The sports hall was old, placed on a hill in the middle of a small settlement. Inside, about 25 people dressed in old fashioned Aikido style clothing are swinging long sticks and screaming. But the local villagers know that it’s not Aikido, as once a year the Israeli naginata community assembles to have a seminar and grading.
The local municipal management is keen to help us promote the naginata, and they provide us with a sports hall. This year our guest was Katie Roche sensei – 5th dan from the USA, and a delegation of Swiss naginata community, led by Susanne Koch and Johannes Hafner. The event went exceptionally well. After a great seminar we had a semi-virtual shinsa, with myself (Gur) and Roche sensei being physically present, and Kei Tsukamaki sensei assisting from a distant and early 05:00 am USA. 18 people were tested for kyu ranks, from 6th kyu to 1st kyu. It was the first time we did Ikkyu examination since 2017.
On the third day, we had the Israeli championship. We had multiple categories: Engi, shiai for children, shiai for adults, team shiai with total of 5 teams. For some of the participants it was the first opportunity to participate in team shiai, and to realise that sometimes a team strategy counts more then an individual.
That was an amazing event, one of the best we ever had, and we already plan a much larger event for the summer of 2023, that will include a 4 days practice, examination and of course, several competitions! So stay put!