Sensei Göran and Sempai Helen from Sweden participated in Winter Beach Training in Japan
Winter Beach Training in Japan on January 12th, 2020
On Wednesday January 8th, we went to Hombu dojo to see Soke and have a short meeting with him. It was very nice to see him again and after discussing a number of topics, it was time to participate in the kids’ practice. Attending the class was a lot of fun and Sensei Oda held a very good training!
On Thursday we went to the Mitaka dojo where Sensei Kitaoka and his son Sensei Ken were teaching kids. We practiced many different katas and we were very happy to be able to participate. After the great training we were invited to join them in their traditional dinner party, celebrating the new year. Lots of delicious dishes where served, all of them prepared by parents of the children and the Kitaoka family.
One of the special foods was mochi, a rice pastry symbolizing the soul. The kids made wishes and promises for the new year, most of them about karate of course. Thank you so much Kitaoka family for inviting us to this! It made us feel even more like a part of the Itosu-kai family.
Friday was spent in Sokes dojo. We had a long training with Sensei Ayumu Oda, covering karate basics, Nipaipo and Sochin. Great instruction and a good opportunity to focus on details. We also had time to practice Kongo Ryu, Bo moving basics number 1-12. Bo is difficult, even though it looks easy. So much fun!
For me and my wife Helen, 3dan, this trip to Japan was very special. Since we started practicing karate there has been something that we always wanted to explore and that’s the winter training on the beach of Yokohama. The weather forecast wasn’t encouraging, talking about clouds and rain but it turned out to be a lovely and sunny day. Of course, the crispy air was a bit cold and the water even colder, but we had a wonderful time together with some 200 karatekas from dojos around Tokyo and Yokohama.
After training, a hot bath and lunch, Soke invited us to participate in the meeting with all the Senseis. What an honor. After the meeting we had the opportunity to try some tasty Japanese specialties. And we, on the other hand, introduced some typical Swedish food: hard handmade bread with butter, Kalles kaviar (smoked fish eggs) and thin slices of spring onion on top.
But all great things come to an end and on the 13th of January it was time to head back to Sweden again.
Thank you all for your hospitality, great training and lovely memories. We are looking forward to seeing you soon again.
Göran & Helen Crafoord