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Soke Sensei’s 2009 Visit

It seems like a lifetime ago since Soke Sensei’s Sunshine Coast visit.  But finally, here’s a bit of a review.

As always it was a great pleasure to have Soke Sensei visit the Sunshine Coast. Soke Sensei’s Australian visit commenced with training arriving on the Gold Coast Monday 18 May, where he taught evening classes and early morning class the following morning. As it turned out the timing was good for Gold Coast students to attend the morning training as it just happened to coincide with a teacher’s strike. Although due to bad weather, we missed out on beach training, which is something that Soke Sensei always looks forward to when he visits the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

After morning training, we went back to Adam Sensei’s house for breakfast and then started the 2 hr drive back to the Sunshine Coast. The further north we drove, the worse the weather got with very heavy rain that stuck around for the next few days and cause a lot of flooding throughout Sout East Queensland.

Over the next 2 days Soke Sensei taught evening and morning classes which were very well attended. It was particularly intersting to see reactions from parents and students who were training with Soke Sensei for the first time. People were amazed that a man who will be 60 this year looked like he was going in slow motion, while students struggled to keep up with the pace. I guess that’s an indication of mastery, making things look simple and effortless.

The thing that really highlighted this to me, was an email that we received from a member when Soke Sensei was here.  An incredible video clip of sand art.  I was so impressed that I showed Soke Sensei, and he too was amazed, that “it looks so simple”.  Just in case you are interested here is the video.

Just like the Gold Coast, beach training was not an option, with king tides, flooding rain and storms.  The heavy rain also made it a bit difficult to hear what was going on in the dojo during parts of the evening classes.  The noise of the rain on the tin roof was almost deafening.

After morning training on the Wednesday, breakfast and a short walk on the beach between the rain, we drove to Brisbane where Soke Sensei continued on his Australian visit, next stop Newcastle.  Oringally from Newcastle myself, it’s worth noting that this year actually marks 25 years since the first dojo was opening in Newcastle by my former teacher.  Although my former teacher is no a part of the Chito-Ryu organisation, Chito-Ryu is alive and well in the region under the watchful eye of Greg Field Sensei.

By the end of the Soke Sensei’s short visit, everyone was keen for more and for the few that were attending the national camp in Sydney the following week they got a great treat.   But more about that in another post…