Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sword work

I have been away from a computer for a short time so the experiences I write about today have occurred over more than one training session.

Last Saturday started with the internal strength exercises, which I am still very bad at. Then we returned to a few taijutsu techniques I had seen before and a couple of new ones. We also  practised some judo-type throws. The really new stuff was the kenjutsu training. Part of the kenjutsu training is the etiquette that goes along with using a sword, it is very new and fascinating for me. I am learning the first set of kata in the shoden curriculum. They are short kata but there is plenty to learn within these seemingly simple movements. Timing, posture, breathing, grounding are all important. By the end of the Saturday training I had learned the first two kata to a rudimentary level.

I then turned up to the Tuesday training. Prior to the TSYR training is my own aikido training. Sensei was looking at initiating movement before connecting with uke. This way uke is caught up in your momentum at the moment they make contact. One of the kyu grades thanked me for my help with his Irimi Nage at the end of class. The TSYR training is giving me insights into relaxed movement and opportunities to exploit openings and this is turn is aiding my ability to teach better aikido technique. We also practised randori and I was uke for a lot of that. Good for my fitness level.

Now, onto the TSYR training for that night...
More kenjutsu. This time training along side another guy who has just started. We added a third kata to our small repertoire. I really like the third kata. It involves a block then a strike that traps the attacker's arm with your own blade. There is a feeling of winding the body tight during the block and then unwinding into the second movement. Very cool.

Tuesday night was a contrast of training experiences. The aikido training is familiar and has many teenagers training which makes it feel more casual. Compare this to the TSYR experience of every adult on the mat fully focused and more experienced than myself. Although sensei did mention that I was catching on quick. I feel I need to so I don't slow the progress of the others down.

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