Flight from Frankfurt to Seattle was fine and, most important think, my bogu arrived in Seattle with me, giving the possibility to have keiko at Seattle Kendo Kai. I got a lift from Steve, a second generation Italian living in Seattle. At the dojo I met Doug Imanishi sensei (7th Dan) which told me that he met in the past my sensei.
As usual I found a very friendly environment.
Before starting Doug sensei presented me to the dojo people and he said a very important think in my opinion. He highlighted that anybody practising Kendo visit an other dojo he will find friend to whom he can exchange knowledge and he can practice with the others without any problem because Kendo is "Kendo" everywhere.
The training started together for people with or without bogu. After a brief warm up followed by basic suburi we did basic ashi sabaki training with the beginners. Subsequently the training was splitted in two groups: people without the bogu and people with bogu.
We put the men and started with slow kirikaeshi to acquire the right posture and zanshin. We also executed single and multiple techniques as, big men, kote men, kote men men and some counter attach techniques as debana men.
After we started mawarigeiko, changing partern every 4 minutes. This part was very hard also considering the fact that I had 11 hours flight and 7 hours je-tlag (it was 8 PM in Seattle but my body was still feeling I was in Italy at 4 AM!).
I was trying to find the right opportunity to attach but I only succeed few times. I realized that I was loosing rapidly the right distance as the opponent was entering in my space.
After the mawarigeiko we had the opportunity to practice with the sensei and I had a brief keiko with Doug sensei.
After the end of the training I asked Doug sensei for some suggestions and, on the basis of his answer, I realized why I was loosing the right fighting distance during mawarigeiko.
He told me that he was not feeling any pressure from me and this is expected from a sandan. I realized that, during mawarigeiko, I was too much thinking on the search for the opportunity to strike and I completely forgot the seme.
At the endo of the training Steve took me back to the hotel and I rapidly searched a restaurant to eat a quick dinner. I found I nice fish restaurant on the 4th avenue and I got a very good wild Alaska salmon cooked perfectly and very tasty. I finished the dinner with a creme brule' and I got back to the hotel. I had a quick shower and I have to admit that I lose conciousness as sonn as I got in the bed.
Below the video, kindly provided by Seattle Kendo Kai, that gives an overall view of the training: