Little House In Ise

30th Annual All Japan Youth Budo Demonstration
July 21, 2008, 21:43
Filed under: Aikido, Family, Japan | Tags: , , , , ,

Ray and I were on the train at 9:00 Saturday morning and met the Honbu Dojo youth group at the regular spot beside the Budokan. After waiting outside for a while and then waiting inside for a while longer it was time to dress and have lunch. Bento and tea were provided and the kids went a little stir crazy waiting for the program to kick off.

After standing for Kimigayo (the Japanese national anthem), there were several speeches by local, national and organizational dignitaries. I didn’t think this opening ceremony lasted as long as others that I’ve been through but then again, I wasn’t sitting in seiza packed shoulder to shoulder with a zillion others — Ray might have something different to say about the length of the speeches. After the ceremonial opening of the event the younger Suzuki sensei lead the whole mass of kids in slightly abridged set of traditional Aikido warm-up exercises.

The fourth grade through junior high age kids were then shooed off the mat and first through third grade students had a full class including ukemi, shiko and a handful of basic techniques. There were two other similar classes with Wakasensei teaching the fourth through sixth graders (Ray’s group) and Kanazawa sensei teaching the junior high school kids. Energy level and sophistication increased with each age level.

After the classes ended the enbu began. Students came from all over Japan to demonstrate how their schools do Aikido. There were demonstrations with one student and one teacher and others with large numbers of kids executing kata in sync. It was quite impressive and I was please with the overall level, especially that of the older junior high school kids. They did a great job!

I also found the kids-will-be-kids atmosphere in the stands fun. At one point I noticed a group of about ten kids huddled looking as though they were doing some serious plotting and planning. On closer inspection it turned out that one of the kids had brought a DS Lite and everyone was giving him advice on how to play. So much for observing the demos 🙂 At the end of the kids section Fujimaki Shihan, Sugawara Shihan and Doshu all gave demonstrations. The pictures below should tell the story better than I can describe it…

Fujimaki Shihan says its time to start the next demo!

Wakasensei shows the kids how Ikyo Ura is performed at Honbu.

Fujimaki Shihan controls the centerline…

A dynamic entry into Nikyo ura (ouch!)

Sugawara Shihan demonstrates iriminage.

Staying inside…

Doshu’s kotegaeshi

Doshu setting up kotegaeshi

This one is always a crowd pleaser –especially when the ccrowd is mostly kids!


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Hello. I am interested in your second and third photographs of the competition at Budokan. Can you please contact me to discuss these photos?

Thank you,

Melissa Stager

Comment by Melissa Stager

I would be happy to.


Comment by Eric Holcomb

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