Saturday, May 14, 2005

Back in the SWING of things... Get It? GET IT?

Hey. My 2nd week back, and I managed to go to both iaido and jodo already. Wow! I had a very nice jodo practice on Wednesday. Everyone was happy to see me again, and vice versa. Practice was quite intense and they were laughing because I was the only one sweating profusely. (They still find this May weather, 20 - 25 degrees, to be quite chilly.) I met two of the teachers who are apparently going to Guelph next week, a married couple called the Moris. They seem really nice and very patient teachers.

I got a lot of correction on my hikiotoshi. I guess that's to be expected since I seem to learn a different way to do it every time I turn around! Mr. Mori explained that most every teacher has a different way to do it. His way seemed almost like Kaminoda's way; you end up with the jo on the left side of the body, left hand by the left thigh but pushing forward, the tip low and the knees bent rather deeply. Hmmm. Not sure if I really "like" it but that doesn't matter -- I'll do it that way until somebody tells me different.

Kind of a funny/embarrassing incident: I was practicing with a young (30-something) guy who must have weighed 110 pounds soaking wet. But he was very fast and really beat me up when I was uchidachi. So we did shi-uchi kotai, and I did a few waza... then it was time for number 11, Midari Dome. I did makiotoshi and flipped his sword right into the floor; he staggered back and came in again. I did tai atari and sent him sprawling into the wall, at which point he almost fell over, but he came back again and I did hikiotoshi, which almost spun him around and into the wall again, face first this time. I honestly didn't mean to do any of it, but he was just so damn light, I couldn't help it... I apologized to him, but that just makes the situation worse, actually. Anyway, I don't think he held a grudge.

The next day was iaido practice. It's a very different atmosphere there. The sensei practices by himself, and doesn't offer any correction; one of the senior students (5th or 6th dan) occasionally wanders around and helps people. But otherwise, you're basically on your own, and I must say it really shows. Many people have a lot of bad habits that could easily be fixed, I think, if somebody would just tell them. Oh well. I'm thinking that it will be worth my time to go and see Kaneda Sensei from time to time, even if it does take 1.5 hours each way. On a packed train. Poor little me!

(Actually, the train situation is pretty bad, to be honest. Coming back from jo practice on the busiest train I have ever experienced was horrible - I was already exhausted, stinky, and dehydrated. I can only imagine what it'll be like in July! Best not to think ahead too much.)


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