In order to prepare the next World Naginata Championship, the Deutser Naginata Bund have organized the 2017 INF seminar in Mainz. In total 84 participant from Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Britain, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and USA came to this wonderfull event of 3 days.
The most brave went to the Tendo ryu seminar which happened just before for 2 days, but this is another story.
The INF seminar really was a great moment for everyone to share knowledge and passion and meet again after many many years. The technical leader of the seminar Kimura sensei divide all these members in 7 groups so that everyone receives as much advice as possible. Luckily Yasui sensei, Sensui sensei and Tamaki sensei where there to help from Japan, but Kimura sensei decides that all the members of INF over godan should take the lead of a group or assist another sensei of a larger group. So Nathalie from France, Daniel and Masako from Australia, Hiromi from UK, Karen from USA, Mark from Netherlands and David from Belgium gave a hand to the Japanese sensei.
After an opening ceremony with a word from Mrs Hashimoto our INF president we have start an intensive seminar. The atmosphere was excellent, and all the different group learn in a part of the room which fastly seemed a little small for so many participant. Some nation came with young childeren from far away, as Israel. Some people came here as beginner and were really surprised to discover so many participant. I, as a long time practicer, am always amazed to see people come from Australia or New Zealand, and, and regret that I didn’t had more time to spend with all of them.
All the group had to work on various technical aspect or bogu exercices as there was alot of exams at the end of the seminar. Actually 11 kyu exams and as much shodan and nidan exams and one sandan if I remember well, so in total a big number of people to prepare.
In the meantime we had an excellent Sayonara party in a German pub where we all drink as much beer as we could. Mainz naginata members teach us beer kata and Stefano played harmonica for everyone. It really was a great party.
The last part of the seminar was devoted to a taikai for the kyu members, with a engi part and a shiai part. The dan learn how to manage the table and the higher dan grade did the shinpan job. Our ENF Technical responsible manage the taikai and I was Shinpan cho for the first time, so had to organize the shinpan role. It is not the most exciting part, but you have to learn everything . The tournament went well and at the end of it the Japanese sensei offered nice little present to the winners.
I am sure everybody have a lot of great souvenir of this INF seminar, and it was hard for everyone to say goodbye. Thank you to everyone, and especially Germany for this great organization.
The next INF seminar should be in Brazil in 31st August to 2nd september 2018 but this will be confirmed soon.