Monday 22 July 2013

Aikido at the Budokan

Yesterday they had a national kids training day at the Budokan, which is a big hall in Tokyo where they hold major events. There were kids there from all over Japan, 2500 + of them!

Here are the representatives from our dojo...

The tatami was split into 5 squares, our kids were in the red, which was closest to where we were sitting but unless you were on the front row, you couldn't see the whole square, I had to keep sneaking to the front to take some photos! Ebi-kun and H-chan, his sparring partner behind him, she is super cute and always has a big grin on her face.

They started off with speeches & warm ups and then the kids were split into grades, it was all elementary and junior high school kids, so Ebi-kun was on first since he is only 2nd grade. They continued like that until they had all had their go and then there were some demonstrations by high school and university students. The afternoon, each dojo had 5 minutes to do a demo, there were 5 areas, so 5 dojo's were on at once. There were 32 changes, so quite a lot of dojo's all together! This part was really fun, it was cool to see what the other kids were doing. Some were all in sync, some used wooden swords and balls, lots of rolling and throwing. It wrapped up with some more demos and finally, the 5th generation grandson of the guy who founded aikido did a demo, finishing off with him being attacked by 3 blokes and he was just throwing them about like they were teddy's. I have video of it but it needs editing a bit first.

Aikido is non competitive so I like that they have these types of big meetings since they don't have competition meets. There were some kids who were amazing, a jr high school girl who was a black belt, looked like something out of the movies and there were a couple of lads with brown belts that were totally rocking it too.

practicing ushirokemi
 We left the house before 7am and we needed to take a bento too (OK, I didn't get up at 5am to make a bento, I did it the night before, I'm not totally barmy!), the whole thing kicked off at 11am and wrapped up around 4.30pm. Then we headed home, it was a long day but totally worth it!

And if you want to know what 2500+ kids doing warm up sounds like, watch this - it is only a few seconds long but pretty impressive. 10p to anyone who can spot Ebi-kun hahaha.

So, that was our weekend, how about you?

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