16th Impact: sports and martial arts
3 tatami areas, 6 associations come to represent 9 martial arts and 81 hours of demonstrations and initiation classes. Add an inflatable structure to try baseball – or yakyû more like – and Japan Expo has become the perfect place for sport fans (and those who’re not that much into sports too)!
The photo album
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Demonstrations & initiations
Set at the top of hall 5A, each of the 3 Budô areas of the festival proposed close to 7 hours of demonstrations and initiation classes everyday, that is over 20 hours per day and 81 hours in all during the festival.
Martial art fans, novices interested to start a new activity or curious passers-by alike, all met with the 6 associations who were showing their disciplines and allowed you to try them with experts.
You may well have recognized some of those associations as they are regular attendees of the festival, always ready to share their knowledge and passion with the public. Ken Ryu France and CNKendo were back with some of the most famous disciplines in Japan: kendô, iaidô, chanbara, naginata, and jôdô. The bravest among you stepped onto the tatami alongside the members of the associations who also performed impressive demonstrations.
Other associations were back too, which you may have known already but who are always a pleasure to meet again: Shorinji Kempo Club Neuilly showing you shorinji kenpô, a zen and efficient self-defense method; Temple du Ninja showing the way to ninjutsu to make you take your first steps as a ninja; and USV Aïkido and FFAAA who shook up the tatami with aikidô in a most friendly atmosphere.
As for newcomers, Nihon Budo Watanabe Ryu unveiled the many aspects of nihon budô with the exceptional presence of Master Mitsuru WATANABE.
Since it first came to Japan Expo in 2010, kyûdô made many fans every year. Fédération française de kyudo traditionnel - FFKT was back to show you the art of Japanese traditional archery. In a 30 meter-long shooting corridor, you have admired the archers at their best.
Those impressive demonstrations lead many of you to the initiation area: feeling like a real archer, you have learned the basics of handling the arch in the tradition of kyûdô.
After being absent for some time, yakyû was back too! As the national discipline in Japan, baseball has numerous fans in Japan and teams among the best in the world.
To allow you to try baseball, the association Tomcat Baseball Club de Tremblay-en-France had settled at Japan Expo. Inside the inflatable structure, you could hit the ball. And many of you tried the homerun home run… or at least took a few steps towards victory!
Martial arts: spectacular arts
With demonstrations and real shows on stage, martial arts have been showed at their best. About a dozen meetings invited amateurs of outstanding performances.
The Uzumasa Limelight troupe had come on the occasion of the screening of the Uzumasa Limelight film preview and made you experience the action scenes of the movie, giving you an insight of the fighting techniques used in Kyoto’s swashbuckler films. Chanbara and samurai techniques unveiled on stage and on the booth of Kyoto city.
-IDEAL- proposed outstanding choreographied sword fights. Made of professional dancers, fight experts such as Yuki YONEYAMA, creator of the Yoneyama style, and lead by Kaori KAWABUCHI, an actress specialized in sword motion capture, the troupe -IDEAL- took your breath away to the light of swords with 3 shows on the Sakura and Ichigô stages.
Click here for more about -IDEAL- and Uzumasa
Limelight in our culture & traditions report
Modern samurai play soccer too, as you witnessed during the Samurai in Paris show organized by Nissin, with a samurai in an armor and a few impressive acrobatics! Kyomoto, iaidô master, came to show his art on stage. He has created his own iaidô school and showed the handling of the sword on stage at Japan Expo.
And to go a bit further, you could call on the booth Au fil de la lame and watch a real blacksmith making real blades in front of you!
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