Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Doki Doki Festival, Manchester 2011

Guest post by John David...

After receiving a welcoming invite to attend and demonstrate at the Manchester Japanese Doki Doki Festival, martial artists from the Bukido Dojo and other martial arts dojos were about to embark upon something that is different from a traditional demonstration.

The Manchester Doki Doki Festival is a celebration of all things Japanese, from traditional Taiko drumming to modern day Manga and Cosplay, food from Sweet Octopus and lessons on Origami; there really was something for everyone. The Bukido dojo was invited to exhibit the philosophies and teachings of traditional Okinawan weaponry alongside other dojo’s to show many different martial arts.

Warming the audience up with an example of empty hand katas were students from the Shōsha dojo, with a sharp and precise routine they presented the crowd with a more traditional style of karate.  Following on from this, other weapons kata was performed by Bukido students showing how the farming tools can be adapted to be used as weapons.

Now captivated, onlookers were treated to displays between students from the Shōsha dojo and Bukido dojo, in which the bo, hanbo, naginata, katana, tanto, nunchaku, sai and kama were used. Members of the Nippon dojo also showed there unarmed battlefield ju-jitsu combat skills with free flowing drills

The Bujikan Senki dojo followed on with a demonstration of Ninjitsu skills with many attacks from armed and unarmed attackers, whilst showing many different weapons that would have been used by the Ninja.

Away from the martial arts displays, it was hard for anyone not notice Japan’s love for Manga and Anime, with hundreds of guests sporting Cosplay; this is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea.  Alongside Cosplay there was also a fashion show and competition for Lolita Fashion; a fashion subculture that originated in Japan and is based on Victorian-era clothing as well as other costumes.

Keeping the rhythm flowing were the Kayobi Taiko, a community group who practice the Japanese art of Taiko Drumming, they performed a piece thought to be thousands of years old, once used to ‘welcome’ the Gods.

Other stalls were also present, some translating and selling Kanji, others drawing your very own Anime portrait, face painters, Manga stalls selling comics and clothing and stalls with a vast array of art works on sale, it was hard not to be pulled in by the Japanese culture.  This being the first event of its kind in Manchester it proved a sure fire hit for everyone involved.  Both educational and fun, I’m sure Manchester will be pleased to welcome back Doki Doki.

You can find out more about David's kobudo instruction by visiting: http://www.bukido.yolasite.com 
E-mail David at: macca23@sky.com