Martin’s two seminars in Toulouse, France

One wee­kend in May, Mar­tin led two semi­nars at the Dojo De La Rose­rai in Tou­lou­se, Fran­ce. Fri­day and Satur­day were for adults, Sun­day for chil­dren and tea­chers of chil­dren. And the who­le week befo­re that he and Van­da spent in Bor­de­aux… so here are his notes from the trip:

Satur­day 6.5.
The smell of the sea at Bor­de­aux air­port, chec­king into Oli­vier’s room with a thou­sand French comics, and then visi­ting Musée La Cité du Vin – an inter­acti­ve exhi­bit about local wine for all the sen­ses. One ques­ti­on­naire reve­a­led that if I were a wine, I’d be an Alsa­ti­an Tra­min red. Good for me.

Sun­day 7.5.
Sle­ep, lots of sle­ep. Then down­town, a fan­tas­tic 5 cour­se lunch at the mar­ket (we just shop­ped for vari­ous street­fo­od until we had enou­gh) accom­pa­nied by a quan­tum of wine. And a mul­ti­me­dia exhi­bi­ti­on of Dali and Gau­di in the local sub­ma­ri­ne base built by the Nazis during WWII. An eve­ning with French fri­ends, kept us com­pa­ny with a gre­at red Bor­de­aux and two bott­les of champagne.

Mon­day 8.5.
Full day semi­nar with Franck Noel and other fri­ends. Franck did almost the same thing he did two weeks ago in Pra­gue, but with dif­fe­rent details and prin­ci­ples. As usu­al: aiki­dist and peda­go­gi­cal masterclass.

Tue­sday 9.5.
Saint-Émi­li­on: when it rains, we hide in local cellars and chur­ches and tas­te; when the sun shi­nes, we walk around town. The wine is unbe­lie­va­bly good – a clear Bor­de­aux, and at the same time much more deli­ca­te than that from the ‘left bank’.

Wed­ne­sday 10.5.
Ano­ther day for cul­tu­re. First the sle­e­py La Réo­le, and then the incre­di­ble Saint Macaire. Sim­ply medie­val archi­tectu­re, chur­ches with ori­gi­nal Roma­ne­sque fre­sco­es, monaste­ries tur­ned into lib­ra­ries, pain­tings… and also mee­ting peo­ple, con­ver­sati­ons in French, “hit­chhi­king” with an old lady from the galle­ry, cre­pes, bagu­et­tes and… wine again.

Thur­sday 11.5.
Tra­in to Tou­lou­se, ice cre­am, eve­ning tra­i­ning with Gas­ton in La Rose­raie. At home, we open a bott­le of Saint-Émi­li­on for a fami­ly din­ner and it’s really worth it.

Fri­day 12.5.
Van­da shops in town, I relax, read and pre­pa­re for the semi­nar. In the eve­ning, the first adult tra­i­ning sessi­on. I admit, it’s still a bit stran­ge for me to teach in a dojo run by Franck Noel for 30 years, but I’m get­ting used to it. The the­me of the tra­i­ning is “per­cep­ti­on of your own body and move­ment”, after a whi­le eve­ry­o­ne on the tata­mi is having a good time.

Satur­day 13.5.
All day tra­i­ning – mor­ning and eve­ning adult tra­i­ning. Mor­ning on “con­tact with part­ner”, after­no­on on “per­cep­ti­on of spa­ce and wor­king with mul­tiple attac­kers”. I teach dif­fe­rent­ly than the locals are used to and it seems to work. We talk about it at lunch and after the semi­nar, inspi­rati­on flows.

Sun­day 14.5.
Two tra­i­ning sessi­ons for chil­dren from three dif­fe­rent clubs and also for the­ir tea­chers. The kids have fun and I talk to the adults in between tra­i­ning sessi­ons about why and how I teach Aiki­do to kids. Gre­at feedback from eve­ry­o­ne at the end. And a fli­ght home.
La vie est belle

I’m loo­king for­ward to next year.