The sports friends Torsten, Mandy, Marko and Martin from the Arnis group of the Dojo Fudoshin Leipzig went on a journey to expand their knowledge in the martial art Modern Arnis.
The seminar took place on 08.10 and 09.10.2022 in San Fermo, a suburb 10 minutes from Como (Lombardy) in the north of Italy.
On 10/10/2022, in anticipation, the group additionally visited Grandmaster Randy Remolin in Milan for a special two-hour training session.
Departure was on Friday, 07.10.22, very early at 5 am. The journey was to last 11 hours. Torsten and Mandy took turns steering the car, while Marko and Martin killed time by resting and reading. At 4 pm we arrived at our accommodation. The four of them were offered a chic flat in rustic style. Two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, a living room that was rarely used and two balconies. Everything was clean and neatly furnished, nothing was lacking.
After briefly settling into the flat, we decided to take a short walk around Como, followed by a visit to a restaurant. We found one in the city centre, with reasonable prices. They ate pizza with beer and wine. By the way, we learned that the Giro Lombardia cycling race will take place this weekend. Back in the flat, we had one, two or four beers before going to sleep. It should be mentioned that the average tourist should fill up before 8 pm. After that, filling up and paying at the petrol stations only works with an app via mobile phone.
On Saturday, 08.10.22, we had some free time in the morning. This was used to get out of bed, have breakfast and visit an open petrol station. The petrol prices are the same as in Germany.
The seminar then began in the afternoon at 2 pm. The participants came from France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy itself. The seminar was led by Grand Master Samuel "Bambit" Dulay - 10th Dan Modern Arnis Tapi Tapi.
The topics this afternoon were first blocking - countering out of Sinawali. Then Espada y Daga in the different techniques. First individually, then with a practice partner. This was followed by Hirada with double stick in application, i.e. Hirada block with several counter variations.
The last hour and a half was spent demonstrating various Filipino knife techniques, with block counter as well as disarming in individual practice sections.
Around 6 pm, the first day of the seminar ended with a full head and a rumbling stomach. Therefore, already well prepared by the Italian hosts around Matteo, we went to the pizzeria Trattoria Vittoria for dinner. It goes without saying that our German seminar participants arrived first, in the usual German punctuality. :-)
The day ended with food and drink in a convivial and good-humoured atmosphere.
Sunday was all about the seminar. Breakfast was already taken at half past nine and at half past nine we went to the training hall. The second day of the seminar began at 10 am. Today's programme in the morning continued with the application of Espada y Daga. A new technique was added, which is to guide the hand along the knife. Furthermore, techniques in Espada y Daga as Sombrada were practised. Espada y Daga in flow form, repetitive alternating attacks with blocks, punches, jabs and abanico were also learned and practised as partner exercises. The Italian students were noticeably more familiar and better with this type of technique than the German participants. However, this did not dampen the enjoyment of the seminar. Everyone took an Italian participant as an exercise partner and the initial difficulties with the flowing movement sequences were quickly overcome.
Around half past twelve, lunch was on the agenda. At the Bar Mirtillo, only 5 minutes away from the training site, there was a choice of pasta (Trofie), lasagne or beef fillet salad platter (Bressola). Everyone visibly enjoyed it. Strengthened, the second half of the seminar day began at 2 pm. Before the course started again, there were still some student and Dan graduations to be awarded. With their heads already well filled with new knowledge, techniques and sequences with double stick Hirada with blocks, Abanico and stitches were added. The next exercise included double stick in application with several attacks, levers and subsequent disarming. This exercise visibly challenged all participants.
The last two final applications were once unarmed knife defence with disarming, several consecutive counters and also unarmed palis palis with subsequent counters. The unarmed knife defence was tough and difficult to master.
Then it was already 6 pm and the seminar ended with applause, photo session and mutual farewells. What a day, the heads are full and the bodies exhausted.
All in all, however, it was a very successful seminar.
Back at the accommodation, everyone got ready and had dinner together. Afterwards we drank one, two, four beers, played cards and put our thoughts on the seminar down on paper.
Monday 10.10.2022 also had to start early. So it was time to get up at 8 a.m., pack our bags, have breakfast and leave the flat in an orderly state. Because today there was another special appointment on the schedule. A two-hour special training with Grandmaster Randy Remolin in Milan at 11 am. So there was not much time left and the way to get there was not easy, in a foreign country without knowledge of the mother tongue. A diversion and tricky exits cost valuable time. Nevertheless, the four of them made it to the address with their usual German punctuality.
But how to find the Grand Master? Fortunately, a helpful local resident was able to help the four. He led the group to a bakery, where, the man said, we should ask for Grand Master Randy. In a bakery? Yup, the shop assistant understood immediately and made a call. Less than 5 minutes later, the Grand Master arrived at the bakery. After a warm welcome, they walked across a square where a church stood. The church was only 200m away from the bakery. The Grand Master explained to us that the training place was under the church. Again, something new, but no matter, we train wherever it is possible. In a relaxed atmosphere, the two hours of training with the Grand Master flew by. Once again, we took away knowledge and concluded with a short chat and information about training courses in the coming year.
At around 2:15 p.m., we finally set off on our journey home to Leipzig. Another eleven-hour ride, which Torsten and Mandy mastered with flying colours. Meanwhile, Marko and Martin passed the time reading and resting.
At 1 am, Tuesday morning, they arrived in Leipzig without incident. Everyone went their own way and to their own beds. So ended the fantastic trip to Italy for an exhausting but instructive seminar.