by Juan Carlos Peña
“Herzogenhorn” Hearing this name immediately leads me to smile internally. One of the best trips in my life, despite I was’t very enthusiastic about it. The economic impact of the Covid pandemic made me have serious doubts about the convenience of having this trip. Lorena insisted and convinced me to participate in the Herzogenhorn seminar. How I appreciate she did it!
Christiane and Reinhard kindly and generously received us from the first moment when we arrived in Munich. Excellent hosts, the less to say. They opened the doors of their house to us and drove us to Herzogenhorn, with some stops through exciting places.
As travelers from other lands, the whole landscape was impressive. We finally reached the destination. Getting out of the car, we immediately felt the cold of the countryside, but when we entered the Herzogenhorn building, that cold began to change to a warmer temperature, giving us a glimpse of what our stay in that place would be like. Known faces appeared, all of them friendly and with a smile. And so it all began, meeting all together and going to know the dojo in order to set up the tatami.
Plentiful food and pleasant talks were the acts of each day. I had previously seen several people in a seminar in Izu. But here, the daily exchange of talks and smiles, increased the friendship. It would be not fair to give names, since they were all, really excellent seminary companions. And this was just the social part of this event.
Coming into the dojo before a seminar always produces certain expectations. There is excitement, there is a desire to start, there are doubts about the correct way to execute a technique. Once the warming begins, thoughts dissipate. Finally, the call for Seiza, and everybody ready to start.
Many masters with different ways of conducting the Keiko. All of them Tendoryu, but always with varying nuances in their teachings. Each one emphasizes aspects that, according to their own experience, are essential points in the practice of aikido. From standing in balance and moving us naturally, to using our center to move the partner around us. From how to change one technique to another, to how to fall softly and stand up fast. And little by little, see both well-known techniques, always seeking to improve every detail, as well as slightly different techniques than usual. All presentations were fascinating and with a lot to contribute. Of course we will always agree more with some points of view than with others, but everything feeds us, everything makes us increase our knowledge of aikido. All the instructors were generous in their way of sharing their best with us. The characteristic was always kindness, despite the rigor necessary in the practice of aikido.
No doubts that we would love to have a seminar with Kenji Shimizu Sensei and Kenta Shimizu, waka Sensei. Despite not being present, they were present in motivation and spirit.
Everything that has a beginning also has an ending point. This wonderful seminar arrived to the end. It won’t be nice not thanks all organizers for their generous and enormous effort: Thanks a lot Christiane, Marco and everyone involved in the organization of this successful event.
Juan Carlos Peña