Lithuanian Seminar: Vilnius 12-5th March 2009

Humm Sensei and I visited my homeland, as we have been
doing for the last four years, to hold a seminar for the members of the Lithuanian Kendo Association, of which I’m currently the president and which Humm Sensei has supported and advised on over the past few years.

Although the numbers are still small in my country, those that have attended each seminar have gained greatly from the events. This seminar was no different; the first practice was on Friday evening and we held our AGM the night before during which Sensei was formally requested to be the National Technical Adviser and coach for Lithuania.

With his usual vigour and hands on approach Sensei set out what he wanted to cover in this visit and the way that he felt the direction of our National kendo should proceed. After setting out the
main points of the practice to those in armour, which I kept a watch on, he spent the rest of the evening helping the beginners. For them this was quite wonderful having a 7th Dan spend so much time with them, leaving them with so much encouragement and optimism that they all were waiting for the doors to be
opened the next morning.

About 30 people attended each of the 4 practices. A wide range of areas were covered that would not only help the individual’s Kendo on a personal level but also the group. For example: how to teach beginners, adults and children; how to set up a dojo and the basics of refereeing so that they could understand what elements make a good cut.

During the seminar time was also given to Kendo no Kata and the areas that should be worked on for each member.

Some of the members wanted to take Sensei out to a club and from the reports it seems he is also talented on the dance floor so who knows we maybe able to learn a few more things from him.

The following morning a few tired looking faces arrived as I understand they did not get back until 2am but Sensei was full of energy and joined in with us and showed all the point in his own kendo that he had been explaining for the last four days, I was proud that my country had now started to understand and practice good basic Kendo, and being able to travel and practice with our Sensei on these seminars has given me a greater understanding and a desire to learn more about how Kendo can be used to develop as a person and as a means of making life long friendships.

Report by G.Rukas
Photos by M. Maciulevicius