tiistai 9. heinäkuuta 2019

European Taikai Stockholm 2019 Preparation Day - Friday


 Whoah! European Taikai 2019 in Stockholm is now over and it is time to recap. As usual, I will do so in English since it is the language that most of people understand. I will also be going to China tonight, so posting the next chapters might have to wait until I get back from behind the great firewall - let's see.

Let's go back to Friday morning last week....
 It started with a preparation of embus and demonstrations in the Erikshallen, our Taikai location.
For most of us, this was the first time of meeting friends for 2 or four years... Time goes by so fast!
 It was the time to try how your embu feels at the actual spot.
 For some of us, it's been almost two years of preparations. Kirsi and I have been practising this embu for about 1,5 years now. Even though of course - we have also had our difficulties of living in different cities and trying to adjust schedules. But this was the moment when it feels - it has all been worth the effort and trouble.
This year we also had the same head coach as in the last world taikai in San Francisco, Teemu Kilpeläinen from Hämeenlinna.


 Teemu was also doing embu in the 3rd dan and above series with his partner, Antero.
They also improved their performance from previous in Lisbon, 4 years ago.
 We also met our friends from Poland.
 ...And Amsterdam
 Jaap and Dennis had maybe the most funniest performance:)
 They did their best to entertain my camera...
 On the training day you get two hours to try your embu.
No time to fix anything major.
 In fact, it's just about getting the feel on the mat. 
Our first times, Keke and Pauliina did an amazing job.
They have been developing very fast in a short period of time.
 Even a little Ilkka Sensei's style sneaked into their routine...
 Meanwhile the Italians were practising their ipponsenage. I believe this was the highest embu in Europe...
 My friends, Marco & Alessandro.
 I enjoy the training days before taikai. Everything is calm, but intense.
 Our coach gave all six Finnish Finnish pairs a pep talk before showtime.
Dennis's Pep talk on Jaap was also encouraging.
 Our friends from Russia were also there.
 I am extremely amazed of Natalia's and Igor's growth over the last 5 years that I have known them.
 From the start to the top.
 And as spoilers probably have told you - to the best of Europe.
 Love the Star Wars effects.
 Our friends Dimitri Sensei and his wife also gave an excellent performance.
 It is a pleasure to watch them.

 Meanwhile Timo Sensei had found Federico... Who appreciated it...
Together again <3.
 Germans had had the only all-female couple in the key kenshi series. These two will be so tough in a few years:)
 And guess what happens when you put someone extemely good from female series together with someone extemely good from male series...
 At this point I was pretty sure that Hanna and Arneau are the pair to beat in 3rd dan and above.
 And I was not wrong.
 So great to see all the fabulous performances from everyone.
After the embu training time, there was free training also to those who were performing demonstrations.

 Even ran into a very happy Jörg Sensei
After the training, it was time for some beer... Or wait! What is this!?!? Is it a Tiki Drink? Did the Hotel Clarion get the memo that we have gotten friends coming from other side of the planet, like New Zealand, Australia and Brazil...?
 Finns reconnecting
 Best thing about Taikais is surely the reunions.
 ...Of So so many friends...
 ...Even the silly ones...

On Friday night, I was really boring and had a date with my ironing board and bed. Which was to be honest, something I was thankful on Saturday morning when performing in the preliminaries.  

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I will post the rest of the days later. At the moment just grateful to have had this experience, once again:) Thank you all lovelies for making it so awesome.

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