Thursday, December 5, 2013

European seminars

I'm back from a series of seminars in Germany, England and Ireland.
  I spent almost a week in Esslingen and Willich. Esslingen is near Stuttgart and my student, Marc Sigle has a studio there. Willich is near Dusseldorf, about 4 hours north. Thomas Kozitzky teaches up there.

  At Marc's I taught over the weekend, covering the techniques in Long Three and then the form. We even had some beginners who hung in and did well with the task. Grafting was on the menu, too. Mr. Kozitzky came down from Dusseldorf, Phil Buck was in from England and Chris Junge was there from Saarbrucken. We always have dinner Saturday night at Katerinelinde, overlooking the valley with a nice view of Stuttgart. Great food and good company. Got a couple of nice kenpo t-shirts from Lenny Steinke, too.
  Marc and his wife are moving into a new home as well as having a baby boy about 6 months ago. The boy has a great grin and makes me laugh.
  Tommy and I drove up north Monday  and I taught a small class for him that evening on general rules and principles. It gave me a chance to reconnect with Udo Zehl and a few others, as well as meet Chris Mueller, who would host me on Thursday.

  Tuesday night I taught at Peter Ritter's club and went over master keys. Wednesday I was at Chris Mueller's and the subject was angles and timing. Everyone in the Dusseldorf seminars were great to work with.

  I flew up to Bristol, England to meet with longtime friend, Gary Ellis, who picked me up and took me down to his place in Plymouth. That evening I taught a class for the kids and another for his tai chi class. Friday evening we did lock flow with the kenpo group. Saturday's classes were very full, with visitors from other groups. Ed Downey's reps came down from Birmingham. The subjects includes two man techs and knife work.

  Gary and I goofed off a bit Sunday before he took me back to Bristol. The next morning I flew to Dublin to work with Ed Downey's group. Last time I went to Ireland they lost my luggage and they did it again. Mr. Downey was good enough to give me a uniform to teach in. I always keep my belt in my carry-on because this isn't the first, or last, time my bag has been delayed.
   Ed took me on a quick tour of  a local university that looks like a set from Harry Potter. It has an impressive chapel. We had lunch with his two daughters. I had not seen Aisling in years. Then off to the studio to work on Form 5.
  Tuesday morning we went thru the knife work with a flow integration using standard techniques. That afternoon, Ed put me in the care of Darren Mahoney and Gerry Shanahan. Darren work at the Irish Air Corps base and he escorted us thru the museum and the hangars. Gerry is a pilot, too. I enjoyed the time with them both.

  Gerry and his wife, Helen Meade, run Trim Kenpo Karate, where I would be teaching in the evening. The town of Trim is known for being the shooting location of the film, Braveheart. They restored the castle there for the film and "unrestored" it afterward. Gerry gave me a framed aerial photo of the castle that he took from a Cessna 150. That's a pretty cool memory of Ireland. 

  The class for the kids was packed. Dorenda McGee gave me a hand with the demos and the kids were attentive. Easy to work with. The adults were working Triggered Salute variations with the them being an extract if my seminar on concussions. The McGee family gave me some nice souvenirs of Ireland to take home.     
  I was fortunate to get an upgrade to first class across from Dublin to JFK. Even with the gloomy forecast for bad weather in the US, none of my flights were delayed.
  My thanks go out to everyone who hosted and those who made the events a success. Your participation is appreciated. I renewed many friendships, made some new friends, got to catch up with the guys in England and had lots of laughs with our Irish friends.
  It's notable that it was not just my lineage people who made this happen. This was possible with the support of John Sepulveda and his AKTS, Ed Downey and his EKKA and the CKF and Larry Kongaika groups along with our own PKS people.
  I go back to Stuttgart in February and there are tentative plans for England in October.

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