Personal anecdotes

–        Sydney Airport (1986). During our emigration flight to Australia, before landing in Sydney, they gave us a form to be filled. In one of the questions they asked: Are you carrying any weapons?  I didn’t know what to put, in my luggage I was carrying a pair of “Sai”, of “Bo” and of “Nunchaku”. After thinking about it a good while, I considered that I didn’t want to have any trouble right from the beginning in our new country. So, I decided to leave the space in blank and ask the customs officer to help me out. When they saw the “Nunchaku”, no doubt, they were forbidden in Australia. So, they confiscated them and sent them to be deposited in a Customs Department they had in the Airport. It was not allowed to enter Australia with “Nunchaku”. They then analyzed the “Bo”. They tried to bend it, to twist and untwist it, to take it apart. They finally said: “O.K., you can take this”. Finally, when they saw the “Sai” they asked: “What is this?” “What do you use it for?” I answered: “It is very difficult to explain in words, if you like, I can show you how it is used”. OK they replied. I needed an approximate 5mx5m space which was duly prepared. So, I performed “Sai Kata Ichi” right from the beginning to the end. All surrounding activity (custom authorities, passengers, etc.) paralysed, absorbed by the “Kata”. When I finished the performance, the officer said: “OK, you can enter with them”.

–        Improvised “Makiwara”. We started our lives as immigrants in Sydney (1986). Among several basic priorities I had to find a sort of private place to practice Karate-do. No problem, I found an open space very close to our flat. After practicing three of four times, I noticed that forming part of a limiting hedge, there was a wire fence with wooden posts. I tied a piece of leather to one of the posts, which served me as an improvised “makiwara”. One night (08.00 to 08.30 pm) while I was practicing with this “makiwara”, a lady approached me from behind and asked: “Are you all right?” Yes, I answered, I am all right. “Are you sure?” She insisted. Yes, I’m OK, don’t worry.