Sunday, March 19, 2017

A great weekend of training.

Threadgill sensei was once again in New Zealand to assess our progress and further our training. I have had a great two days on the mats

There was the usual Friday night open seminar in Auckland where sensei demonstrated his skill with both sword and unarmed. I was not able to attend this but by all accounts it was enjoyed by those attending and sensei showed some new things he had not shown before.

The rest of the weekend we trained at the Hamilton dojo.
On Saturday morning Threadgill sensei spoke of shinto and its relationship with Shindo Yoshin Ryu before taking us through the first set of the kumitanto. The knife work is fun but teaches just how dangerous knives can be and why it is foolish to think that disarming a skilled knife-wielder would be an easy task (or even something you should contemplate).

In the afternoon we worked on sword disarms. A set of kata that teaches important body skills, distancing and timing.

My wife and I invited the group out to our house for Saturday evening and it was a night of great food, laughter and sensei telling his fabulous tales. The last of the guests didn't leave until after midnight. 
Threadgill Sensei and the rest of the crew relaxing in the evening.

I had the honour of sensei seeing my personal dojo for the first time. Some of the other TSYR members had not seen the space either and of course, like any good martial artists, they had to get on the mats to try them out. 

On Sunday morning we worked through the second set of the kumitanto. The knife is held in a different grip compared to the first set allowing for interesting techniques.

That afternoon we worked through battojutsu. The sword draws are very demanding as sensei is after precision. It is these techniques above all others we did this weekend that cause a lot of sweat and tears. They take a lot of concentration and sensei is very critical of our performance in these movements.

After the battojutsu we worked on one defense against a sword takeaway and then ran out of time for anything else. People were very tired by then.

The mood of the seminar was very positive. We had fourteen people there on the first day and only one less on Sunday. We also had one person from Australia looking to become a deshi of the school. The atmosphere was jovial and up-beat. People were training hard but enjoying themselves at the same time. With enough people of different shapes and sizes to work with it was very enjoyable.

Threadgill sensei said that he could see improvement in our teacher which is good news for us because if our teacher improves we benefit as a group. 
Everyone who was there was enjoying each other's company and I felt that the camaraderie and good will has not been this strong for a long, long time. It was exciting to be part of.

It is my hope that we carry on this good will in our training and that the various groups that attended train together more often to strengthen TSYR in this part of the world.


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