Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 2011: Cambridge Kendo Club

Arrival in UK on Sunday the 6th of March, no Kendo till Wednesday, sigh!.
It is incredible, I am again in Cambridge, this time for the Hands-on training at EBI - Advanced RNA-Seq and ChiP-Seq Data Analysis. The course is held at EMBL-EBI, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SD, UK.
The course will cover very important topics related to the use of Massive Parallel Sequencing technology, which is getting very important for the research works I am involved in.
I departed from Torino on Sunday the 6th of March (today) with RaianAir. This was my first time with this low cost company. RaianAir is very convenient to arrive in Cambridge from Torino. Only with two hours flight and 30 minuts train and you are in the middle of this lovely town.
The flight was OK although I had the sensation that RaianAir is trying to get as much money as possible from you keeping the cost at the minimum. I was really surprise when I realized that the seats are fixed in a unique position, I think because they cost less than a conventional airplain seat or more simply because the space between sets rows is not enough to allow to change the position of the seat back. Furthermore, you are soaking in a constant advertisements to buy food, duty free and lottery. Even in the toilette you get such advertisement just in case you are not realizing that you are loosing an incredible opportunity to win something with the flight lottery.
The flight was also teaching me something else. I was flying with a group of students from the high school getting to UK for a cultural holiday with some of their professors. I realized that I am getting really old, because I am unable to understand this young generation. They were 16-17 years old but the brain age was much much lower, maybe 6-7 years old. I am pretty sure of this because I help teaching Kendo in an elementary school and those children are behaving in a way very similar to the students I met on the flight. I have a very high consideration for theirs teachers that have to control and take care of them.
As you can see I was a bit shocked by the flight. But finally I arrived in Cambridge, drop down the bogou at the hotel and I had a walk in the town. Weather was fresh but quite sunny. I stop for lunch in a Cyprus's restaurant.

It was a quite small restaurant, but the Cyprus chicken brochette was very good and the feta salad was seasoned perfectly with a very good olive's oil.

Now I am back in the hotel and I will get over some work that has to be done and I will refresh my broken Japanese since in about 20 days I will go in Japan for a 10 days of Kendo at Fukuoka.
For today is all. I will be back on Wednesday when I will join again the Kendo training at Tsurugi Bashi Kendo Kai Club.

Monday: first day of course. I arrived at EBI-EMBL in Hinxton by taxi. It is a very nice research centre.

We were about 40 people participating to this course.
I do not want to border you with technical stuff, but it was very very interesting.
The course ended at 17.30 and I got back to the hotel room to fix at least part of the work that is necessarely left behind since I am attending to this course.
I am very tired.... I will go to sleep.
Tuesday, Whoow Sun shining in Cambridge! There is little to say about tuesday, I spent all day in the Computer room for the course. Everything was very interesting. At 6 pm I went out with a frend of mine working at Sanger and we had Japanese dinner. I decidend for a ramen since was a long time I did not eat it.... It was reasonable but never as the Fukuoka ramen, that was really delicious.
Wednesday was the last day of the course very very interesting the part on chip-seq. Finally the day I am back to the Tsurugi Bashi Kendo Kai dojo. It was nice to meet again the Tsurugi Bashi Kendo Kai student and Frank Stajano the sensei of the Dojo. Getting back to the training.
After the warm up, we started suburi:
  • Jo ge suburi
  • Men uchi ni kyo do suburi
  • Zenshin kotai men suburi
  • Zenshin kotai sayu men suburi
  • Sonkyo suburi
  • Matawari suburi
  • Kote men suburi
  • Katate suburi
  • Haya suburi
we did 30 times each suburi.
This time the training was fully held by Stajano sensei. The focus was basic kihon also because there were a lot of new beginners. Frank highlighted the importance of the kihon as the basic for an efficient and consistent growth of kendo performance.
We spent about one and half hour on basic kion and kirikaeshi then the persons with the bogou wore the men and we did mawarigeiko. After since were left only few minutes we practice katas and I did the first seven katas with Frank. He gave me some interesting suggestions how to improve the 6th kata. It was a very nice night. Furthermore, thanks to my friend Cinzia, that was with me at the dojo. I assembled some photos and video that she did and are summarizing the overall training.