Training a la Renoir, 2 August 2014


August 2nd Stockholm Yoshinken received a visit from Sensei Jan Kallenbach and Sensei Marshall McDonagh. For the first time in our history, there was no physical activity, we met for a nice breakfast in the same spirit in which Sensei Kenichi Sawai did at Café Renoir in Tokyo in the 1960s, where his deshis had the opportunity to ask questions and was taught verbally.

Well, it happens, that those gentlemen gets physical so a few strikes was delivered during breakfast and Jan Sensei explained "Hara" in a way that make the entire Haga Parken turn around.

On the other hand, what's the point of training so many years at this level where all members are Yudansha if one does not encounter and gets tested on the unpredictable? All asked questions and I'm very happy with the level of the questions from the participants.

We were told about meetings and trainings with great Budo Sensei that Sensei Jan and Marshall have been in contact with for more than 50 years of Budo. They told us about their first time in Japan in their search for good Budo. Sensei Jan went over Manshuriet by train and Sensei Marshall with a freighter from New Zealand to get to a Japan where almost no one spoke English with an address from a book.

This was the early 60s and they belong to the group of Budo Sensei that made it easier for the coming generations to visit and find good Budo in Japan.



Sensei Jan and Sensei Marshall speak very warmly about great Budo Sensei of all time, I have known this for many years and now they'll have to accept that they themselves nowadays belongs to this crowd.

They have a modern approach to the martial arts with respect and humility to their students, they are always in training themselves when others are coaches, including fighting. They guide and are generous with their knowledge in a way that it is always a pleasure to train for them.

I hosted Sensei Jan and Marshall, which is great fun. It was laughter, nice Budo discussions and it all ended, as usual, late into the night, at 02:00.

So Stockholm Yoshinken are grateful for this nice time and I think that all of us will remember this meeting as a great day in our Budo life.