Wed 4th December

Mario has been a fount of knowledge, advice and some great stories.  I arrived late last night.  Very grateful to Kato-san for picking me up from the airport. A generous man.  Mario and I got to know each other over some gyoza and a BIG glass of sake.  I like his alcohol measures, a man after my own heart.  Was a long day of travelling with a big stop over in Cairns for a connecting flight but I finally got to the hombu in Noda, around 9:30pm last night.

Woke up early to a crisp morning.  Not as cold as I thought, thankfully.  Mario and I had a few rounds of coffee and chatted over breakfast before getting ready for keiko downstairs.  I was excited to meet Manaka sensei for the first time, but also a tad nervous.  He was very friendly and smiley, even cracking a joke about this trip being my second honeymoon (my first trip was actually my honeymoon ten years ago).

We had already done our warm up but did some more limbering up with sensei before we bowed in.  Jinen Ryu, Tantojutsu - Sabaki Gata was on the menu.  I ate my fill after two hours good, solid keiko.  My excitement for finally being here is making me want more.  I was on a high afterwards.  Want to make the most of the time I have here and the years of experience that Manaka sensei and Mario can offer.  Challenging times ahead.  Osu!

Travis de Clifford
Sessa Takuma dojo


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