Report about Aikido Yoshinkan seminar under the guidance of Jacques Payet Sensei. Novosibirsk, 17-22 Feb 2011

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There is a good tradition in Novosibirsk to invite Aikido Yoshinkan Masters in February, and this tradition is maintained through years. It’s about -30 degrees outside – good Siberian weather, but this fact is unusual for invited persons. But this year the weather put us in a spot – it was about -7 degrees outside – almost summer days!

It was spent about half of year after the Aikido Yoshinkan 2010 seminar, which turned our minds in Aikido principles understanding, and Federation Council picked up a question about next seminar and its leader again. After the consultations with Jacques Payet Sensei and with permission of Yasuhisa Shioda Kancho it was decided to manage the seminar of 2011 under the guidance of Payet Sensei again. From our side we said: “Osu!” and began preparing of the action wished by all Novosibirsk Aikido Yoshinkan students.

Personally for me and my senior student Vyacheslav Kuzmin this seminar became very significant from the point of view of the tests, which we had prepared to pass with permission Andrey Podoynikov Sensei and Payet Sensei.

17 Feb 2011. Meeting

Let me report, that in the morning 17 Feb in “Tolmachevo” airport the delegation went, and Yuriy Poletaev, me, senior student-driver Sergey Malkov and operator Marina Komarova were in it.

The airplane of Sensei lands in Novosibirsk at 8:20 am and this flight is Moscow – because of this we have no need to wait customs registration end.

After the events in Moscow airport, where some monsters and idiots blew up the usual citizens, security parameters in “Tolmachevo” airport were increased. Besides usual detectors, we were searched by militia officers, who seemed to say: “No passaran!” (it’s about terrorists)

But after this process, as we got clear, the plane was already landed, and its passengers went on Novosibirsk land.

Marina was the first, who saw Payet Sensei in baggage hall, and Yuriy Sensei was the one, who went through very quickly to meet him. But I was stopped by airport security as a some kind of trespasser. My attempts to explain that foreign guest didn’t speak Russian and Yuriy Sensei – English ended nothing, and we with Marina and Sergei were forced to wait outside the hall.

Finally all procedures were passed and Sensei with Yuriy went out. First meeting words then and we were going to “Morozovo” hotel after. In this way I tried to master my English, translating questions and answers of conversation participants. Sergei helped me – it seemed he was good in Shakespeare language.

The way time spent insensibly and we went in the hotel, done necessary procedures, asked Sensei, what he preferred. As we understood, he preferred a long rest after the long flight, and we tried to disappear quickly giving Payet Sensei seminar schedule before.

Well, it’s all right, Sensei flew without some adventures.

17 Feb 2011. Senior students training

The training for senior students started in the evening, but before we showed quickly to our guest Novosibirsk science centre – Akademgorodok, its institutes, Scientists House et al.

After that we went to school # 162 of Akademgorodok, which specialized on French language (it was a first good surprise for our guest). In one of its rooms there is Dojo of Aikido Yoshinkan of Yuriy Sensei, and the training was in it.

In the beginning of the training Payet Sensei asked us, what we’d like to work through, and we asked him to concentrate not on the details of techniques, but on the essence of Aikido. Sensei smiled and said: ”Ok”.

So, he started first training from essence of Aikido Yoshinkan called Kamae. Next days Payet Sensei all time noted the importance of Kamae, which was the main instrument of central line and balance development. I’d like to say, that you can understand many interesting things, when your back is bended by Sensei knee!

Besides, you can’t understand the balance like the term of the static forms only. After Kamae training Sensei noted the importance of balance maintenance in Kihon Dosa. And after that we started to train Seiza Ho in pairs and alone, and then – the Shikko Ho and Tai No Henko.

Payet Sensei all time noted that fact, that all movements must be done freely without some tension from Shite.

Sensei all time showed us his incredible balance both alone and with Uke, pressed by him into Tatami.

At the second part of the training Payet Sensei showed us in details Tenchi Nage and the bases of Uke disbalance from Ryote mochi grab. During work out he said very interesting phrase, which was applied by me very industriously on all my movements: “The technique does not work when you try to do something with your partner. Try to throw out any ideas of it, join with your partner movement”.

“Move freely, join with Uke movement” – it became the main idea of the seminar.

And finally we worked out the test variant of Nikajo, and after we took Payet Sensei to the Russian house, where he tasted pancakes with hardroe and other Russian tasty things. During the dinner we asked Sensei all time about Aikido interesting things, and I took the permission on the official interview.
In the end of the evening Payet Sensei remembered that he had a long flight, and he’d like to have a good rest. We decided to ask him other questions next time.

First day of the seminar brought to us a lot of information, and I thought to myself: “What will be the next days?”

18 Feb 2011. Second day of the seminar.

This day started from short tour, meeting Payet Sensei with Novosibirsk, its Opera Theatre, train station “Novosibirsk Central”, the Art Gallery and with our Novosibirsk traffic, of course. But, in general, this tour was successful and in the end of it we presented to Sensei a beautiful fur Russian hat.

After the tour we drove Sensei to “Morozovo”, and I went to “Tolmachevo” airport, where I had to meet our old friend Tomoya Kumakura.

As a result of Novosibirsk traffic we were late to the beginning of the first adult training and Payet Sensei, as a punishment (it’s a joke, of course), appointed me to the role of his Uke. Next days me and Yuriy worked with Payet Sensei by turns, and this work time with Sensei helped me to understand some feelings during disbalancing my body.

Almost all time of this day trainings Payet Sensei dedicated to Shihonage and its variations. Sensei didn’t stop on the form of the technique, but on the feelings development during this throw. Following exercises, for example, disbalance of Uke through power movement into his shoulder, explained from the point of view of Shihonage.

After the trainings there was the dinner with Sensei, where we tried to ask him about everything we interested to. During this conversation I remembered seminar of 2010 and my Uke work at the Jiu waza. I said to Payet Sensei honestly, that I tried to beat him that time, but I couldn’t do it. This feeling, that he disappeared in front of me, has kept still, and I didn’t keep it in myself. Payet Sensei laughed and said the magic word: “Timing!”

I’d like to say, that though the trainings were serious, seminar atmosphere was very friendly, and all students during this short time were trying to remember all things, mentioned by Sensei at least once.

19 Feb 2011. The third day of the seminar

This day was very useful, because it was the holiday, and our trainings started from the morning and lasted all day. The first training was for children and it was some special. Kihon dosa work out changed by funny games, and our little students played in with pleasure and with screams, and this fact amused their parents, sat on the stands, very much.

Adult training started with Hiriki no yosei and principles of moving forward of weight, and after that we tried to work out the funniest technique in Aikido Yoshinkan program – Ikkajo osae. Though this technique is learned by students in the beginning of their way, but contains from many difficult details.

The second training started from Hiriki no yosei 2 and we worked out Nikajo after it in variations. Payet Sensei noted all time, that Shite’s aim is not the pain after techniques performing, but joining with Uke power and his disbalance feelings.

Next training started from Shumatsu dosa, different variations of Kotegaeshi and corrections of movements during this throw. Payet Sensei gave us additional exercises all time, which helped us in development of disbalance principles.

Though there were a lot of information and enough time for training, it became dark outside, and this fact reminded us, that visits of Masters to such seminars are very short.

20 Feb 2011. The last day of the seminar

All of us did not want to believe that all seminar classes were ending, but “c’est la vie”, like Frenchmen could say.

I led the children training this day, and Sensei stayed aside in the moments of techniques explaining or group exercises. From time to time I forced our little students to wake up and to run from one side of Dojo to another with screams. It was good for an atmosphere in the Dojo, and the training passed very funny, our Aikidokas were doing all exercises with open mind. Payet Sensei went to me periodically and suggested another exercise and helped to master it to all then.

The last adult trainings went like in a fog for me. The reflections about the dan test braked the mind, and I couldn’t do all exercises from Sensei on the weapons training. But I tried to see all principles through the fog: the balance, the central line, the circle movements. I’d like to send my best greetings to Tomoya San, who worked with me that time, for his patience.

In the end of trainings we maintained a good tradition and got the photos with Payet Sensei, and our photographers had done so many photos, that it was like shooting from machine-guns.

And there were the dan tests after that and the instructors tests with personal permission of Payet Sensei. I’d like to thank Tomoya San, who assisted to Sensei this time.

My student Vyacheslav was tested the first. I understood his excitement very well: “student – beginning master” transfer was not easy always. It’s not even about technical details, but about the mind state.

Vyacheslav had passed his tests good enough, but was confused a little at the Shido Ho.

I and my Uke were called to the centre of tatami after my student. My main Uke was Arkadiy Bryzgalov, who passed his Shodan test to Payet Sensei on the 2010 seminar. He was very obliging and was agreed to help me with my Sandan test. I’d like to thank him a lot: test impression of Sensei forms not from Shite’s work only, but both Shite’s and Uke’s.

The techniques followed one to another, the main program, Shitei waza. Shumatsu dosa? Already? Too fast, I think.

I guess in my mind: What technique have Sensei chosen for Shido Ho? Tomoya San says loudly:

- Ryote mochi tenchi nage ichi!

I am saying about the moments of the technique aloud, throw demonstration then and the detailed description plus detailed description of the main mistakes, throw demonstration in the end are done.

I am seeing by peripheral vision, that Payet Sensei is nodding a little, and this fact is bearing me up: it means, I am not saying fool rubbish.

There were shomen tsuki jiu waza, ushiro waza ryohiji mochi jiu waza and sannin dori jiu waza then. I felt on the second jiu waza, that I could fall on-site. But I could work another test on the sannin dori, and it was a pity a little (someone could call this fact a second breath, but it was the fourth one this day, I think), because I heard “Yame!”

We had about five minutes for a rest, and Sensei told us, who… our mistakes, I mean.

Sensei started from Vyacheslav, and I sitted like on the needles during his explanation. He turned to me finally.

- Well, Vitaliy… (am not breathing, sitting straight, my ears are red already)

- Very good! – and after that, seeing my face, fooled by distrust, showing the thumb up, – Very strong technique, it’s good. You should just work with center a little more, and relax of your upper body.

- Osu, Sensei!

It’s done. Finita la comedia!

The official part of the seminar were finished by Enbukai, in which following styles participated:

There was the Sayonara Party then, and we could speak with Sensei in unofficial situation, say the toast for the seminar and relax at last.

21 Feb 2011. Siberian colours.

There were the small surprises this day, like we said to Payet Sensei.

The first surprise was the horse riding, which Yuriy Sensei and his wife Marina had prepared for Sensei. But I asked to ride too, because I had not ridden a horse before this moment.

Well, what could I tell? I had beaten all my bottom riding this kind horse the first hundred meters through Siberian forest, but had adapted then, and all was good enough in the end. Like Marina joked: “You, like Aikidoka, must feel relax and balance!”

We went to a kind house after the riding, and there were the sauna, delicious dinner and good conversations. Payet Sensei could drive a snowmobile also, and I’d like to thank Sergei Malkov for this pleasant moment.

Time flew away, and we tried not to stay too long: Sensei should rest before the flight.

22 Feb 2011. The epilogue.

We woke up next morning, met Sensei and drove to “Tolmachevo”. There were a registration at the airport and big cups of coffee then in airport café. Marina Komarova presented to Payet Sensei a photo album with seminar photo report, we said him goodbye and saw off to the “duty free”.

Jacques Payet Sensei has kept his promises and flown to Novosibirsk for a longer time than in 2010. There were:

Thank You very much, Sensei, Osu!

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