From Thursday May 21st to Monday the 25th I taught a seminar at the request of Serik Nurmanov Sensei and the Yoshinkan Aikido Kazakhstan dojo in Semey City, East Kazakhstan. Located in Central Asia, Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country. Historically inhabited by Nomad tribes, then occupied by Chinggis Khaan, part of the Russian Empire until declaring their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
This was the first international Yoshinkan Aikido seminar ever held in Kazakhstan. Almost 40 students, kids and adults attended the 3 days of training. We went through kamae, ukemi, kihon dosa, kihon waza, goshin waza and jiyu waza. With only a short 4 year Yoshinkan history, this dojo has a solid foundation and a lot of young, enthusiastic members.
On the Saturday morning 5 people tested for adult shodan. Everyone tried their best, but unfortunately only 3 out of the 5 passed. The movements were good, just need a bit more time to remember all the techniques.
Thank you to Serik Sensei and wife, Slushash, to their daughters for translating and to all the students, friends and family who participated throughout the seminar. I look forward to seeing everyone again either here in Japan or back in Kazakhstan.