Friday, 29 April 2016

The Dojo is open!

I have recently had the privilege of hosting Marco Pinto from Portugal. Marco is licensed to teach the Shoden Mokuroku of TSYR and is one of the senior members of the Kai. It was with great pleasure and pride that Marco was the first to bow in and train on the mats of my newly-built personal dojo here in little ol' New Zealand.

Te Miro Dojo

Marco came down from Auckland with Jules (a friend and fellow TSYR member) on Wednesday afternoon to see the dojo and get some extra training in between seminars. We spent the afternoon working through the tachiai tanto toriageru (standing tanto disarms). Marco is an excellent teacher and a powerful technician of the art. It was an honour to have one-on-one instruction with him.

Wednesday evening is the Hamilton dojo's normal training time, so we headed into training after dinner to join Chris and Pete on the mat. Wednesday nights are traditionally sword-work so Marco took us through the batto kata and aspects of one of the kumitachi kata. He made some great technical points and he worked on refining our technique.

It was then home to bed.

The next morning Jules and Marco trained some more in the dojo. They worked on the Gyakute kata from the Tachiai Kansetsu (standing joint locks) forms. I was a bystander for this session as I had my two daughters to look after but I still managed to observe and ask questions from time to time. I said it earlier but I must mention just how polished Marco is as a teacher. I would ask him for the main lessons of a particular kata and his answers were succinct and confident. His understanding of the waza is obvious in his movement and explanations.

Marco demonstrating waza.
The dojo held up admirably. The robust sprung floor and new tatami handled the impact of thrown men with ease. For us the falls were comfortable. Considering the size of Marco and Jules (I was the light-weight) it was a good test and both men agreed that the floor was great for TSYR.

The three of us after the Wednesday afternoon session.

I am very happy with the outcome of the visit. It was exciting to have Marco be the first to teach and train on my mats and I am thankful to Jules for providing the opportunity. I hope this is only the beginning. The dojo is open to any TSYR members and my wife and I have plenty of room for people to stay over. I see the dojo as part of my contribution to TSYR and it provides another place in the world where we can come together and enjoy this koryu bujutsu.

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