One of our members, Edward, travelled to Paarl outside Cape Town in November 2009 to attend the Aikido South Africa launch seminar, taught by Yoji Fujimoto Shihan (7th Dan). Edwards reports:
“I was struck (sometimes literally) by Fujimoto Sensei’s clear and powerful technique, and was honoured to have the opportunity to learn from the master instructor. Fujimoto’s subtle technique and interesting variations gave me much food for thought for my training in the coming year.
“Although the seminar was small, the energy on the mat was powerful and the atmosphere friendly.
“The views from the mat over the winelands and mountains of Paarl contributed to the unique seminar, particularly on the day when training was held in a huge wineshed with open sides and panoramic view.
“Fujimoto Sensei, in his usual charming way, commented that it was the prettiest dojo that he had visited.
“Elroy Goliath Sensei and the local Paarl students were great hosts, and one of the students even volunteered to put me up in his spare room. Visitors from Italy, Germany and Russia added some international flair both on and off the mat.
“I hope to bring more representatives from Johannesburg Aikikai to next year’s seminar, and perhaps to join Fujimoto Sensei and his students on the mat in Europe in 2010.”