by David D’hose
As the European Championships approached, François Dermine, our technical director, proposed a shinpan training workshop in Brussels at the beginning of July. Although this event was organized somewhat late, we had the opportunity to welcome participants from France, Germany, and even our president, Kirsi Hoglund from Sweden.
The Belgian federation splendidly organized this event at the sports center frequented by most European practitioners. From the start of the workshop, after the customary greetings, the participants were divided into two groups: one with the shimpans and the other with the practitioners who would compete and be judged. The latter began their warm-up in armor to prepare for the fights, while the shinpans gathered behind a screen where François Dermine and David D’hose had prepared examples to provoke debates.
There were numerous exchanges, intense debates, and many questions emerged from all of this. After a lively morning of video example analysis, the shimpans judged shiais. Decisions and positions were regularly discussed until lunchtime.
After a good meal, the afternoon was dedicated to the arbitration of shikake odji. Between the practitioners’ precision and the significance of the different points raised by the shimpans regarding errors, numerous discussions took place. We naturally share the same references, but our interpretations are not always identical, which makes the discussions enriching.
Finally, as usual, we enjoyed a nice meal at a nearby restaurant, savoring delicious mussels accompanied by Belgian beers.
The next day, we put our discussions from the previous day into practice during a competition. Despite stormy weather, the fighters managed to don their armor and engage in beautiful individual and team fights. Lastly, in the afternoon, we concluded the day with a small technical competition before bidding farewell over a beer. It was a great event that we hope to repeat every year with even more participants.
Thank you to everyone, especially our technical director, and also to Laurence Dumonceau from the Belgian Federation, who once again dedicated herself to the organization.