Young visitors from Vladivostok
Young visitors from Vladivostok
Sept. 7, 2015

Trip to Tendokan, 7-19th July 2015 by Vitaly Chistiakov

It was my first trip to Tendokan with a group of 2 adults and 6 young people (13-17 age) who practice aikido in Vladivostok. I decided to bring teenagers to let them see how seriously Japanese people practice in Tendokan.

At the time of our staying in Tokyo, we have visited all keiko in Tendokan and some places in Tokyo including Disneyland in our free time. 2-4 keiko a day in the very hot season in Tokyo were really hard for our young students. While the sun was raising up, we started to sweat from the early morning keiko. The summer temperature and humidity are higher in Tokyo than in Vladivostok. After first 5 minutes of evening keiko, our dogi became very wet and heavy. We felt like we were in sauna because it was hot and difficult to breath. However, inspite of the tiredness and hot weather we could stand all keiko and were very happy to practice in Tendokan.

To compare with adults, teenagers are young, active, have flexible bodies and alive fresh minds. I thought as earlier they touch native tendoryu aikido spirit, so much the better they would understand and accept Tendoryu Aikido in the future. Teenagers are our future. We should let them see the best things in the life.

In addition, I would like to express my gratitude to Shimizu Sensei and Wakasensei for letting me bring Russian young people to Tendokan, for support, help and teaching us.

Here are some words of impressions what teenagers said about:

Savchuk Tatiana, 17 years old

The most memorable for me, of course, was trainings. They differed from ours and helped me to look at aikido on the other hand. It was interesting to study new modes and my knowledge of aikido was increased. Daily loadings positively affected my physical form - I am capable of great endurance now. So it became easier to train. I liked to make the acquaintance of Japanese people and associate with them.  

Of course, I liked of excursions and our walks across Tokyo, beginning from the Disneyland and finishing onsen on Odaibo. Everything was remarkable. I want to go with our group to Japan many times.

Buzhenik Denis, 16 years old

It was my first visit to Japan, which made a great impression on me.

So, the first thing, which impressed me, is Japanese people. They are responsive and very friendly; also they are very polite to each other.

The second thing, which made wonderful impression on me, is the city. Tokyo is city of contrasts. It's a city of old Japanese culture but on the other hand it's city of tallest skyscrapers and newest technologies.

And the most impressive thing of my trip was trainings in Tendokan. There I learned a lot of things, which I never knew before. That was brilliant experience for me.

I hope, that I will visit Tendokan again. 

Pustovoi Mikhail, 15 years old

I was lucky to go to Japan for the first time. This trip presented a lot of fascinating and unforgettable moments to me. Most of all I liked to be engaged in trainings in Tendokan. I learned much there.  The work with the real masters, such as Shimizu-Sensei, Kenta-Sensei, Nagai-Sensei, Nakamura-Sensei rose me to new level in aikido. Perceptions, which I received from them, turned over my view of aikido.

I saw many beautiful and unusual places in my first visiting foreign country. Unfortunately, these fine 12 days passed quickly, having left a heap of positive emotions.

Shevchenko Aleksandr, 14 years old

I don't even know what to say in the beginning. Japan is a fascinating country with rich history and culture. Naturally, trainings were up to the highest mark. I have learned soo much!!!  In particular, to sit down after a shihonage, to hold my back straight, to breathe correctly and to look to the whole partner, not only to his hands. Of course, my skill isn't really good yet, but each training in Japan lifted me on unimaginable level.

In Japan I liked an Onsen on Odaibo (I love a bath very much), the Disneyland, of course food, generally, everything we had. And most of all the senseis and people in the Tendokan.

Popov Aleksandr, 13 years old

I have a lot of impressions from our visiting of Japan, but the brightest are following. 1. The behavior of Japanese people and the way we tried to imitate of it. 2. Tokyo - the huge city, but very beautiful and clean. 3. Unity of all people in Tendokan and high level of their skill.  4. Our excursions across Tokyo (especially I liked to walk in the parks). 

I want to thank all senseis in Tendokan. I learned to be more attentive, to work with the center and how to fold a hakama correctly. 

Everything was pleasant!

Chipegin Daniil, 12 years old

I have visited Tokyo recently. I liked this beautiful city very much, especially in the evening when everything was illuminated by bright lights. 

I learned a lot of new on our trainings, studied unknown for me techniques.  I want to become as Simizu-sensei in the future.

I will remember this trip for all my life!

Shalygina Aleksandra, 38 years old (kids aikido teacher)

The main goal of Tokyo’s visiting was the trainings in Tendokan, and my brightest impressions are connected with our keiko.

I often aimed at fast result and miss a set of small details without which this result is simply impossible. I was stricken by Shimizu-Sensei unsurpassed skill and the way he noticed the slightest nuances of work of each person in dojo. My special appreciation to Kenta-sensei and other teachers for they taught me to see these details, to keep it in my attention. They filled my aikido with the new contents.

I would like to tell about the special atmosphere of Tendokan. Surprisingly, people of different age and different nationalities come to trainings and practice aikido industriously and seriously trying to improve their skills and understand aikido deeper. I’m happy that I connected my life with Aikido Tendoryu. That I came to Tendokan and saw the work of great Masters, who keep the aikido’s spirit.