Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 2011: Visiting Vienna Kendo Club

I am in Vienna for the HiTSeq workshop a satellite meeting of ISMB/ECCB 2011. Today was a very long day I departed for Torino by car at 5:oo AM to go to the Malpensa Airport. This time I had to depart form Malpensa since Torino airport is closed for maintenance. Getting to Wien was a long trip, I had to travel via Zurig and finally at 3:00 PM I got in Vienna. MY hotel is practically in the centre of Vienna.
I had just the time to have a currywurst and I had to move to go to practice kendo at Vienna Kendo Club. I was in contact with Vanessa a nidan from the club that take care of the contacts. She was absolutely wonderful! She was so kind to offer me a lift to the dojo. I met her and Stephan, another kendoka of the dojo, underground station that was suitable to get to the dojo.
I knew by them that in Vienna there are two dojo that share the trainings, therefore during the year it is possible to practice kendo every day of the week. However, in summer, since many people is in holidays they have only two days of training every week.
I got with them to the dojo and Vanessa was so kind to lent me a shinai and a booken since, due to the recent changes in the transportation rules of Lufthansa,I was unable to carry my shinai, due to the fact that bring a shinai as extra luggage cost 140 euros, therefore is much cheaper to buy a new one un Vienna and leave it there.
The training was in a dojo located a little outside Vienna, since, due to school holidays, the dojo in Vienna is closed.
Fortunately it was quite fresh and ideal for a training with the bogu.
I had the possibility to meet Ryutaro Kamemoto sensei (nana dan) that was directing the training.
The training started with bokouto kata. I have heard about the that specific practice but I never did it in my dojo.
The sequence of the kata was quite complex:
  • me, kote, do tzuki
  • kote men
  • arai men
  • men hiki do
  • men nuki do
  • kote suriage men
  • debana kote
  • men kaeshi do
  • do otoshi men
I am pretty sure that I forgot some of the kata.
I started to practice with Kromp, a nice lady that introduced me to the kata.
Initially, I was simply memorizing the kata, since each technique has to be followed by zanshin and by a controlled step back to get to the initial position.
I was very lucky since Ingo, a yondan of the dojo, highlighted to me some critical issue of my way of doing the katas.
The main issue for me was that I place to much of my weight on the right foot. Instead during all the steps of the kata the weight should be more located n the back foot to allow an efficient step forward. Furthermore, all the timing was incorrect and I have to relax the shoulders. Definitively I need to practice bokuto kata to improve my overall posture.
After we put individually the men and we had open jigeiko. I practice with Ingo, Martin (the Chairman of the dojo), Stephan, Vanessa and with few other students.
It was a very nice time, I found really very challenging to strike men to Ingo and to Martin since they are very very tall!
The only regret is that the jigeiko with Vanessa was very short since the training ended. Vanessa has a very strong seme and very clean techniques.
After the training Vanessa and Stephan took me back to the underground station. During the trip they told me that will be in Alessandria in October for the Trofeo Internazionale Citta di Alessandria which will be held in October. If everything will go smoothly I will also be in Alessandria for the individual competition and I will take the chance to bring Vanessa and Stephan to visit Torino and to enjoy some of our local cuisine.


Anonymous said...

Dear Refaele,

Thank you for visiting our dojo and attending the training. All the best to you.

Ganbatte, Martin

By the way you forgot Kihon Kata no. 4: Men-Hiki-Do

Kendomaniac said...

Thanks I added the Kihon Kata!