Although Sicily is the place where my father was born, for a long time I did not want to go there. When I was a child I was visiting my grandparents in Comiso, a little town quite far away from the sea, and I only remember that I was unable to understand the local dialect and it was very very hot! On the basis of this memory Sicily did not seem to be an appealing place to be visited. About three years ago my sun strongly wanted to go in holidays in Sicily to see the place where his grandfather was born. So we when in holidays in Noto, a wonderful baroque town in the south of Sicily, and I got completely conquered by the place, the sea, the food, the people.
At the beginning of this year May I went to Catania for the meeting of the Bioinformatics Italian Society (BITS). It was a good occasion to get back in Sicily. I had a talk on the second day of the meeting and off course I took the chance to practice kendo in Catania.
Kendo in Italy is spread from west to east in the north part of Italy, with a lot of dojo. Moving from North to South, dojo are reduced and, below Rome, you have to jump to Sicily to find other kendo clubs. In Catania it is located the Kuma No Kai club. The Kendo dojo is located in a fitness club in Gravina di Catania, Orient Fitness. The instructor of the kendo club is Junio Borghese.
The dojo have a nice floor for kendo, but the mobility is a little limited by the presence of two pillars in the middle. Never the less people is well trained to have a clear idea of the available space during the practice.
We were about 15 persons with the bogou and 4-5 persons without. Junio and the senior students took care of the training of the people without bogou in a way that they could practice also with the people with the bogou. I had the sensation that they are a very tight group that know very well how to run efficiently the training. We started with a warm up with Orlando and after mentsuke we did few round of kirikaeshi, big and little men. Then we had a long session of mawarigeiko. The dojo follows the Korean Kendo approach, they work a lot on shai
optimization and everybody I met show a very high spirit in the fight. It was challenging, I only stopped once but it was very hard expecially with Orlando and Junio, which are very strong fighters.
Very nice keiko and dinner, looking forward to meet them again.