Okinawa day 4 and 5
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Okinawa day 4 and 5

Friday, April 1st, 2016

by Sven

Today we made no exception to our routine of driving to Itoman. The training was conducted by Yamashiro Sensei. Unfortunately he had to leave early due to family matters but he left us with a very good substitute: Sempai Katsuki San took over the lesson and we continued our training with him. Together we examined the first of the Bo Kata in detail. We split the kata in short sequences and trained them thoroughly with Katsuki San. He gave us hints and explained the kata according to the teachings of Yamashiro Sensei. The time with him passed by way too quickly.

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The afternoon was spent at the Budokan in Naha. Some of us practiced Okinawa Kobudo. Two students of Peter prepared for their examination next week for 1st kyu while others joined them. The rest of us refined their techniques in Iaido where Shihan Jhonny has given more insight in the techniques of his Chi Ryu Iaido Kata. According to the tradition the sole training session was not enough so we added another 2 hour training to the normal training session. Special thanks to Carlos who donated this session. He and Thomas were able to refine their testing program for next week. It also offered the opportunity for Peter and me to consolidate our techniques in Chi Ryu Iai.

In the evening the 4 of us went to Peter’s favorite restaurant in Naha to have dinner together. Peter was greeted with High Five by the waitress who knows us for years. This is really not common for Okinawan people! We enjoyed our time there a lot.

Afterwards we went to the minshuku and talked with Shihan Jhonny about a lot of things. Minutes turned into hours and got really late. We also found a new name for him: Sensei Zōjiki (ぞーじき). We probably surprised him during the development of a new Kata. 😉

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Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

by Sven

Today we got op early. You feel that a few days have already passed here on Okinawa. The students including me start to weigh between sleeping a little longer and having breakfast. Personally, sleeping longer won today. 🙂

Our day began with a training session at the Budokan led by Shihan Jhonny. Afterwards those students visiting Okinawa for the first time went to visit Shurijo castle. Peter and I used this time to run some errands for tomorrow (you have to stay curious til tomorrow to know what those errands were about). We’ve finished just in time before our departure to Itoman. Yes, and I even managed to have something to eat. Today’s lunch was Tsuki soba (ツーキそば) at my favorite restaurant.

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We’ve reached Itoman in time or our training session with Yamashiro Sensei who was assisted by his student Nakamura San. We examined the second Bo kata (Choun No Kun) in detail before Nakamura San presented Sakugawa No Kun, Chikin No Kun and Shiishi No Kun.

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After a short break Yamashiro Sensei split up the group in two. While others continued with the Bo and work on the exam program some of us analyzed techniques from different Sai kata together with Yamashiro Sensei (San Cho Sai and Shinbaru No Sai). Yamashiro patiently answered all the questions we had for the individual kata.

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A long day of practice ended and we all went back to Naha to have dinner together. Since it was already very late the selection of restaurants was limited. We all decided to have Ramen again. With his unique nature Gerd had drawn all attention to him. First he was joking around with the people at the table next to us. At the end guests and staff alike were caught up by his unmistakable and unique laughter. It does not happen very often in Okinawa/Japan that someone laughs out loudly so that you can hear it throughout the restaurant. Usually this happens only when Sake is involved. This time, however, an unusual event in the monorail was to blame for it.

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After being back at the minshuku we all went to bed immediately. Tomorrow we have to get up early in order to drive to …

So, off to bed we go … おやすみなさい。?

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