Well, its been a while, in that time I have shifted house, helped my wife through her father's death and got on with my job, my training and raising my two girls.
Today I am writing about the tips and thoughts my sensei, Chris and another training buddy, Pete brought back from two weeks away at the TSYR instructor's seminars in Colorado, USA. They attended the Shoden Instructor's seminar and Chuden Instructor's seminar over this time.
First and foremost, they are both happy with where our dojo is in regards to the quality of our practice and technique. This is important as New Zealand is a long way from other dojo, in particular hombu, so knowing we are on the right path is good.
Secondly, Threadgill sensei has decided to rearrange some of the kata in the syllabus. This appears to make a lot of sense and I don't want to go into too much detail here but Takamura sensei did move some of the kata around due to the type of students he had when he began in the United States. Threadgill sensei thinks the time is right to move some of these kata back to where they were. Ultimately, this means that the order that the kata are learned will change slightly. This does not affect our group very much as we have practised most of the kata involved at one time or another anyway.
What is exciting is that there are three throws being introduced back into the shoden curriculum which I have not practised before. However, due to the principles that we adhere to I was amazed to find how easy it was for the group to learn these throws quickly. They are in fact, easier than the throws we had been doing but we can see how they give a foundation for more advanced throws later on.
Finally, sensei talked about some points to our practice that we need to refine or tweak. It is always exciting to hear and see what these points are so we can continue to refine and perfect our martial art.
It is moments like these that I appreciate how both my past sensei, Robbie Smith and my current sensei, Chris can see the principle behind a technique and distill it down and teach it back to us. It is this type of instruction that makes us as good as we are, in my opinion. As a group we are moving past needing to know where to place our feet and hands for a technique and are seeing more of the greater whole of the TSYR curriculum, We are seeing how each part fits together like a puzzle.
It was great to have these guys back and just to show you how crazy these two are with their training. They came along to the Saturday morning training which starts at 9am having arrived back in the country at 5am that same morning!
Now that is dedication.