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Seibukan UK Japan visit 2014



After a long journey to Kobe and with the time difference the 7 oclock start for morning keiko was a bit of a shock especially as I was on holiday.
Once over the early starts, the visits to Himeji, Kyoto and Nara with bryan and ako as our guides were really great.
But the highlight was the training and the hospitality of our hosts and nakao sensei sashimi.
Thanks to all, I will return.



This was my first but hopefully not my last trip to Japan. I had a truly incredible experience on many different levels and was blown away by the magic of the country. Billy and I were fortunate enough to get to see a good portion of the country in our short two weeks and experienced many different sides of the Japanese culture. We travelled from Nagoya up to Tokyo where we explored the exciting buzz of all the different stops on the Yamanote line from Shibuya round to Tokyo itself and we saw sites from the Majestic Imperial Palace to the cultural hub of Harajuku. We then went on to Japan’s original capital, Kamakura and saw the Big Buddha which I found to be quite a profound experience, and then ll
ater that day the Hasedera temple which was both beautiful and very calming for me.
After all the culture and excitement of that part of Japan we then travelled up to Koyasan for a very different experience staying with the monks in a Ryokan named Eko-In. It was a real delight to experience Buddhist monks life and to be able to be witness to and take part in their enchanting meditations and fire rituals in the morning and consume their elegant and tasty vegetarian dishes bought to us in our Tatami rooms each morning and evening. Stunning location too which was beautiful to walk around and very different to the concrete cities around Tokyo!
Finally after 2 days rest and meditation in the mountains we moved down to Kobe for our last week to meet up with our Dojo and the privilege of training with Nakao Sensei and his students! What an experience! I learnt so much in those 5 wonderful Keiko’s and really felt my Ukemi improve. All ofNakao’s students were amazing to train with and were so very friendly and accommodating to us all. An experience I will never forget and always be grateful for. I found it actt
ually to be very beneficial that the language barrier existed as it meant all the moves had to be done very much more by demonstration and feel which I realised perhaps I’d not done much before, but instead always had the mechanics of
a move running around my head. Something I will definitely try and continue with my practice.
We got to see some spectacular sites around the area of Kobe courtesy of our fabulous tour guide Bryan Bateman J Wewere all very grateful for the time he spent away from his family over there to show us the sites and he took us to some very memorable sites and restaurants.
I love the food in Japan and tried everything that was put in front of me from stomach to snail! A little dubious of raw Octopus but enjoyed everything else!
The highlights that stand out for me really is all of it!!! But if I had to highlight particular things they would be being able to train so much with Nakao Sensei and his students. Eating inNakao Sensei and Akiko San’s restaurant – AA
mazing to get to try so much raw fish and the mackerel in particular was gorgeous! Going to Himeji Castle, Sanjusangendo, KiyomizuTemple and Heian Shrine Garden. Fitting through the Buddha’s nose in Todai-Ji Temple, staying with the moo
nks inKoyasan and simply experiencing the Japanese culture properly. I was really blown away by how friendly and accommodating everyone was and how clean everywhere was!
I sincerely hope to be able to come again and thank NakaoSensei, Akiko San and all of his students for giving us the chance to practice with them. It was a life changing trip for me and one I will never forget.

Milada / ミラ


It was a first time I visited Japan (and made such a long journey) and I enjoyed it immensely. Practising aikido there was very unusual experience for me. It showed me aikido from different engles. I was delighted to meet so many nice and kind people. Thank you all for making our trip to Japan so wonderful. I loved Japanese food and enjoyed every meal we had there. The only thing that I could not eat was nato:-). Everything else was delicious. I enjoyed visiting places that up to then I had only known from books. It was breath taking to be able to visit places with hundreds of years of history.
I am sure this was not my last visit to Japan and I am looking forward to going there again. So hopefully see you again one day. Thank you for everything.



This year was the second time I went to Seibukan Aikido in Japan even though I have been doing Aikido for 6 years now and been coming to Japan for 13 years. I was surprised at how gentle and kind everyone was to me and everyone else from the UK. The thing I enjoyed the most was probably the Aikido with everyone and eating lots of croquette. Going to different places in Japan was fun even the places that I have visited before like Nara and Kyoto. It was just mind-blowing that the temple in Nara was made just completely out of wood. But by next year when I will visit Seibukan Aikido again, I hope to improve my aikido and hope to be able to enjoy it again. Thank you to all of Seibukan Aikido Japan and the people from the UK for making this trip so enjoyable. See you next year.



This April Hayley and I made our fourth trip to Japan, however this one would prove to be a little different from the last.
For the first week of our journey we would be staying in Kobe, further south than we had ventured previously, and with a group.
This would be a new experience for both of us as we had never before travelled with more than one or two people, something we were very aware of as it was a diverse group with many different personality types.
The group was, in fact, a fantastic fit – aided no doubt by our common link of Aikido.
We had a rare opportunity to experience the art in its homeland (something Hayles and I were only too happy to do), and thanks to the depth of knowledge and enthusiasm of Nakao Sensei this was also both enjoyable and un-intimidating.
This was only aided further by our welcome from the members of Seibukan Kobe, who could not have been friendlier or more inclusive.
On top of this, the chance to visit so many stunning locations around Kyoto, Nara and Himeji in addition to daily keiko made for a completely full and thoroughly enjoyable trip.
Whether for the training, the sightseeing or the food ( I highly recommend Nakao’s for something a little more exotic) I would encourage anyone to visit Japan.
I am grateful for the experience and look forward to my next Japan adventure.


今回私は6日間稽古に参加することができました。稽古に参加する前は、とても緊張していました。私はまだ初心者だし、全てが悪い方に転がっていって、クラブに恥をかかせるかもしれないと思ったからです。幸運なことに、神戸せいぶ館の皆さんは、訪問者をとても温かく迎え入れ、支え、我慢強く接して下さいました。  ホリデー中にもかかわらず、私たちは朝稽古のために早起きを強いられましたが、朝一で稽古することはとても気持ちがよく、イギリスに帰ってもできることなら仕事前に稽古できたら、と思います。ま、私の仕事に合わせれば、ものすごく朝が早くなってしまいますが。



This April I travelled with Tony to Japan for our fourth visit, but this time to Kobe to train with Nakao sensei.
This was my first time visiting outside of Tokyo or Mount Fuji and I loved it! I experienced the Shinkansen 3 times, it really is super-fast and I was able to take part in 6 days of Keiko. I was nervous about training before it started, I am still very much a beginner and was afraid I’d get it all horribly wrong and embarrass the club. Fortunately, I found everyone at Seibukan Kobe to be very welcoming, supportive and patient with the visiting students.
Even though we had to get up early on our holiday, I found it very refreshing to train in the morning. If I could train before work at home, I would, but I start to early to do that!
I can’t pick out any one thing that I liked the most about my visit to Kobe, because I enjoyed everything we did! We were lucky with the weather everyday, I took some beautiful photos at Kyoto. The deer in Nara were very cute, but they wouldn’t bow to me when I was feeding them and one kept butting my back when I turned to feed others!
I thought our visit in himeji to see the location of the film “last Samurai” was very peaceful, unlike the Keiko, which was a little noisy, but fun! The mats were a little harder than I am used to too, but this helped me to get better at ukemi.
Bryan and Ako took us to different places to eat too, I loved every experience, especially visiting nakao sensei’s restaurant, the food was excellent.

I was very sad to leave Kobe and everyone we had trained with. I would like to visit again in the future if I am welcome. I would also like to thank all of the Members who helped me to train and enjoy my stay. The welcome party was a lovely way to start the holiday, I was able to try some delicious food in good company.

Thank you everyone!

Bryan Bateman / ブライアン



I’ve been visiting Japan for 20 years, and the Seibukan in Kobe for 19 of them. Every year I come to train with Nakao Sensei and Akiko san, and other friends that I’ve made over the years. This year was a little different to my normal trips, and a little more special, because this year I was very pleased and proud to be accompanied by 9 other members from Seibukan UK. This was the first time that other members of the UK dojo were travelling with me, other than Ako and Shin. It was a really good trip with a lot of good Aikido practice mixed with some excellent sightseeing. The highlights of my regular trips are training with Nakao Sensei, he is the reason I come to Seibukan, my teacher and mentor. I know my time with him is always limited but I pick up so many things in the short periods we are together. However, this year I had an additional bonus. My very first training sessions ever at the Seibukan were taught by Uchi Koshi Sensei, in a temporary dojo on grass mats, after the Kansai earthquake wrecked the old Seibukan and before the current one had been built. I always remember his classes, and had in fact watched a video from 1996 with him teaching just a week before coming to Japan. I thought he no longer trained, so it was a great pleasure to find him on the mat during Sunday keiko. I asked him to specifically work with one of the UK students, which he duly did, and then spent the rest of the class taking on the others one by one. It really was a joy for me to see him working with my students. This trip was a milestone for Seibukan UK, I only hope that the folks from the UK can come with me and visit again.



We travelled all over Japan from Nagoya to Yokohama to Tokyo and even spent a couple of nights in Koyasan, it has been an amazing trip and a great experience, I have tried lots of new food and witnessed the different sides to Japanese culture

Training with Nakao sensei and his students in the Seibukan dojo has been one of the highlights of the trip, everyone was very welcoming and made us all feel part of the family very quickly, It was interesting when talking to the other students in Seibukan UK that everyone found something that they either didn’t know before or an area in which they felt that they could improve their Aikido in some way

I look forward to our next trip to Japan and wish Nakao sensei and Akiko san a safe trip to the UK in May

Joe / ジョー


With special thanks to Bryan & Ako for shearing there holiday time in Japan with us & making the trip possible, I am sure I speak for everyone when I say thank you.
The trip to japan was very special for many different reasons, firstly it was my first visit to japan all though I have been to many far eastern countries I had not visited Japan before.

I could have visited Japan 3 times over and not managed to see all the sights we squeezed in to the week.
With daily visits to the temples and other sights Bryan took the initiative and provided a great sight seeing experience for us enabling us to view some of Japans more personnel sights and trails.
I was taken back by the attitude of the Japanese people who where very kind & considerate always showing respect for obvious foreigners and everything around them.
One specific event happen as I was looking into a shop window a Japanese couple stopped walking so i could carry on viewing, they then bowed down to me as I quickly thanked them and waved them through.
This does not happen at home in the UK, the difference in the Japanese attitude and general way of life is strikingly different from the UK in many ways not just on the surface.

Also the respect can be quickly felt in the Dojo as soon as I arrived at Seibukan Japan I felt welcome & could clearly see the respect & Bubo, I did not feel unwelcome in any way though the week we trained.
All black belt practitioners I trained with executed techniques with the perfect level of blend allowing me to join with the movement and not get injured in any way, it was lovely to train with the others who let me see
just how easy they produced Aikido, not once was any technique performed with ego in the front of the technique, also I did not get smashed into the ground even when training with lower level beginners.
This is how I want to train an learn Aikido, with the help of the others around me I might be able to find the perfect movement also now and then during practice.

I do not speak or understand the Japanese language but during practice I did not need to hear as the Aikido was so good, hopefully my Aikido will be better if I manage to return another time.
I enjoyed training with the other students and remembered training with two of them in the UK a few years ago, it was good to see them in Japan, may be I will see them again in the UK some time & if so
I will make them feel welcome & show them the respect they deserve.

Many thanks to Nakao Sensei who visits us & is always ready to teach Aikido.
It was a pleasure & honour to train at such a good level & see some of the essence of the Aikido we are trying to reproduce, Best of luck to all until next time.

Kind regards





Seibukan UK Japan visit 2014 Read More »


5/3(土・祝)9:30〜11:00 井出(中尾は加古川)
       6:00〜7:30  藤井
5/4(日)9:30〜11:00 中尾
      11:10〜12:10 藤井
5/5(月・祝)(7:00〜8:00 休み)
      9:00〜9:30 座禅会
      10:00〜11:30 中尾
      18:00〜19:30 藤井
5/6(火・祝)9:00〜9:30 座禅会      
       10:00〜11:30 中尾             

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