Balerna October 2022

Seminar with Maurizio Volpe and Bernhard Boll


On the third weekend in October, from October 14th to 16th, 2022, the traditional international autumn seminar of the Ticino association Ki Aikido (ATKA) took place in Balerna. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of ATKA's official existence, the seminar was free of charge for the participants. As in the previous year, Maurizio Volpe and Bernhard Boll took on the role of teachers.
A dozen Aikidoka from Switzerland and Italy were already on the mat on Friday evening. After Kenkotaiso and Aikitaiso, Maurizio taught the 7 techniques of Tsuzukiwaza 12 (ushiro katatedori) from the third dan program. As always, Maurizio explained in great detail the geometries and intentions, and also how each subsequent technique (tsuzuki waza!) evolves from the previous one.

After the training, there was the traditional dinner sponsored by the dojo on the hall's stage.

Seminar in Balerna 2022 - Freitag

On Saturday morning, other participants from Nuremberg and Turin had arrived. There were 25 Aikidoka on the 140 m² tatami. Since there were some aspirants for the first Dan, Bernhard started after the basic exercises with the techniques of Tsuzukiwaza 11 (katatedori irimi). The Aikidoka, with whom he explained the techniques, then performed these techniques several times with him as uke. In this way, deficiencies in communication could be discovered and rectified immediately. The working rhythm was quite sporty, the participants got warm enough.
In the second part of the morning, Maurizio presented the Tsuzukiwaza 22 (Tantodori 2) from the program for the second Dan.

Seminar in Balerna 2022

For lunch break we walked to the Grotto del Mulino in the Breggia Gorge in quite sunny weather. The break was long enough to enjoy the meal and rest a little.

At the beginning of the afternoon training, Maurizio first led the breathing exercises and then explained in detail some Ki tests of the DEN exams.
After that he taught the Tsuzukiwaza 24 (Jodori). He addressed various questions that are currently being asked. Do Aikidoka have to copy their teachers 1:1? Does creativity mean inventing your own style to differentiate yourself from the others? Does it make sense to publish all the videos from the seminars with Yoshigasaki Sensei on the Internet?

Seminar in Balerna 2022

After a brief rest break with Swiss chocolate, Bernhard took over again and explaineded Tsuzukiwaza 27, i.e. Bokken 1 with partner. Especially the rotation in the Happogiri was practiced well.
For a little more fun, he showed at the end a technique from the film "Kakushi Ken - Oni no tsume". The attacker is lulled into a false sense of security and then comes to harm with an ushiro uchi. The task was to investigate whether this technique really works.
After the Saturday lessons most participants from Italy would return home. So, they helped put away about half of the tatami.

Master Toda shows a special technique

The attacker, here the student Katagiri Munezo, is supposed to feel safe when Toda Sensei looks down and seems to be turning away.

At the end of the day, a small group met for dinner in the Osteria Ul Furmighin, where the non-local Aikidoka traditionally spend the night.

Many Aikidoka had only come to the seminar on Saturday, mainly for very practical reasons. The remaining Aikidoka practiced in two groups on Sunday morning. Maurizio taught third dan Tsuzukiwaza, Bernhard those of first dan. It was a kind of private lesson.
The intensive and instructive weekend ended with lunch in the Grotto di Mulino.

The next seminars in northern Italy will take place in Vercelli at the end of October and in Dormeletto at the beginning of December. In Balerna, the dates for the 2023 seminars are already firmly planned, but have yet to be confirmed.

Seminar in Balerna 2022

Photo: Domenico, Bernhard