Wednesday 25 October 2017

Swiss and European Seminars

I have shamelessly cribbed this from a Facebook posting on the Masaji Taira page:

קראטה חמשת היסודות Karate - 5 Elements 五大 空手‎ posted:

This week I returned from a seminar that was conducted in Switzerland, training with a great Karate coach named Taira Masaji. Sensei Taira is an outstanding person a professional and a great master. A 9th Dan in Karate, a senior Judo and a retired member of his country's security forces, top to all of it he is a very nice person. The seminar was great and I enjoyed it very much! This time I want to write about the people. This is the third time I have been attending such a seminar in Europe, this time I was the guest of Hugo and Aisha from Switzerland.

I want to tell you about the experience as an Israeli who travels to various European countries.
First of all I would like to thank João Pedro Ramalho for connecting me to this group of people and helped me understand where the first seminar is, where to go and invited me to train and get to know a great teacher and a large group of wonderful people.
The first time I arrived to a training camp in Italy my hosts were the teachers Andrea and Giovina. They did not really know me. They only knew that I was coming. The dear fellow Paolo Fasciano took me from the hotel to every event. I got a chance to visit the charming home of Giovina and Andrea they showed me a wonderful hospitality.
For the second seminar I went to Portugal where at the airport was waiting for me Jose Antonio who took me to the seminar and many other places, told me about Portugal about his son about his origins and all kinds of wonderful stories about Portugal. I slept in a wonderful villa and trained with friends from different countries in the world quite a few Spanish and South Americans who spoke Spanish and Portuguese. Joao hosted us beautifully, and organized a seminar in which we also learned from senior members of the organization.
From the training and back, they arranged a ride for me. At a dinner that was held in the Vila A special dish was organized for me by Fernando Godinho, he prepared me a salad made of herbs he was raising himself, the salad was great !! I Thank you Fernando.
The last seminar was in Switzerland. Apart from the fact that Geneva was stunning, we were taken care of again, this time both of us. Ifat came with me. We had little trouble with the hotel registration, Hugo arrived and spoke several times to the manager until it was arranged. While I was training, Ifat enjoyed a tour in Geneva with Aisha and Idoya. We got a chance to be with wonderful people and practice with them. Hugo Aicha Ibdil and other Dojo members arranged a very nice evening with many seminar participants.
Aicha and Hugo you did a great Job!
I have been privileged to learn from many people, but I will mention only a few names
Sensei Taira, Joao Pedro, Aivaras Engelaitis, Pascal Duroux, Mark Kapel, Nirina Rakotozafiminahy, Emmanuel Calderon Alonso, Miguel Angel Martín, Tanka Ramos, Christian Rosso, Hugo Cuneo and many others.

One of the most magical things for me in these seminars is that I can meet Aisha and speak a few words in Arabic. Tanaka from the United States says “Shalom” to me and a few more words in Hebrew. Ibadil, originally born in Algeria, becomes my friend and laughs about my Arabic accent. Jose from Portugal tells me fascinating stories in such a great Portuguese accent. Many people who did not have a common language at all and who spoke in semi-English and a mumble of hand signals. A lot of people from many cultures that Karate connects them all several times a year ... The religious and political divisions that countries are fighting for do not exist there and it is more obvious to me as an Israeli. I feel so comfortable with friends of different religions, different cultures, different perceptions ... So much, that I would like this type of comfort to arrive here as soon as possible. We are all human beings, we are all friends.

Again great people can make great things happen Sensei Taira is a great teacher; he groups great other teachers around him that create a great group of people. That is to me a great part of Martial arts and Karate.
Arigato Gozaimashite!

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