Monday, February 20, 2006

Fukushima Iai Koshukai

We had the prefectural seminar (and grading) on Sunday. It was fun; lots of people there, and very surprisingly (for me) there were about 7 or 8 foreigners there! Most of them were local JETs; I found out from them that one of the top 6th dans in the country lives and teaches iai in Nihonmatsu, where I live. Actually, the dojo is at an elementary school about 10 minutes away from my apartment. (Why do I always find these things out 2 months late?) Well, actually, I enjoy going into Fukushima, and the guy in Nihonmatsu is Muso Shinden ryu; but still, I could have been practicing 3 or 4 times a week instead of just once or twice. I will start this Saturday, if possible.

The seminar itself was quite good. I got a lot of good pointers, which I am trying not to forget. I really ought to start keeping a list of pointers on my computer. The problem, however, is to make sure to go back periodically and read what you were told last month and the month before that...

Interestingly, some of the people at the seminar did Hokushin Itto Ryu as their "koryu selection" during the grading. Even though it was an ikkyu grading, people were free to do one koryu waza if they wanted. So, some people did some kind of funky-looking koryu which I later found out was Hokushin Itto Ryu. Very interesting stuff, although ... not to be too critical, but ... kind of weird. For example, there is a technique where you finish by stabbing backwards; you then finish with some zanshin, and then literally wipe your sword on your hakama. Then you turn back towards the front, and holding the sword out in front of you, examine both sides of the blade as if you were appraising the sword. Finally, you do a "normal" chiburui (like Omori Ryu's o-chiburi) and put the sword away. It seems like a lot of time spending doing chinagui/chiburui considering you didn't actually get any blood on the sword. But anyway. Some of their techniques are quite impressive; there is one that looks kind of like oku-iai zawaza's shihogiri, except instead of cutting, you are stabbing every which way, and stomping as you do it, so the overall impression is "turn, stomp, stab, stomp, stab, turn, stomp, stab, stomp, stab" ... if you're not expecting that, it's pretty surprising to see that waza show up in the middle of an otherwise quiet grading.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet Tanno sensei this time. I guess he was double booked or something. So maybe I will get to meet him later this week. In the meantime, I should go and write down my corrections before I forget them...


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10:56 PM  

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