Friday, September 16, 2011

September the 12: Visiting Seishinkan Dojo in Bologna

Last week I was in Modena to run a course on Microarray data analysis for one of the European ECOST actions. It was interesting, students were all very motivated and I enjoyed a lot the interaction with them. As usual I took the chance to practice Kendo. Unfortunately the dojo in Modena had a training that was not fitting my schedule but I was very lucky since I found that the Seishinkan Dojo in Bologna was training right at the end of my teaching day. It was ideal to get relaxed and enjoy Kendo. I contacted the Stefano Betti, which is the instructor of the Dojo, and he agreed for my visit. Unfortunately the day I went to Seishinkan Stefano was in holiday and I could have the chance to cross the shinai with him. Anyway he put me in contact with Gianandrea Maccaferri, which is the President of the Dojo. I finished my teaching duty at 17:30 and I departed to Bologna. The distance is very limited but roads were very crowded and I managed to arrive to the Dojo just few minutes before the 19:00.
The Seishinkan Dojo practice is at Scuole Grosso, via Cristoforo da Bologna, 29 - Bologna. At my arrival I fund immediately a very nice and warm atmosphere.
Gianandrea gave me some information about the dojo and he also told me that they were starting a new course for children.
The week I went in Modena it was surprisingly hot, but it was shocking the temperature in Bologna. My car thermometer was indicating 32 Celsius at 19:00. Therefore, since the Dojo is located in a gym made of concrete, I let you image the temperature.... I was wet already after the initial stretching.
The training started at 19:30 with a brief run that was followed by a very complete session of stretching. I found it very very useful also because this was only the second training after the summer holidays. After stretching we moved to basic suburi and after we did some basic kion without the men, in part because there was a mixture of experienced and beginners and also because it was HOT!
I got some interesting tips about the kion. Specifically I found very interesting the kirikaeshi made doing the yokomen on the kote of motodachi staying in jodan no kamae. It was very useful to control the right inclination of the shinai and the strength of the hit.
After we did men tsuke and we started mawarigeiko. That was very hard! I was feeling a lot the hotness and I was already tired after the second jigeiko. I think this is the effect of the good food I had during the holidays in Sicily.
Sweating a lot I managed to get to the jigeiko with Gianandrea, which is a quite tall person. I was very much at the end of my energy but I tried my best. After a bit in judan no kamae a moved to jodan also because the change of the kamae provided a bit of time to recover. I liked a lot the jigeiko with Gianandrea but I was also glad it was the last one.
After the rei we got food and refreshing drinks because it was the birthday of one of the students. I was so so thirsty! It took me about half an hour and some litres of water to refill me.
At 22:00 I was back on the way to Modena where I directly went to sleep.
I hope to visit again the dojo in Bologna it was a nice experience!