HAPARANDA JU-JUTSU KAI
Officially, Haparanda Ju-jutsu Kai was founded in February 2008, but we started training some time before that. There was no club in town and as there seemed to be enough interested people to start a proper club, we decided to do so and Haparanda Ju-jutsu Kai was founded.
Since then, our club has been battling the usual small town problems, such as people moving away to go to school elsewhere, fewer potential members and so on. Our club has managed fairly well, though, as the number of members has grown from half a dozen people two years ago to 16 in 2010. An important reason for our success is the fact that Ami Eriksson from Luleå agreed to become a member, thereby giving us a licensed instructor, who could help us with questions about techniques, arrange exams for new grades and much more.
The fact that we chose a raven as our symbol has many reasons. Firstly, it was because before we became a “real” club, the Swedish organisation Korpen (which means “raven” in Swedish and is a play on words from the Swedish word “kroppen” meaning “the body” and the latin word “corpus” meaning the same thing), an organisation that promotes health and exercise nationwide helped us by making us temporary members, thereby enabling us to afford to rent a dojo. Secondly, the raven has several mythological references. In Japanese mythology it is associated with the fierce warrior/trickster spirits called tengu and in Norse mythology it is the bird of Odin, the god of war and knowledge. This suited us perfectly, since what are we, if not a mix between Scandinavian and Japanese, training a Japanese art way up in the north of Sweden? Besides, Odin’s thirst for knowledge and pursuit of wisdom is something we can relate to as we are always eager to learn new things. Lastly, another reference to our view on learning and the relation to Japan can be seen in the fact that the raven on our logo is sitting on a branch watching east towards the rising sun (Japan being the land of the rising sun).
Today we have members of all ages and work closely together with Daiyo-Sha Ami Eriksson from Luleå, who is also a member of our club.
Apart from this we actively attend seminars, at least seminars that are reasonably close to us geographically. Also we strive to keep an open mind and keep on learning and trying to remember that there is always something to learn.