It has now become something of a tradition, every time I return to Europe, I make a trip to the Gonojukan dojo in Besançon led by Aurore Mamet and Stéphane Gaiffe. This particular course was the last of a winter series that has led me to Neuilly sur Marne at Sébastien Heurteau's dojo, Verdun, followed by a trip to Dijon for an joint course with my first teacher Michel Desroches, and finally a reunion with the practitioners from Besancon.
I have many times talked about Aurore Mamet and Stéphane Gaiffe to express all the good things that I thought of their work and their students. The Besançon course comes almost always at the end of a seminar series, I think this is where my class is the best because I have had time to test and improve ideas during the courses that precede it. I should also say that I feel a little like among family in the Doubs region because it is close to my home city and because the transmission seems easy with these people whom I know well by now.
Guillaume d'Andréa has once again made the trip with me, and he took the opportunity to film the course and is responsible for the images that follow.
Besancon course video (December 2014)
At the end of the course , I thanked the practitioners and confessed that I thought they had gone a long way since the last time I saw them. Aurore said something that intrigued me because she replied that I too had changed a lot since my very first visit. So I went digging through my archives and I found the video of the first course that I lead in Besançon in 2009 and indeed, changes are notable. 2009 marked my return home after several years spent in England and Ireland and my technique was heavily influenced by the practice of Christian Tissier and Philippe Gouttard. I did not live in Japan yet and I did not yet seriously practiced Daito-ryu Aiki-jujtsu.
Besancon course video (December 2009)
Watching these old videos is not always easy because you see a lot of errors in the things that you were once proud of, but it is an interesting tool that helps analyzing weaknesses and measure progress. I hope to grow as much in the subsequent five years as I did in the last five years because there is still much work to be done. Good practice and good progress to all!