Dojo cho seminar

What a time!  The biannual Jinenkan Dojo cho seminar has ended and I am left with an overwhelming sense of brotherhood and community that is certain to sustain me well into the future.
A week ago, we gathered at the hombu to bring our intentions, knowledge, humour and goodwill to each other.  We were there to further our martial skills and refine our character under Sensei's tutelage.
It was the UN of the Jinenkan world.  Almost all continents were represented and dozens of countries like the United States, England, Wales, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland & Australia.
The training was intense, as the skill levels were very high amongst the experienced Dojo cho and the adrenaline was pumping.  Training with those who's skill far surpasses your own can be daunting, but it almost always lifts your game too.  I am forever grateful of the opportunity to train with such experienced budoka.
The first two days saw most participants nursing bruised and bleeding knuckles, but the sweet spot came on day 3 when everyone had settled into a good rhythm of safe but intense training.  The regular visits to the bath house, south of the hombu, definitely helped some of us with the aching muscles.  Can't say I was a fan of the electric bath though.  Simon was right about the agony of that one.
Sensei was in fine form.  Thanks to some good anti-arthritis medication, Lloyd Jewel has found for him, his hands are more mobile and pain free than they've been in years he says.  He had also recently come from a fasting practise at a Shingon monastery that has really put a spring in his step as he is feeling lighter and healthier.
At night we all sat around the larger kitchen table in the rear apartment above the dojo, drinking beer and sake, talking about our lives back home, training, students and whatever other nonsense came to mind.
We also travelled to Kashima Jingu and trained for two days amongst the ancient cedars of the beautiful Kashima Shinto Ryu dojo, Butokuden.  The dojo itself is 400 years old and had a masterfully crafted, nail free, sprung wooden floor.  A real treat, with its traditional look and feel.  The sense of samurai tradition, blood, sweat and screams hung heavy in the air. 
After our Karaoke party at Nanzan on the last night, the kick-on vibe was still strong with Morris playing 3 hours straight of whatever songs we wanted to sing, as we kept on screaming and drinking well into the wee hours.
I made some great new friendships and caught up with old friends too.  I was sad to leave, but am looking forward to the next meeting of these wonderful people who treasure Sensei's teachings and kobudo.

Travis de Clifford
Kensho Dojo - Australia



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