I'm reflecting on the training I had last night. Sensei had me partner up with another member of the group to work through a set of kata involving the sword vs. O-tanto (large dagger). I had never done these techniques before and I'm the first to tell you my sword skills are probably the weakest of my TSYR skill sets.
Can you imagine facing a swordsman with your tanto hand outstretched as an obstacle. It sure doesn't feel safe at all. The shitachi needs very good timing and entering to make the techniques work. Add to that how tired I was last night and you get to see that the session ahead was demanding.
Its one of those moments when you tell yourself that this is what I signed up for in a koryu. Sometimes training is just hard. In that situation I was the weakest practitioner and had the most to learn. I felt incompetent and frustrated with myself at times. There is a long road ahead. Constant practice is the only thing that will allow me to progress along that road. This was only one kata set of many at this level of the curriculum. It is mind-boggling to think how we are going to practise all the different kata we know enough to progress. There doesn't seem to be enough time outside of family commitments and work. However, this is what I have signed up for.
Despite what I have written above. I count myself as lucky. Lucky to have the opportunity to study a koryu in NZ. Luck enough to have an outstanding martial practitioner as my sensei and lucky to have great training partners.
So, back to the mat and back to training.