The International Seminar directed by AIKIKAI Hombu Dojo shihan S.Seki was conducted in Moscow on October 24-29, 2001. The seminar was dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the foundation of Koinobori Aikido Dojo. About 130 people from 6 cities of Russia, as well as guests from Lithuania, USA, Poland, Armenia, and Japan, took part in the seminar.
Impressions of the seminar participants
Karpova Marina (Koinobori Dojo dojocho):
It will not be an overstatement to say that all members of Koinobori Dojo, without exception, enjoyed the seminar greatly and received a charge of positive energy. This time Seki sensei has conducted his 6th seminar in Moscow. Every year we cannot help wondering at his fine and powerful technique, as well as at the new accents he makes in technique performance. Despite the fact that sensei leads classes in silence, without verbal explanations, it would be hard to find a person who would fail to understand his comments and corrections. Every year, studying the basic techniques with sensei, we find out for ourselves new depths of Aikido and come to realize that this source is inexhaustible. We all look forward to the future with hope that we will have new opportunities to practice with Seki sensei in Moscow.
Kiselyov Yurii (Koinobori Dojo):
The seminar directed by S.Seki shihan can surely be called an Aikido festival. Since it was the first time I had taken part in such an event, I was rather worried and had certain doubts: “Should I participate? My skill is far from perfect, and I will have to work with people whose technical level is incomparably higher. Won’t I simply get into everybody’s way and be a nuisance?”
Yet the very first classes showed that there was no need to worry. In fact, everything turned out quite the reverse. And it was not a matter of partners being strong or weak, but of finding everybody a task according to his or her abilities. Some people concentrated on grasping others’ experience, some shared their own, some managed to do both, and all participants, despite the difference in levels, improved their Aikido technique.
The techniques demonstrated by Seki sensei were quite familiar, but the way he showed them was quite astonishing. Some movements, that had seemed to be already understood and mastered, opened new opportunities for improvement through Seki sensei’s demonstration, and that softly reminded that performance of even the most outwardly simple technique may be endlessly perfected. In other words, one can never perform a technique so well that it would be impossible to do it better.
In fact, the process of training at our dojo proceeds in a cyclical manner. Every cycle consists of two stages: the slow and careful stage – preparation for the seminar, and the fast and intense one – the seminar itself. In this way, for example, ballet dancers “slowly and carefully” rehearse a new performance and then “fast and intensely” dance what they have rehearsed. Such an event is often called theatre of ballet festival. A similar event has just taken place in the world of Aikido, and I would like to congratulate everybody who participated in it.
Puojunas Mantas (Vilnius, Lithuania):
This year was the first time I had an opportunity to participate in the Aikido seminar conducted by S.Seki sensei. I am very happy to have had the luck to practise under the direction of such a wonderful teacher.
Although I don’t understand Japanese, all comments were perfectly comprehensible. I had an impression that sensei managed to share his attention among all the practitioners. Despite the fact that so many people took part in the seminar and the dojo was full, sensei managed to approach even the junior students and correct important mistakes in their technique. I noticed that the master treated everybody according to his or her abilities and made each technique understandable for everyone.
Above all, I was astonished by the precision of performing every technique. Looking at sensei, one could think that he acted just as precisely as the hand of a calligraphy master writing a black kanji on a white sheet of paper.
The classes were so intense and dynamic, that there was no time for distractions and three practices a day passed like a single moment. Only returning home in the evening we started feeling tired. I will never regret the fact that I have overcome all difficulties and managed a distance of 1000 kilometers only in order to take part in the seminar.
A most favorable effect was produced by the friendly atmosphere created by the organizers of the seminar, the members of Koinobori Dojo. I would like to express special gratitude to the Koinobori Dojo dojocho, Marina Karpova for her openness and support and for the opportunity she gave us to actively participate in the seminar.