May 2012. It was a busy month for Naginata in Finland.
As the martial art is being accepted as a part of the Finnish Kendo Association that would act as a national federation for Naginata, the spreading of the art shall begin in larger scale. A good way to start this is via short one day seminars.
First mini seminar was held in Tapanila, Helsinki, at the Tapanilan Erä Kendo Club training hall, in Sunday 6th May 13:00 - 17:00. There were 14 participants, most with Kendo background. Pictures available at Flickr.
Later that same day, yet another mini seminar of Naginata took place at Helsinki Kendo ClubDojo, inside the east wing of the famous Olympic Stadium. Secretly, without earlier announcement, an unofficial Finnish Championships of Engi in Naginata were held, with three participating pairs. All together there were six (6) participants anyhow, thus leaving only one to judge.
The competition judge flags I had ordered from “Paazmaya Design” were put in use. For their first time.
Other than the Engi competition, the mini seminar contained teachings of passing judge flags and Shikake-Oji training.
Third mini seminar was in Kotka, located some 133 kilometres due East from Helsinki. Thursday 17th May evening was devoted for Naginata, in what is described most authentic Kendo Dojo in Finland, used by Kotka Kendo Club. This time there were ten (10) participants, again most with Kendo background. Pictures available again at Flickr.
Suffice to say that May 2012 was pretty busy for Naginata in Finland. June will continue with similar pressure, as the first Naginata instructor course will be concluded and first Kyu-grading in Finland will take place in Tuesday 12th June 2012.