The combat club was looking like rather a high grade work out this Monday! With a lot of higher grades joining the class to get a good work out, and even black belts joining in as a warm up for their high grade class in the second hour. All this made Dave San and James San step up their game! But the regular combat guys didn’t seem phased by the company they were in, and all got stuck into some great work out routines!
Aikido seems to be in the air everywhere in Wisewarrior at the moment, so it was no surprise for Richard San to be asked to run a high grade Aikido session by the black belts! One of the particular issues with teaching aikido to high grade martial artists is that they maintain their centeredness and balance just too well for aikido to have its affect, so much of the session was about understanding the nature of an attack by a committed and ‘untrained’ person! Only then did the fun begin, but as Richard San pointed out it was a great lesson to see how far they’ve all come as martial artists!
The mirror of truth cuts again provided the foundation of the sword class this week for those wishing to grade soon. But the lesson that really emerged was the aura that a swordsman must create around himself to be able to perform high grade sword work, only when the student believes in actions that he looks the part.
Another lovely chilled yet hard working class again this Tuesday. So wonderful to be teaching another element to this syllabus, Richard San was still teaching ‘hard form’ stance and power building exercises this week, but was teaching block movements to the class, this added power and focus to their stance work from last week.
Quite a challenging lesson this week as the class explored a specific movement. It was all to easy for them to dip into bad habits and make assumptions about the intended technique but Tim San insisted they ‘stick to the script’ and work on the beauty and grace of the movement rather than its outcome. Once again, motion, centeredness and focus all played their part and by the end everyone was moving smoothly.
The class was divided in two this night, with Tim San running through resheaths with beginners, and Richard San taking the experienced sword student through ‘Skeleton Katas’ not an early Halloween lesson! But a technique that gives a student confidence in performing spontaneous katas. The ‘bones’ are set sword routines written for the student, which they have to join up with their own moves differently each time, very challenging but much fun!
Powerful stuff this week as the theme of the evening was the forward minded sense of purpose the underpins a martial artists focus, both in and out of the dojo.
Through their individual training and with the whole group coming together at the end the focused determination was the key. This was particularly evident in our Brown belts who all showed great spirit in readiness for next weeks preliminary gradings for black belt. Well done to all on a great lesson that will hopefully have as much meaning outside the dojo as it did in it.
Philosophy Group Here is a lovely zen koan written by one of the students this week, it’s sad beauty is a reflection of the current physical illness they are suffering, and the longing to return to the physicality of the dojo, hope you enjoy it;
Alone, I stand
On the shore
Of an ocean
In which I swam,
Now the waves
Lap only round
Yet still I feel
Between my toes.