Disclaimer and Stuff

Firstly I would like to say that all of the material contained within this blog is of my own opinion and any inaccuracies in technical content or other's personal quotations are completely my own.

Secondly I would like to thank everyone in advance where I have used photos of you or photos you have taken. I have quite a library of digital photos and virtually no record of who took them so I hope you will take this general thanks as adequate gratitude. If there are any photos of you or taken by you that you would like removed please let me know.

Thirdly, some articles have been published on my dojo website if you would like to read them in an easier format

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7th dans achieved. Come and visit Ryoshinkan Iaido and Jodo Dojo Website at www.ryoshinkan.org

Thursday 29 July 2010

Iaido Training Session 21

It's getting a bit tricky to keep on top of this blog at the moment what with work picking up and the fact that I am organising 2-3 events for the BKA at the same time. This, I hope, is actually a positive reflection as it means a) I'm getting my ever fattening ass off my chair more frequently and b) I'm doing more budo stuff generally rather than just regular practice. In fact I had a look at my calendar recently and found that the 15th August will be the first regular Sunday morning Jodo practice that I will have been to in 10 weeks! I realise that a) holidays are fun and b) doing taikai and seminars is of course brilliant practice but I do miss normal regular training in the dojo. I think there is something very special and different about training in your own dojo. Even being at a seminar with your favourite Japanese sensei is probably not as "embedding" as regular training.

Anyway, spent a bit of time last night getting some photos done for my teacher's Shoden Iaido Manual which meant me holding rediculous, mid-move poses for a while although it is quite a good thing to make sure that the techniques are correct. I also discovered some bits about some of the faster moves that I hadn't realised before. For example it never occured to me what the drawing action in Batto (MSR) actually required in terms of movement and direction of the sword. When I saw it on camera it made me think about all sorts of ways to improve my movement (using the left hand more of course being one of them).

I spent most of the rest of the lesson coaching Ray, one of our ikkyu's and resident photographer, for his koryu taikai and 1st dan grading in Brighton. At the end of the session we all took turns to do embu's in groups. I feel quite at home with Shohatto and Yamaoroshi for now but Towaki definately needs some practice. The second cut is easy enough but I am for certain out of control on the first draw. I watched Morishima-sensei's embu of this and it looked brilliant - really direct, simple and devastating. I am a loooooong way from that. I think I would probably fall over if I actually hit something with my sword at the moment. I guess next week might be a good opportunity to get some feedback from Ishido Sensei in Eindhoven.