Last Friday, 20th of September, saw the 2nd annual International Ju-Jitsu Kobudo Seminar in Naas. No less than 9 masters attended, including Soke Eugeniusz Sikora, Soke Joachim Jenkel-Peters, Soke Wojciech Malczak, Sensei Steve Clara, Sensei Joroen Wezelman, Sensei Adlona Twarog, Soke Daniel Glowacki, Soke Andrew Walner and Sensei Joe Kennedy. These nine leaders represented Poland, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and Canada and gave classes to students from local clubs as well as overseeing demonstrations of Ju Jitsu, Taekwondo, Bushido and Nin-Jitsu.
While swords, tonfa and other weaponry were wielded in displays of skill, masters, novices, toddlers and proud parents all mingled in a light mood. There, among the most highest ranked masters, including two tenth dan black belts and a man who teaches German police how to defend themselves in riots, the respect in the hall was palpable. The opening ceremony and the interdisciplinary sharing of knowledge all rang with the age old spirit of education. And despite the modernity of the cameras snapping away and the artificial lighting bathing the hall, the feeling of timeless mutuality was bear for all to see.
Even as a non-practitioner, I was welcomed with open arms. But the kinship, across various schools, was a marvel to witness. No rivalry, certainly no anger and no haughtiness ever appeared. And although most people in that room could murder a platoon of civilians before ever breaking a sweat, actual love and caring crackled in the air. The young masters and the elders all shared their knowledge freely and with smiles and playfulness with the children, a fact rendered no less impressive due to their incredible martial prowess.
Next year will be held in a larger venue, as this year’s event was at capacity. All yee of the ilk and all yee not of the ilk, mark your diaries. Schools from all branches of martial arts all over Ireland and the rest of Earth would do well to join this incredible event next year. Organisers, the Ju Jitsu self-defence Bushido Club of Naas, are eminently respectful and respectable. So much so, in fact, the event was under the patronage of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland. So arrange yourselves, friends, for next September, and visit the 3rd annual International Ju Jitsu Kobudo Seminar.