting with Bo kata Shushi no Kon Dai in the morning. The afternoon added Tonfa kata “Hamahiga no Tonfa” and the Sai kata “Tsuken Shitahaku no Sai.”
Third day introduced the Kama. Starting with the basic techniques of Kama, such as practicing handling of Kama blocking and strikes. We later practiced the Kama kata “Kongo no Nicho Gama.” After lunch, we returned back to Sai and practice a more high-level Sai kata, the “Tawada no Sai.”
As a break in the long day of training, a voluntary belt test was arranged. The belt test covered mostly the katas that we have been learned and practiced at the seminar.
In total, there were 17 hours of training during these three days. Days that were very informative and interesting. But also resulted in a lot of sweat (warm days), soar hands and feet’s, but also in laughs and enjoyment.
I would like to express my thankfulness to the highly skillful Sensei’s which, with great patience, trained and learned us more Kongo-ryu kobudo. Furthermore would I also like to say thanks to all new and old friends that I meet at the seminar – for their hospitality and warm friendliness.