At the moment, my sensei, Chris is overseas at the TSYR instructor seminars in Colorado, USA.
I have been asked to teach in his absence. I thought I would share a few thoughts I have had during this time. On Thursday I rocked on up to the Hamilton Dojo for the usual Tanto training session. As it turned out it was just me and one other student. He had driven in especially from out of town so was glad to see me walk in.
I decided to work through the Mae Aku set of the Kumitanto. We took our time with each kata, highlighting main points and refining technique. Then we moved to a type of free form practice where the uchitachi will say an attack height e.g. chuden, and then thrust with the tanto. The shitachi responds with an appropriate technique. I really enjoy this type of training as you quickly work out what has been internalised. Hybrid techniques often pop up at this point and uchitachi is not quite sure what he or she is going to get!
We then did the same with the Gyaku Aku set. Slowly at first, kata by kata, then semi-freestyle with named attacks.
We ended the training session with two kata from the Idori Te Hodoki.
For today's (Saturday) training I invited the other students to the Te Miro Dojo. None of them had been out yet and I saw this as an opportunity to let them see what I had built. Nat and Michael said they could make it and we kicked off at the normal 9 am start. After warm ups, Nairiki No Gyo and some kunren we settled into the Idori Te Hodoki.
We were so busy with the finer points of these kata that we spent the entire hour and a half working from our knees. It wasn't until a text message from my wife reminded us it was time to stop...20 minutes after we were supposed too.
During one of the kata Nat asked if what she was doing was right. I was uchitachi at the time and Michael was watching on. Michael laughed and said "If you could see what I could see you wouldn't need to ask that." So I suggested we do the technique again and Michael take a picture from my phone. This is what he got.
|Natalie demonstrating Morote from Idori.|
As you can see Nat's posture is unbroken and I'm a twisted mess. This is why Michael was laughing. It was obvious that the technique was working. But until Nat saw the photo she was unconvinced of her ability. Isn't it funny how we can have different perspectives on the same thing?
We made some great progress on five of these kata today. Everyone walked off the mat feeling like they had made an insight. I call that a successful lesson.
I next teach on Wednesday, that is kenjutsu night. I'm looking forward to it.