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Fiordineve Cozzi Sensei 5th Dan Aikikai 11th, 12th & 13th June 2010 Course Report

 

Welcoming our guests

The Sligo Aikido Club on behalf of Aikikai Ireland had the privilege of hosting Fiordineve Cozzi Sensei at a course which was held on the 11th – 13th June 2010. The seminar was Fiordineve’s third time to come and teach at the invitation of Aikikai Ireland. This time Fiordineve also had some students accompanying him on the trip which were  Dorriano, Patrizia and Chiara a family from Naples and also Nunzia a girl from Rome. The travelling Italian Aikidoka met with Fiona in Dublin on the Thursday as always Fiona looked after the vistors well and made sure that they got to Sligo all in one piece. Fiona sent me a text to explain that the gang were en-route and would be arriving at Sligo bus station at 7.15pm. Eamonn Thompson and myself welcomed our Italian friends at the station and escorted them to their hotel and then onto the dojo so we could get down to Aikido business. Sometimes the Friday evening class can be the quieter of the sessions over a weekend seminar with travel, work etc inhibiting most people so it was great to see a large number of students on the mats for the Friday class.

Fiordineve Sensei didn’t waste anytime getting straight into ukemi, tasiabaki drills.  Then onto some nice techniques from Kosa-dori/ Katetetori Ai-Hanmi which involved leading with the front hand drawing your partner in with a spiral movement and then performing Iriminage. After the Friday class we headed to Hargadons for some thoroughly enjoyable liquid refreshments and craic into the small hours.  

Fiordineve Action

That climb…

On the Saturday morning Tony and myself met with Fiordineve and Nunzia for breakfast in Lyons café for breakfast and chat and then headed back to the dojo for the Saturday portion of the course where Fiordineve started with some taisabaki drills, techniques which included building on the Iriminage from Fridays class which we now done from Moretetori and then onto Katetori Gyaku Hanmi Ikkyo onto Chudan tsuji Ikkyo and Hijikimeosae and finally some Jo Suburi and paired exercises.

Next on the agenda was some sight seeing for our visitors, now this seemed like a good idea before we had done 3 hours of Aikido straight but I decided it would be nice to bring the Italian guests up Knocknarea mountain to sample the wonderful countryside and landscapes that we are blessed here in Sligo with.. So Fiordineve, Dorriano, Patrizia, Chiara, Nunzia, Tony, Eddie, Barry, Fiona and myself drove out to Knocknarea mountain for our evening expedition. From my recollection the ascension to the summit was only a 20 minute walk, this proved to be a slight under estimation on my behalf and was slightly more arduous than I had expected, as I’m sure it was for our unsuspecting tourists. The psychological torment of climbing any hill is that the top always looks so close but there is always just another “wee” bit to go. At one point Eddie turned to me and said “Tell the truth Eamon your really trying to kill us”, damn it I thought plan foiled 8).  As anyone that has been to the summit of Knocknarea well tell you once we had finally reached it  and absorbed the panoramic views of Sligo and the Atlantic ocean it was well worth the effort as they say the end justified the means.

Atop Knocknarea

Traditional Irish Kebabs?

With the combination of Aikido training and mountain climbing we had worked up quite an appetite so we were really looking forward to our meal which was organised by Valli in the Tobergal Lane Café. We had eaten here before at the Spring Course with Michele Quaranta Sensei and once again the restaurant lived up to it’s high standards with plenty of delicious food served up at a very reasonable price.

With our appetites satisfied Dorriano said he would like to sample some traditional Irish music. Foleys bar had a trad session on that night so we headed up and on arrival were greeted with an intimate session by some local musicians. It never ceases to amaze me but no sooner had we sat down than the local musicians acknowledged Barry said they would be delighted if he would join in which Barry did with his extraordinary skill on the concertina. Barry played tune after tune as if he had played music with the locals for years. After the musical treat a few of the daring soldiers were still standing and ready for more so Fiordineve, Nunzia, Fiona, Trevor, Tony and myself headed to the Garavogue pub for some late night entertainment did I say late I meant to say very late night entertainment (no not that kind!!!). Barry was still playing away as we were leaving Foleys bar, the next morning Trevor told me that he went to a kebab shop and there was Barry and the gang playing in the corner. I don’t think that’s something you see everyday of the week i.e. a traditional Irish music session in a Turkish Kebab shop in Sligo at 3am, good man Barry 8)….

Fiordineve Pub

Sundays best and Katana style umbrellas

The next morning the visitors had breakfast at the hotel and then Fiona, Tony and myself   brought the gang to the dojo. The Sunday morning session began with Fiordineve doing some of his elastic, gymnastic style ukemi drills, after demonstrating his “Matrix” style ukemi at the previous course we thought what more tricks could Fiordineve have up his sleeve, the last drill Fiordineve showed the class what looked like a Shaolin Monk style Ukemi with Fiordineve going onto his head and flipping onto his feet!!! We then moved onto some more ashi Sabaki drills performing a myriad of evasive taisabaki movements which enabled Tori intercept Ukes attack at various distances. We then went onto Shihonage which we performed from Ai Hamni and Gyaku Hanmi Shomenuchi with Omote and Ura forms being demonstrated by Fiordineve Sensei. We then moved onto Tada Sensei’s 33 Count Jo Kata.

After the Sunday morning class was over and brought an end to once again a very pleasurable course from Fiordineve Sensei, Fiona had a gift to say thank you to Fiordineve for coming over to visit us. The gift was an Umbrella with a Katana style handle which went down a treat,  Fiordineve Sensei was very happy with the very thoughtful distinctive gift (well done Fiona).

Fiordineve with his Katana Umbrella

With the course over we then went and done some more sight seeing, the family Dorraino, Patrizia and Chiara said that they would like to see some Irish beaches and get close to the Atlantic ocean. Declan suggested that we visit Streedagh and Mullaghmore beaches. We first brought the gang on a leisurely stroll along the beautiful Streedagh beach which was enjoyed by all. We then drove to Mullaghmore to walk out on the pier and take in the view of the beaches there with the magnificent Ben Bulben mountain providing the back drop. After divulging in some food in the Pier Head hotel we were then on our way back to Sligo via the scenic route. I could tell the Italians were really enjoying it as they were snapping happily away in the cars as we made or way back to the hotel asking to slow down or stop on numerous occasions.

Fiordineve Scenic

Farewell for now

On Monday Fiordineve and the Italian Contingent spent shopping around Sligo town, Fiordineve said that he was pleasantly surprised by the standard of shopping in Sligo, he managed to get himself some good Irish music CDs and the rest of the group bought their share too.  Declan and myself met with the gang to see them off onto the bus wishing them a safe journey home the next day.

The Monday night which was the Italians last night in Ireland was spent with the ever gracious host Fiona in Dublin. Fiordineve Sensei expressed his sincere thanks for such a warm and well organised stay with us and looks forward to training with us the next time.