International Aikido Seminar at the World Combat Games

The aikido participation in the World Combat Games held in St. Petersburg also included a one-day international seminar, where the three shihan teachers of the event and Waka Sensei Mitsuteru Ueshiba were teaching one class each.

Ulf Evenås Shihan from Sweden teaching the first class at the international seminar in the Volleyball Academy Platonov, St. Petersburg. Photo by Viktor Kazarin.Ulf Evenås Shihan from Sweden teaching the first class at the international seminar in the Volleyball Academy Platonov, St. Petersburg. Photo by Viktor Kazarin.

The seminar took place on Sunday in the Volleyball Academy Platonov, with around 200 participants – the 80 aikidoka who are to have their own demonstrations on Monday and Tuesday at the World Combat Games, and a great number of aikido students from several Russian aikido organizations and dojos.

Christian Tissier Shihan from France teaching the second class at the international seminar. Photo by Viktor Kazarin.Christian Tissier Shihan from France teaching the second class at the international seminar. Photo by Viktor Kazarin.

The tatami was very crowded indeed, which did in no way affect the enthusiasm of the many aikido students. They managed to find room for their techniques, sometimes with a skill comparable to that of completing a jigsaw puzzle.

Tsuruzo Miyamoto Shihan from Hombu Dojo in Tokyo teaching the third class at the international seminar. Photo by Viktor Kazarin.Tsuruzo Miyamoto Shihan from Hombu Dojo in Tokyo teaching the third class at the international seminar. Photo by Viktor Kazarin.

The three shihan teachers present at the Combat Games – Ulf Evenås, Christian Tissier and Tsuruzo Miyamoto – were teaching one hour-long class each in quick succession. After a much needed short break, the Combat Games Aikido Ambassador Mitsuteru Ueshiba, known in the aikido world as Waka Sensei, held the final class of the seminar, where his zest made the students muster renewed energy and vigor.

The crowded tatami was equally full of aikido students and wide smiles.

The World Combat Games Aikido Ambassador, Waka Sensei Mitsuteru Ueshiba, teaching the final class at the international seminar. Photo by Viktor Kazarin.The World Combat Games Aikido Ambassador, Waka Sensei Mitsuteru Ueshiba, teaching the final class at the international seminar. Photo by Viktor Kazarin.

After the seminar, the World Combat Games participants were transported by shuttle buses to the Peterburgsky arena for a late lunch and additional training in preparation of their demonstrations to be performed on Monday and Tuesday. Arriving to Peterburgsky, though, the troop discovered that there had been a mix-up in bookings, so that no lunch was prepared and the tatami at the arena was occupied by a judo event.

So, the aikido group got to have the afternoon and evening off. Actually, that was quite fortunate, since the intense seminar had taken its toll and little need of additional exercises remained. Instead, they will have possibility to prepare for their demonstrations on both Monday and Tuesday.

Many more photos from the aikido seminar will be posted shortly on the IAF Facebok account.

Text by Stefan Stenudd
Photos by Viktor Kazarin