I've only been training in TSYR since February this year and I would like to take some time to describe how my body is changing due to this practice.
I have mentioned the internal strength exercises before. They are a series of exercises designed to strengthen and align the body to allow power to be generated through technique. They are hard to perform correctly and I'm making slight progress. However, the benefits are apparent already. I have always had loose flexible joints, to the detriment of my posture. These exercises are developing the muscles across my back especially the trapezius muscles, latissimus dorsi and deltoids. This has the effect of pulling the shoulders back and down and bringing my arms into correct alignment with my spine. The legs muscles are also getting 'tweeked'. While doing a squat type of movement we try and concentrate on tightening the hamstrings rather that tensing the quads to stand up. This causes the hamstrings and gluts to work harder but lifts the body straight up through the spine.
An application of these exercises is to teach the practitioner how to channel incoming force down through your own body and into the ground. Lots of neurological changes going on here. The body needs to 're-wire' muscle groups in order to coordinate the posture. I have a long way to go before I can say I can do these exercises with confidence. However, I am continually progressing and even the mother of my children has noticed a thickening of the muscles through my back. That has to be a good thing right?
Just to touch on the training.
We practised kneeling techniques on Saturday. Techniques from single and double hand holds as well as double grab to the front of the gi. I have slightly modified my bokken as TSYR swords have a longer handle than modern sword arts so I needed to place the tsuba (guard) further up the bokken. It will do for now until I can purchase a TSYR bokken.