Japan Trip- Week 2
I arrived in Tokyo on Friday after a wonderful week in Sapporo, training with Iida Sensei and his students of the Muden Juku.
On the Saturday there was an Embu. A demonstration organised by the Muden Juku and also included an Aikido demo and a sword group which seemed to incorporate Iai with a traditional dance. I participated in the Embu by showing 3 techniques from Seiza. What normally could have been a nerve wrecking experience was made quite relaxed by the attitude of the group, everyone showed some techniques with Iida Sensei showing the more complex waza. There was also a shakahachi performance.
On the Sunday we had a seminar with about 10 people in attendance. We studied a lot of waza, but the most interesting aspects would have to be the training method, the subtle differences from person to person and Iida Sensei’s explanations some of which a couple of students were nice enough to translate for me! The attention to detail is remarkable, with each person working at their own level and improving bit by bit. The most difficult thing for me about studying Daito Ryu would have to be that there is so much to focus on and at the same time it must be relaxed and clear headed!
On Monday evening was the regular class! We took a closer close at some techniques from the day course and the Embu. For me Iida Sensei adviced taking a lot more Ukeki which is how I spent that class. A fairly intense experience! He also adviced on staying more in line. As the techniques of Daito Ryu are mostly direct this is something essential to work on!
On Wednesday I trained in the Dojo of Katano Miwako. Normally her class is for Women so I was honoured to be invited. She was an exceptional understanding of Aiki, and is well enabled to pass on the most subtle aspects of the school.
The rest of my time in Sapporo was spent exploring the city and its surrounding hills, from where you can see the city, a beautiful place and some truly amazing people. Thank You Sapporo!