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Budo seminar of the Kokusai Budo Koenkai: Aikido community celebrates 25 years with a large course

The Aikido community Lünen is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. This is a reason to celebrate. For this reason, she organized a spectacular, martial arts-spanning Budo seminar in Lünen. This took place on June 18th and 19th, 2022 in the sports hall of the Uhland secondary school in Horstmar.

The Aikido community is part of the Kokusai Budo Koenkai (KBK). This is an association of many martial arts clubs from all over Germany that deal with traditional Japanese martial arts. These are, for example, Judo, Karate-Do, Iaido, Kobudo Goshin-Jitzu and of course Aikido. Its goal is to preserve and teach the Japanese martial arts in their original forms.

It is noticeable that many of the arts end with the ending “-do”. Freely translated, this means “way” and expresses that it is not just about self-defence. Rather, learning art is seen as a way to personal development: working on oneself to improve one’s own ego – in character and physical terms. There is therefore also a strict etiquette and politeness that should be observed.

Many martial arts are increasingly “sported”. The best example is karate, which has recently become “Olympic”. Sporty means that competitions and their own rules are introduced. In order to minimize the risk of injury, various techniques may no longer be used. The opponents must adhere to the rules. The attacks are therefore only limited to a part of the possibilities and to certain body regions. Character development, etiquette and forms of politeness also take a back seat in sport. In return, the comparison with others comes to the fore.

The KBK rejects a sporting of the martial arts and wants to preserve them in their original forms. Experienced “martial artists” know that the basic principles of self-defense are the same in many disciplines. There are therefore many parallels and similarities in the various martial arts.

The purpose of the seminar was to make this clear.

Instructors were high-ranking experts in the respective martial arts, for example:
Shihan Walter Smigielski, Munich, 7th Dan Karate-Do and 4th Dan Kobudo
Christian Puch, Potsdam, 4 And Karate und 1 And Kobudo.
Stefan Borchers, Goettingen, 6 Dan Aikido
Daniel Rieß, Nürnberg, 3 Dan Goshin-Jitsu und 2. Dan-Kyushu-Jitsu.
Mathias Spranger, 5 Dan Karate-Do and chairman of the KBK.

Jürgen Feldmann, 5 Dan Aikido and 1 Dan Mokuroku and
Thomas Schwarz, 2nd Dan Judo, samples of their skills.

Participants came from all over Germany, and a children’s group was also offered. The participants had the opportunity to take part in all teaching units over the two days, even if they came from a “different discipline”. This is how Karateka trained Aikido and vice versa. The seminars on Kyushu-jitsu were particularly popular. These very effective (and painful) techniques target nerve points on the body. An hour of Arnis, a stick-fighting technique originating from the Philippines, was also offered as a way to think outside the box. As the last seminar unit and grand finale, there was an hour in which all teachers demonstrated ways of self-defense against one and the same attack from different martial arts. The response to the seminar, which was often heard, was “oh – we’ll do that in the seminar” from most of the participants Karate / Aikido / Judo etc. but very similar”.

When asked Shihan Walter Smigielski what he particularly appreciates about this type of seminar, that he has to travel all the way from Munich to Lünen, he replied: “KBK is a big family in which budo is really lived. It’s not about “who is better, who can do more”. Rather, it is an almost family-like togetherness in which knowledge, skills and insights are willingly passed on in order to help the other. That’s nice and rare these days.”

The Lüner anniversary was celebrated on the first evening of the seminar by all participants with an excellent buffet in the Rock’n Roll Gasthof Greif. Thanks to the large selection of spirits, it was also possible to toast with Japanese whiskey in style. The brass band “Die Blechbatscher”, who had traveled from Mittenwald, Bavaria, played as a surprise band. The Greif crew had given special permission for the “Hard Rock-oriented” gastronomy for the more than unusual appearance this time :-). Thanks to the team for that.

A continuation of the seminar series is planned, probably in 2023 in Potsdam.

Pictures by Stefan Mühlenbrock, Lünen.

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