Monday, August 3, 2009

Shiramizu Summer Camp!

The kids working harding during sparring drills.

Erica here!

The weekend of July 25th & 26th was the Shiramizu summer camp. There were about 120 kids ranging from 3 to 17 years old and a handful of adults that attended. We went to Kinugawa City (near the famous Nikko resort town in Tochigi Prefecture north west of the Saitama prefecture) and stayed at Manyoutei, a beautiful, traditional hotel complete with pull out futon mats and shared baths.

We arrived at the hotel around 1pm on Saturday, had lunch then proceeded to a school gym where the training was going to occur only to find the gates locked. After 20 minutes or so of phone calls and kids getting restless on the buses, we managed to gain access.

Once inside, we all did laps around the gym then had a group warm-up. We bowed in and then proceeded to do ido kihon (moving basics). After about 40 minutes of that, we split up into our different ranks and we worked on kata. The group I was in did Chinto and after another 40 minutes there was a water break after which we then moved on to sparring drills lead by Kazuhisa Fujimoto Sensei and Toya Sensei (from Takagi Sensei's Guseikai Dojoo in Tokyo). Somehow, by the end of that, 3 hours had gone by and it was time to finish up and head back to the hotel for dinner. Dinner was a delicious meal of all you can eat hot pot. Some of the guys had quite a bit of meat.

After dinner, there was some free time and then (from what I could tell with my seriously limited Japanese) there was a mini lesson on how points are awarded for sparring. This was followed by games and the losing team of each round had to get up on stage and act out a word. Everyone had a great time and went to bed tired, but with smiles on their face.

The next morning, we woke up at 6:30am, had breakfast at 7am and commenced training at 9am. The structure and content of what we did was almost identical to the previous days except there were more instructors who participated, including Toshiki Fujimoto Sensei (of Tokyo Guseikai), because they couldn’t make the day before.

On the way home, we stopped at Tobu World Square which is an outdoor museum of miniature models of famous building and places around the world. It was very entertaining and the detail in which these models had were amazing. There were little people, moving boats, cars and trains! It was a hot and sunny day, so naturally the kids were running around with ice cream cones.

Overall, it was a great weekend and everyone had tons of fun =)

Everyone waiting to board the bus.

Warm-up run.

Yamazaki Sensei having fun with the kids.

Yay!! Water break!!

Tobu World Square. Looks real doesn't it?

Shiramizu summer camp 2009!!

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