In November 2019, I had a great opportunity to spend two weeks in Japan. I think that it is not necessary to say that it was a wonderful two weeks.
Sumi Sensei offered me a training schedule that I liked. Unfortunately, mid-November, students had important tests and part of the training were canceled. But I made up for it with kendo training, onsen or sightseeing. Nice season of Momiji and chrysanthemum bloom. So, I can’t say that I was too upset.
Most of my training took place at Nakamura School. It was very interesting and useful for me to practice there. I was the oldest and slowest among them, but this fact did not stop me from enjoying these workouts. Girls practice naginata almost every day and the result of this is clearly visible. I visited the Fukuoka High school tournament and students of Sumi Sensei took first places in all categories (Engi, individual tournament and team tournament). Especially interesting for me was to see the Engi-tournament, thinking which of pairs wins, and then compare my solution with shinpan decision. Of course, I had mistakes and it was a good experience.
I also had the opportunity to participate in a seminar on the Tendo Ryu Naginata led by Sunagawa Kuniko Sensei and Sumi Sensei.
Despite the fact that I went for the sake of practicing naginata, attending the sumo tournament was the number one event. I’ve seen watching sumo tournaments before, but to see athletes of such a high level in real life is the first time.
I am very grateful to Sumi Sensei, Sunagawa Sensei and many other Sensei with whom I was able to train for their advice, recommendations and support.