I have posted before about the pleasures of incorporating kendo into one’s business or holiday travel. As a subscriber to Linkedin’s “Kendo Business Professionals” group, I left a comment that I would be travelling to Hungary and Japan in the course of this month. These trips are specifically for Kendo. ( I was going to Hungary as a referee for the European Championship and Japan to take part in the Kyoto Taikai) . I thought however it might be a way to catch-up with on-line friends who might be in the same place at the same time.
Amongst the replies, I received an invitation from a gentleman called Takeshi Takamori who suggested that I attend the Kyoto University practice. This was my first encounter with Takeshi-san, but I have a number of Kyodai O.B friends and knew about the practice. In thanking him, it transpired that we had a number of mutual friends in Japan.
At the same time, Takeshi-san was travelling to Europe and asked for advice on finding a Kendojo in Frankfurt. I was able to introduce him to my friend Uwe Kumpf who runs a dojo in the city. Takeshi-san reported back that he trained twice there and had a great time. Then the Volcano in Iceland erupted and Europe came to a stop.
My next message from Takeshi-san was that he planned to extend his business trip to Denmark and did I have any kendo contacts in Copenhagen? This completely stumped me, as Denmark is not one of the more active European kendo centres. I do know however that Copenhagen is very close to Malmo in Sweden, which has a good kendo club and introduced Takeshi to Patrick Bacquin a French ex-pat who trains there. I got this message back from Takeshi-san.
It’s around 2am in Copenhagen. I just came back from Malmo for Kendo practice there. They are really nice people and welcomed me much. I borrowed everything except shinai and had a very good practice and dinner afterward. Patrick-san kindly came to the station and took me to town tour for two hours and took me to their dojo. I could feel how much they love and respect Kendo. Thank you very much for your advice. I never imagined to visit Sweden and practice kendo with people there. Patrick said he may come to Japan in November for 6th dan shinsa. It seems flights are getting back to normal and I hope I can get the airplane on Saturday without any trouble. Hope to see you sometime soon.
This really does seem to be a great example of kendo’s ko-ken-chi-ai. Hopefully the ash and the flight backlog will clear by Wednesday and I can continue my own musha-shugyo.