Processing lots. Taught "How to Run Scenarios" without being able to understand the native language well enough to really evaluate how well everyone was doing. I think there are some things I don't have the skills to do myself. In future, I will probably have to create a cadre of instructors who can create teams to work in their native language. Much as it hurts me to say that, it's time to think about the next generation.
Taught InFighting on the second visit to the Netherlands. Have to think about this carefully as well. To do InFighting safely requires pretty high-level distancing, ukemi, control and confidence. People panic. They always call it something else but it is definitely panic. The class went very well in Natick, but that was a jujutsu school with very similar core competencies to mine and it was my (fifth?) visit there. They were ready and they knew how to be safe. Not that Chris' men and women in the Netherlands were unsafe or not ready, but there were some minor injuries. And there was a weird time compression thing, because I got through almost all of the sixteen hour class in eight. Still can't figure out how that happened.
Japan was very strange for me on an emotional level. I always assumed my first visit there would be as a student, not an instructor. In my head I had just assumed that the expats were the people who were so into martial arts that they changed their entire lives and gave up everything to get closer to the source. I was expecting on a very deep level to be the itty-bitty bug in a roomful of martial gods. And I found out, like every other time I've been around the immensely talented or famous or whatever, that they were pretty much people. Just like me. And we all have tons to learn. And learning with good people is kind of fun.
And oh my god they can drink. Had whisky, beer, awamori, and habushu, and that was on the first day, just saying hello. The dinner after the seminar was epic.
Habushu. Snake wine. Tastes remarkably like alcohol.
Also fulfilled an obligation. Had to go to the hombu of Sosuishitsu, just to say thanks. One family preserved something that kept me alive in some rough times. There's an eternal debt there. It was a good place and I liked Shitama-sensei. He's solid.
Met some good people, as always-- Quint, Peter, Joe, the Fearsome Foursome (Quint's kids) Iida, Shinya and James. Other names I don't remember.
And got to duel an entire generation of an ancient samurai clan simultaneously at their family shrine. Of course, the oldest was eight.
Good times. But time to head home.