Germany Tour with Sensei Tsutomu Kamohara (9th Dan, Japan) – November 2018
In the period 19th November 2018 – 26th November 2018, Kamohara sensei visited Germany for a tour.
On Monday the 19th November, our master traveled to Berlin and was warmly welcomed by the German Shukokai President Tom Straphel, his wife Bianca Straphel and the Vice President Arne Buchin.
Already on the day of arrival the tour started with a program. On Monday evening the dan exam took place. In this exam, Tom Straphel passed the 5th Dan, Arne Buchin the 3rd Dan and Marlene Schlaak the 1st Dan.
Afterwards there was a cultural program. In a small group we went to the center of Berlin to the Potsdamer Platz in the Philharmonie, where we were allowed to enjoy a masterful piano concert.
On Tuesday morning we traveled to Eisenhüttenstadt (Brandenburg) and visited a hot rolling mill for the production of steel there. The country coach of Brandenburg Frank Molder works there as an engineer and organized a great tour of the plant. It was very impressive to follow the process of production and to learn how steel is made for industry, which is an important pillar of the German economy.
In the evening Kamohara Sensei held a training course in Guben (near the Polish border), the location where Frank Molder teaches. The program included Shukokai Basics and Rohai Kata.
On Wednesday we traveled with Kamohara Sensei to Rostock (on the Baltic Sea / Northern Germany / about 2.5 hours away from Berlin), of course by car.
Rostock is the training location of Arne Buchin. There was a seminar in Arnes Dojo, where we also practiced for his students and guests Shukokai Basics and Jitte Kata. The students in Rostock were very excited to have Kamohara sensei as their guest. In the evening Kamohara sensei was able to experience what was eaten in the European Middle Ages, when we went to dinner in a medieval restaurant. There we ate with only a big knife without cutlery and drank from big jugs. The whole evening was accompanied by juggler music and we were served by a personal servant.
On Thursday morning we drove to the Baltic Sea coast at an outside temperature of 1 degree and wind.
Well prepared and warmly dressed we showed Kamohara sensei the northern part of Germany.
On Thursday afternoon we were back in Berlin, where a training course was held in Dojo Berlin. The children practiced Shukokai basics and kumite combinations, followed later by Bunkais and Matsukaze Kata.
On Friday we drove with Kamohara sensei 600 km from Berlin to Munich, where he was the guest of honor at the annual meeting of the Shito-ryu Shukokai Union Deutschland e.V..
At the weekend (24th-25th of November) we were looking forward to a great program at the seminar. First on Saturday the Dan examination diplomas were officially awarded to Tom Straphel (5th Dan), Arne Buchin (3rd Dan) and Marlene Schlaak (1st Dan). This was followed by the seminar for the children where we practiced basics, kumite and pinan katas. Later we practiced Kata & Bunkais of Wanshu, Seienchin and Heiku. On Sunday, the training started with a unit Genki Budo and graduated with Paiku Kata.
It was a very intense and beautiful time with Kamohara-sensei where we could introduce Sensei to the Shukokai Dojos in Germany. We sincerely thank him for being our guest and look forward to seeing him again soon.
Here are the photos from the event: