EKF SHOGO BENKYOKAI 2018 in Rome/Italy
The weather forecasts had said it would be a cool and rainy weekend but the showers came a day early leaving the evening streets of Rome shimmering in the lights of the city. Next morning, as we gathered in the Piazza Bologna, the sun had already started to climb.
A small fleet of cars and vans took us the forty minute journey out to the beautiful Waseikan dojo of the Accademia Romana Placido Procese. Set in open countryside, the grounds included the main kinteki dojo, an enteki yamichi , a club-house, a gazebo where we ate as well as some pavilions in which we could change.
The Rome Shogo met us, together with a team of the dojo members who looked after us superbly over the weekend, driving us to and from the dojo each day, making sure we had delicious food and drink, carrying out yatori , taking care of the azuchi and generally making our weekend comfortable and carefree.
It was an important opportunity for European Shogo - and it was about a half of all the European Shogo who attended - to compare their experiences as teachers and instructors and to receive advice and instruction from the senior grades on a broad range of subjects - both theoretical and practical. By midday the sun was burning and, with some relief, we exchanged kimono for keikogi for the afternoon practice.
In the evening we all gathered in a ristorante off the Via Corso for a true Italian dinner together.
The programme for Sunday followed a similar pattern to the Saturday with a mixture of shooting and sharei. Hoff sensei gave a lecture on the Anatomy of Kyudo including the complex interplay of bones, muscles, joints and breath.
Gradually the group grew smaller as people sped away to catch their planes.
A final shooting closed the day.
It was announced that next year’s Shogo Benkyokai will be hosted by the Hamburg dojo and it was hoped that even more Shogo will take advantage of the special opportunity to share experiences and practise together - strengthening the ties of European kyudo and establishing the standards that will guide our practice in the future.
A heartfelt gratitude was expressed by all the Shogo to the members of the Accademia Procesi for their hard work, dedication and warm friendship that made the 2018 Shogo Benkyokai in Rome such a rewarding and memorable occasion.
Text: Terence Griffin, photos: Cornelia Brandl-Hoff and Waseikan Kyudojo - Link: http://www.accademiaprocesi.it/