The 4th annual European Ushiro Karate seminar was held at Berlin, Germany on June 23rd and 24th. Participants varied from first timers to repeaters and came from various countries of Europe (Germany, France, UK, Italy, Poland, Hungary and others) as well as from US and Japan. While the seminar had English and German translators, each regional group also had their translator so that no one misses what Ushiro Sensei would be teaching.
“This is an annual seminar, so I want each one of you to take away something you can study for a whole year”. Ushiro Sensei started the seminar with this opening. How the speed differ from the muscle time, the nerve time and the cell time? What should one seek within the practice? How different the world can be with a Bujutsu Karate where aging will not be a restraint? These were some key questions each participant kept asking in the 2 days.
Participants listening attentively to Ushiro Sensei
The morning session of the first day started by verifying various postures and movements with focus on the inside movement instead of exterior. From there to Sanchin Kata and then Passai Kata. Ushiro Sensei taught Passai the previous year based on the request from Poland group. After a year, it was apparent that everybody has been working on Passai. The participants got divided to smaller groups so that each can focus on deepening their Passai.
Ushiro Sensei checking Sanchin Kata of Poland instructor
Passai practice within each group
People’s eagerness to learn was obvious from participants coming to Ushiro Sensei during the break and asking questions with the help of translators. Questions were diverse, from how do you begin the regular class, what are the regular curriculum to a more root focused question such as what is it that enables Ushiro Sensei to perform the way he does and so on. Not only Ushiro Sensei responded to all these questions but some sessions after the break pivoted to answer these questions more deeply.
Participants showing strong interest to Ushiro Sensei’s internal change
Ushiro Sensei’s Ki strengthen the participant’s body to the point 2 people can jump on that person
Lots of European seminar participants are martial arts instructors themselves. What has left an impression is the fact that these instructors brought other instructors this time. New faces within each familiar regional group who got highly encouraged to feel Ushiro Sensei’s techniques. And those who did all had the similar expression of awe. It was apparent how the real art of Ushiro Sensei gets spread within the group.
Ushiro Sensei teaching the instructors from Hungary and Poland
Kumite with Italian instructors (From the Bunkai of Passai)
Some participants stopped the martial arts they have been studying completely to focus and commit to Ushiro Karate. Other instructors gathered periodically to study what they have learned from Ushiro Sensei. Each group was deeply committed on learning within the limited time they were given. This resonated with Ushiro Sensei’s words “Heart cannot be seen but actions (coming from the heart) can”.
Ushiro Sensei and particpants from Italy (At the dinner after practice)
Ushiro Sensei and particpants from Poland
Ushiro Sensei with Michael Koethe and Ackermann Jens who decided to focus to Ushiro Karate and will be hosting and organizing European seminar next year as well as this year.
Another statement from 4 times participants was that she was deeply moved from all the changes that all these participants went through as well as the positive energy that filled the space. Ushiro Sensei decided the 2019 Berlin seminar date on the spot and mentioned the possibility of having one more European seminar next year. The announcement was met with enthusiastic pitches of each country who wanted to invite Ushiro Sensei to their own country. This was another example of Ushiro Sensei’s energy uniting people and providing them hope from the 4th European seminar.
Lastly, it goes without saying that an event of this scale cannot be delivered without a deep commitment of local team. A special thank you to both Michael Koethe and Ackermann Jens for organizing and delivering the entire seminar.
Group picture from the 4th European seminar