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Renshin Kan’s International Wado-Kai Karate Summer Camp. The camp you can’t live without

Imagine a residential sports facility of over 125,000 square meters, where you can sleep, eat and train to enjoy incredible comfort. Imagine having any equipment or sports environment available all-inclusive, from the swimming pool to the beach volleyball courts, passing through the sauna, the infirmary (sometimes a little ice can come in handy), and a bar that is always open. Imagine wood-paneled living rooms, equipped with private bathrooms, and a restaurant specialized in sports cooking capable of satisfying every personal need, from preferences to food allergies, where you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner enjoying hearty and carefully balanced meals while socializing with all the other participants speaking in English, Italian, German, and French. Imagine a training room the size of a soccer field, with a huge window overlooking the mountains that separate Switzerland from Liechtenstein that constantly offers you a breathtaking view. Imagine fifty or sixty karatekas from every Swiss canton and from Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, and so on. Imagine one of the most renowned and prepared instructors of the Japan Karatedo Federation Wado-Kai who with intelligence, rigor, and lightness guides you for six days in five hours of daily training, between morning and afternoon, rattling off and deepening the entire technical curriculum of Wado-ryu. Well, if you can imagine all this pretty stuff it’s not because you’ve got too much imagination, but because you have probably heard about the Renshin Kan’s International Wado-Kai Karate Summer Camp organized by Roberto Danubio sensei (7th dan JKF Wadokai) and his wife, Eveline Danubio sensei (6th dan JKF Wadokai) in Filzbach, Switzerland.

The 2022 edition of what is probably the most prestigious Wadokai camp in Europe took place from 10 to 15 July and obviously, a WKSI delegation could not miss the appointment. In fact, since the 2013 edition, Maurizio Paradisi and Giuseppe Carloni, both 5th dan JKF Wado-Kai and, respectively, president and chief instructor of our branch, haven’t missed one. The reason why Roberto and Eveline Danubio wanted to thank them, together with other assiduous participants, with two beautiful crystal trophies that reaffirm the very close collaboration between our two Wado-Kai branches. For me, it was only the fourth edition, and not even consecutive, so it was perhaps easier to realize that it’s been the best experience I have ever had when we talk about karate experiences.

I know. I know what you’re thinking. I’ve said it before, just after the other three camps I’ve attended, and you can check it here, here, and here. And I actually said it every time because it was every time true, exactly like this time. Only, this time is a little bit more true. Could it be that we’d been going out (going out?) for over two years of the covid pandemic; maybe it’s because the Kerenzerberg Sportzentrum has recently been renovated with larger, more modern and functional spaces; could it be that the Danubio’s organization has refined over the years or it could be, as it is, that the general technical level, which has always been incredibly high, has further and progressively grown over the years, but this time the quality of training and interactions between the attendees, on and off the training area, was so joyful, fruitful and exciting like never before.

The amazing thing about this Summer Camp is that no matter how many times you have been there, every time it manages to amaze and seduce you again. When the time comes to say goodbye, a lump always rises in your throat and while you’re thanking, shaking hands, and hugging everybody (finally!) you can’t help but promise, first of all to yourself, «See you next year here. Swear».

I know. I know what you’re thinking. These are things that are said to be said. Nope, pal. Not in this case. In this case, they are also things that are done, and every time, year after year, we all meet again there on time, viruses, wars, and various personal troubles permitting. Always in the company of two or three handfuls of new friends and traveling companions. More and more convinced that we all have set out, to paraphrase the writer Carlos Castaneda, on a path that has a heart. The path of Wado.

(by Riccardo Rita)

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Riccardo RitaRenshin Kan’s International Wado-Kai Karate Summer Camp. The camp you can’t live without
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An open-minded and international perspective: the way we all should walk

According to the Budo Charter drawn up in 1987 by Nippon Budō Kyōgikai, it is important that teachers and students “maintain an open-minded and international perspective” in their martial practice. The reason why is simple: keeping this kind of attitude, both the conservation and the evolution and progress of any art are more effectively guaranteed. This is the way it goes in all fields of knowledge: science, art, and technology tend to flourish and prosper where there is more openness, exchange, comparison, dialogue, and sharing. Karate is no exception. And that’s one of the reasons why we love to participate in the seminars and training organized by Roberto Danubio sensei.

This time it was a training dedicated to the preparation of the exams from 1st to 5th dan which took place in the Danubio’s beautiful Renshin Kan traditional dojo in Weinfelden, Switzerland. In order to benefit from those three hours of lessons and practice, we left Italy at dawn and once in Switzerland, as every time, we were able to enjoy the superb welcome of Danubio’s family and all his other students, practitioners, and assistants.

Danubio sensei has been able to create over time a kind of extended family that gathers students and instructors of the JKF Wadokai from all over Europe and which, in addition to his well-known qualities as a teacher and great expert in Wado, constitutes an astonishing added value. Every event he organizes, whether it is the Summer Camp (six days of full immersion karate training in a kind of sports paradise on the Swiss Alps), the Wado Spirit (a beautiful seminar that every year combines practice, exams, and conviviality), preparatory training for exams or a simple daily training, always turns into an opportunity for growth, comparison and deepening into the karate knowledge that cannot leave anyone indifferent.

During this specific training, Danubio sensei made us concentrate on the two-persons exercises to deepen the principles of Kihon Kumite, then he moved on to the Kata and, only at the end, to the practice of Kihon, in a kind of backward path that has led us to new meanings for those gestures which, after so many years of practice, could risk to wrongly be taken for granted. And also this time we’ve come back home with a new set of exercises and useful tips both for us and, in cascade, for our students. With the pleasant feeling of having taken a further step in understanding Wadoryu, walking on an authentically open and wide international dimension. A dimension from which, we can assure you, it is impossible to go back and which we will never stop recommending to anyone aiming to set out on a sincere path of technical and martial growth.

Did you like this post? Let’s walk the way together! Look at the Wadokai Masters in Rome international seminar:

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Riccardo RitaAn open-minded and international perspective: the way we all should walk
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Shingo Ohgami, 8th dan JKF Wadokai, passed away

With profound sorrow we learn of the death of an extraordinary man, one of the most prepared, educated and available masters in the world of karate and a true Wadoryu legend: Shingo Ohgami sensei passed away after a long illness he never allowed to tarnish his authentic budoka spirit.

A very attentive, thoughtful and highly erudite teacher (not only of martial arts), he leaves an indelible mark in the European and global Wadoryu. As an author of two fundamental texts about karate, despite his popularity and although being universally recognized as one of the major authorities of traditional martial arts, on every occasion he never failed to amaze people with his humility and the refined, cordial simplicity of his manners.

He leaves an unbridgeable gap. But also a great technical and spiritual heritage, a guide and an example for every budoka. We at WKSI will do our best to honor it. In the meanwhile, our thoughts go to the family and his many students, including our friend and master Roberto Danubio sensei. To all of them, expressing our condolences, we ideally stand by, clinging to each other in an embrace.

Riccardo RitaShingo Ohgami, 8th dan JKF Wadokai, passed away
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PRIME and inclusive martial arts. The web site and the Guide for Coaches are online

As you have already had the chance to learn about this project, PRIME – Participation, Recreation and Inclusion through Martial Arts Education is co-funded by the European Union Programme ERASMUS+, and intends to develop a high-quality coaching framework to encourage the participation of people with disabilities in martial arts in Europe.

PRIME framework is the first in its kind, and falls under the context of theEuropean Qualification Framework (EQF) and of other internationals standards in the sector, such as the International Sport Coaching Framework.

WKSI – Wadokai Karatedo Shingitai Italia, official branch of JKF Wadokai and sports association acknowledged by CONI, affiliated to the sports promotion organization CSEN and registered at Italy’s Ministry of Labour and Social Policiesas Social Promotion Associationis the only Italian partner of PRIME. Thanks to our on-the-field experience e.g. the project Abili al Karate, we could provide an extremely relevant contribution to drawing up the guide-lines for martial arts coaches.

The PRIME web site available at https://www.martialarts-prime.com is delivered in four languages, English, French, German and Italian.

We heartily recommend all karate, judo, aikido, jujutsu, kung-fu coaches, and in general coaches of martial arts and combat sports to download the Guide for Coaches in PDF. This is a very useful tool, which may even resolve related issues for all those who teach or wish to teach students with disabilities.

Riccardo RitaPRIME and inclusive martial arts. The web site and the Guide for Coaches are online
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Inclusive coaching for the martial arts. The PRIME project final round

The final event of the EU Project PRIME (Participation, Recreation and Inclusion through Martial Arts Education) was held in Tralee, Ireland, on 3 December 2018. WKSI is a partner of PRIME, ICSSPE the lead partner. The general objective is to develop an ad-hoc coaching framework to encourage the participation of people with disabilities in martial arts in Europe.

The final event was an occasion for the project partners, keynote speakers and guests from the coaching sector to discuss and share opinions and ideas on the state of the art of inclusive coaching for the martial arts in Europe, as well as on the crucial role of such an adapted framework for inclusive coaches and clubs.

The PRIME framework and website will be available in January 2019, in particular the website will be an “incubator in progress” for a wide range of information and resources concerning inclusive martial arts coaching and will stay on-line for the following 5 years.

The coaching framework developed by the PRIME project is bound to be the first in its kind in Europe, and is extremely relevant for coaches and clubs who are inclusive or who want to become inclusive. With a range of information from the basics of coaching, to the policy background on inclusion through sport and gender equality, an outline of the main impairments, to very practical hints on how to train people with disabilities, the paper fits into a scenario where a shared methodology is still lacking. The overall information delivered can be of guidance to coaches who deal with teaching people with different abilities, and we have a duty to disseminate it through our networks as largely as possible.

The framework is available in 4 languages, namely English, German, Italian and French, and this will allow to reach out a broad target audience who could put the content into real practice in varied contexts. WKSI will surely contribute to spreading PRIME material in the hope that more and more coaches and clubs will become engaged in inclusiveness.

Riccardo RitaInclusive coaching for the martial arts. The PRIME project final round
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PRIME final event is coming soon… Stay tuned!

On December 3rd, 2018, the final event of EU Project PRIME (Participation, Recreation and Inclusion through Martial Arts Education) will take place in Tralee, Ireland – WKSI is a partner of PRIME, ICSSPE the lead partner. The key topic will be to include people of all abilities through the martial arts.

The meeting will be an occasion to officially launch PRIME coaching framework, which provides a guidance to the coaches who teach or want to teach the martial arts to people with a disability. PRIME web site will be online soon with plenty of information and technical sources for coaches, including the framework.

Stay tuned for more info on PRIME!

Riccardo RitaPRIME final event is coming soon… Stay tuned!
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