Sunday 12 May 2019

Nancy Leiby-Eccles seminar experience

Sensei Nancy Leiby-Eccles put this on Facebook a few weeks back. This is the kind of seminar review and experience I like to post -  more than just "great training" but "great people!" Re-posted by permission.

Funny where life leads. Who knew that when my children were small and I watched their karate class all those years ago and thought to myself “This might be fun” it would lead to the experiences I’ve had recently. 

When John and I first met Taira Sensei, it was totally intimidating, at least to me. Not only because he is...well...Taira Sensei, but because I am a woman in a mostly male field. Each seminar we’ve attended since then, has been equally as great, and each gets more comfortable and fun. Seminars in New York, New Jersey, and Iowa (including one we had the privilege to host in our own dojo) were fantastic experiences with wonderful hosts. 

This year however, John and I have had the honor and privilege to attend two international seminars. One in Klaipeda, Lithuania this past summer, and more recently in Melbourne, Australia. (We didn’t get to the Adelaide seminar, as we FINALLY got to visit Okinawa!)
We were both wary of these trips at first because international travel is so new to us. Being recently retired, we felt we could finally take advantage of these opportunities. These travels have now taken our Kenkyukai experience to a whole new level.
In both Lithuania and Australia we finally got to meet colleagues we’d only known through Facebook or in phoyographs. The training was fantastic, as always. Each seminar gives me more insight into the techniques and insights of Taira Sensei, that goes without saying. I know some of you reading this have been to so many seminars all over the world, but this is a relatively new experience for me.
in Lithuania, we were hosted by Aiveras Engelaitis Sensei. He and his lovely wife, Lina had every detail nailed down, including accommodations and transportation to and from events and training venues. It was amazing to see such a beautiful, historic place. We even got to learn some traditional Lithuanian dances! It’s an experience I’ll always treasure. The people we met were wonderful! Pretty much everyone spoke English, no matter where they hailed from. (which made me feel quite ignorant and led to me picking up on my own language study)
A few weeks ago, we travelled to Australia for yet another seminar with the boss, himself. 50+ hours in the air, and many hours in airports ( thank goodness we had great company in our traveling companion, Chuck Nuccio Sensei) , and to date we still haven’t completely recovered from jet lag. Pete Keogh Sensei hosted a remarkable seminar. Lots of work on Seipai as well as other drills and bunker applications. Taira Sensei was a powerhouse as always! But, again, the social aspect of these trips is almost as important as the training. We met more fantastic people, and got re-acquainted with others. Pete Sensei and his wife Donna hosted us on multiple evenings in their beautiful home, and the kitchen bunkai was unparalleled. Steve and Janine Nedelkos were the most wonderful, gracious hosts! Melbourne is another place I never thought I’d see. Beautiful waterfront, and great food! Thank you Janine for showing me around!
I think what was most impressive to me, however, was the exceptionally high degree of understanding our international colleagues have of Sensei Taira’s approach to bunkai and how willing they were to share with us and help us improve. This truly embodies the sentiment Sensei Steve wrote about in a previous article“As ‘WE’ improve, ‘we’ (as an organization) improve. I think this is what Sensei would want.”
So from watching my kids “play” karate, to here....what a journey. My sincere thanks to all of you who have been, and continue to be, so wonderfully kind and helpful in my Goju Ryu journey....I hope to see everyone on the next trip!

Nancy Eccles Sensei
Kenkyukai Shibu
Glasco Karate
Saugerties, NY, USA

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