For Saturday, August 14, 2021, Bernhard Boll had invited to a seminar in Stabio (CH).
There Govert, the president of the Aikido Club of Balerna (ATKA), has a small dojo. As long as the gyms were closed, a group of Balernitan Aikidoka regularly practised there, of course in compliance with national and cantonal Covid rules.
Waldemar and his son Leon (1st Dan) from Hechingen, Bernhard's former dojo in Germany, also came to the seminar. The date for Waldemar's exam for the second Dan had fallen victim to the regulaltions at the beginning of the Covid age. With the current travel rules, the opportunity had arisen to have this examination take place in Switzerland.
At the beginning of the seminar, Bernhard presented the Shodan certificate to Leon, who had taken the exam in Hechingen in February 2020.
On this Saturday it was very hot in Ticino. The sky was cloud-free and in the shade the thermometer showed 32 °C. The exercises with Jo and Bokken were practised outside. There was enough space in the shadow of the building. However, the participants with zori or sneakers felt that the contact with the ground was somewhat different than usual on the mats in the dojo.
In the second part of the seminar, the exam took place. Because of the high temperatures, Nage and the Uke sweated profusely. Bernhard placed the order of the tsuzukiwaza so that each Uke had a break after a tsuzukiwaza.
Leon, Dzenan, Alessandro, Christian and Govert (2nd Dan) were well acquainted with the techniques and Waldemar was very careful with the Ticino Aikidoka. He controlled the movements with skill, so that no one had to land outside the mat area or possibly on the wall. In the passages with Leon as Uke it became clear that Aikido can be quite direct and effective.
Examinee, examinator and the Uke
The conclusion of the examination was the randori with four attackers. Waldemar skilfully redirected the uke and was always in control of the situation, so he was never encircled.
Since Shodan in 2015, Waldemar had passed the exams with our late Doshu and received the certificates with Yoshigasaki Sensei's name and seal. The certificate for this second dan will be one of the first to be issued by Ki no Kenkyukai Internationale in the new format.
After the seminar, almost all participants met on the terrace at Yvette's and Bernhard's in Balerna to enjoy a cold beer or some non-alcoholic drinks. The guests from Hechingen then set off for their return journey, they took the route via San Bernardino, thus avoiding the 2.5 hours traffic jam in front of the Gotthard south portal. The others concluded the evening with an excellent risotto prepared by Yvette.
The next seminar in Balerna will take place in October 2021: Autumn Seminar in Balerna. The flyer will be published as soon as the municipal administration has updated the rules for the use of the gym in Covid times.