I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who participated and contributed to the great success of the November 3-4 Kai-Cho Hitohiro Saito seminar. We were so fortunate to have 160 attendees from 9 different countries, 22 different states and 47 different dojos to share a weekend of incredible instruction, good food and lots of laughter.
Saturday morning proved to be truly exciting as we entered into the first class as Sensei bowed in front of the impressive 10 foot torii that was built for the seminar. I myself thought the seminar coasted well beyond my own expectations as he was in rare form. At the end of the day’s training we managed to take photos of all the participants in a record 45 minutes which allowed enough time for all to get ready for the evening party, and what a party it was.
The party started at 7 pm where we had an attendance of approximately 200 guests under expansive white tents canopied by a star filled sky. It was certainly a celebration of dancing until 1 am and feasting on the succulent ribeye steaks, not to mention the added entertainment of the talented belly dancer. It was incredible to see the focus level of everyone watching the mechanics of the belly dancer’s hip movements verses that of Sensei’s during the seminar. We were even further entertained with the rare sight when Stanley Pranin from Aikido Journal and Sensei himself so easily succumbed to the dancer when called upon to exhibit their belly dancing techniques. To my surprise it took little coaxing to get these two men to dance with the beautiful woman that seemed to be the envy of all struggling to move their hips earlier that day during the seminar.
Sunday’s energy was no less than fantastic due to the bonding techniques that have been exercised since the beginning of time, good food, old and new friends, music and laughter. The atmosphere seemed much lighter as we all seemed to know each other much longer than the weekend passing so quickly.
It has been only a couple of days since the ending of the seminar and I have already received so many emails expressing how much this weekend event was enjoyed, how much they appreciated Sensei’s sincere devotion to the art, the time he took to explain techniques and how much they look forward to his return. I appreciate all the participants again for opening their hearts to Hitohiro Saito and taking the time and commitment to make this journey.
In speaking with Sensei at the night’s end he was so happy to be received so well by so many people from so different walks of life and looks forward to returning to Florida again in the future. He had requested an encore performance from the belly dancer the following night, but I had to unfortunately tell him that it was not in the budget.
For those anticipating the pictures from the seminar to be posted, we will try to get them uploaded as soon as possible for you to download. If by chance anyone has any pictures that they would like to submit from the party or the seminar please feel free to do so and we will review them before posting.