It could have been the title of an Hollywood or a Toho super-production, “Kangeiko 2011: The return of the sempai”. But it was something way better than any movie production. This year the Brussels Yaegaki-kai organized his Kangeiko in Switzerland, and trust me it was not only snow, cheese and yodel.
But what is a kangeiko ? A kangeiko is a special training that occurs during the coldest days of the year, usually mid-winter. It’s purpose is to perform an intensive training of the body and mind through intensive kihon and kata repetition and to push physical and mental limits of the participants. In japan kangeiko are generally held on an entire week with an every day practice, sometimes two with one in the morning before work and one in the evening.
Why in Switzerland ? Some time ago one of our Kohai had the opportunity to find a new job, the fact was that he had to move to Switerland, what he did. So this time he invited us to Switzerland, in Stans a small village located 20 min. from Lucerne. The Brussels members accepted with enthusiasm and planned the adventure. The final plan was quite simple, 10 members, departure from Brussels on Friday, destination Stans and back home on Monday. I will not post here all the details of the journey but just the main events that occurred and I will leave the rest of the explanation to the pictures …
The journey: departure Friday 7:00 AM, 680Km, 2 stops and an arrival at 16:30, nice embu in a local Karate Dojo, short visit of Lucerne and a good Pizza, beer party at the hotel until 3:00. Hard wake-up, Luge sport practice on the Emmetten Luge track, a delicious “Fondue au fromage”, 3 hours kangeiko, dinner and party until 4:30 am. Very hard wake-up, 3 hours morning kangeiko, some sandwiches, 4 hours kangeiko including kendo no kata and Koryu, dinner and a light party until midnight. Departure 9:30, 1 big stop and arrival in Brussels at 19:30. In resume 10 hours keiko composed of 7 hours Iaido, 1:30 hours kendo no kata, 1:30 Kihon/Suburi. Recording an average of 52 ZKR Iai series (624 kata) and around 600 suburi and kihon.
No need to write a book to understand that it was a great week-end. That of course everybody was (a bit) tired at the end of the week-end but also that the atmosphere was wonderful. The Swiss welcome and especially the Karate Dojo members was really warmhearted. So congratulations to everybody who successfully finished this year’s kangeiko in one piece and see you for the next keiko.
Thank you Pat-George-Hypo.