Ekaterinburg has changed a lot in the past few years due to hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Many new big buildings, shopping centers, restaurants and shops. More tourist friendly than my last visit.
On Thursday, after an interesting visit to the museum of the first Russian President, Boris Yeltsin I then went as a guest to a Japanese culture / language school. As expected the students were a bit surprised to see the special guest from Japan was a Canadian. Nevertheless, we had fun sharing views on Japan from our foreign perspective.
From Friday to Sunday was training. About 25 to 30 kids and 35 to 40 adults. 15 classes throughout the 3 day seminar. We went thoroughly through all the 6 kihon dosa and related basic techniques. Worked up a sweat with ukemi and jiyu-waza, worked on the principles behind multiple person attack and had some fun with a bit of goshin-waza.
All the classes were a mix of big and small, flexible and stiff, complete beginner and long time black belt. However, everyone tried their best to work well together. No egos, just helpful technical feedback from both seniors and juniors showing true Aiki harmony.
On Monday morning 4 people tested. 2 for 1st dan, 1 for 2nd and 1 for 3rd. Overall the basics were strong, just need a little more time remembering the details of the many techniques required for shodan and yudan.
Mikhail sensei and wife, Anastasia were marvelous hosts. The students, friends and families warm and welcoming. Thanks again to all for their support throughout the 5 days. I look forward to seeing everyone again.