(A picture of the founder of Mugai-ryu: Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi found at http://www.fudochi.org/cat11/cat15/) DISCLAIMER: I have only been practicing for about two months, have no other experience in iaido, and have not read much on the art. Also, everything I take in from my class is in Japanese and I don’t understand 100% of everything… Continue reading Mugai Ryu Iaido
(I have no idea who this guy is, but I think he knows what I’m talking about. Pic found at http://afreefaith.com/2011/08/19/the-shinto-way/) Because it’s cool! This is by far the best reason ever to hit the target in kyudo. Hitting the target does not mean you’re: -right -strong -better -or even that good. It also doesn’t… Continue reading Why Hit the Target?
(Cool pic found at http://stevegoad.deviantart.com/art/A-Place-Called-Haven-170206281) Will I continue? I’m thinking of my specific situation in iaido, but it relates to all sensei and students everywhere. In my experience, and from what I’ve read of other traditions of martial arts, meditation, or anything in particular involving a teacher and a student, the number one most important… Continue reading Sensei’s Greatest Concern
(picture found at http://www.businessinsider.com/touching-the-void-2012-10) I have no idea why I do the things that I do. Kyudo. Japanese. Iaido. Live in Japan. Enjoy the things I do. Why instead of pursuing monetary gain or fame or more practical skills do I do the things I do. On a perfect day off I’m lost in… Continue reading I Don’t Know
Like overworked machines we combust all of this hot pressure, condensing the furious fumes inside of our constricting bodies, shaking increases speed and sharp high pitched sounds slowly spike until one giant very unsatisfying explosion occurs. Before you realize it, the pressure has already begun to build again. We need to release the pressure before… Continue reading Release the Pressure
(picture found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky%C5%ABd%C5%8D) Tonight was another classic case of having the chance to go to night kyudo, almost opting out in order to relax at home, but going and having an excellent session. It was a day off and I spent the day with the wife out exploring our new home of Nakatsu.… Continue reading Kyudo Progress
(Cool pic found at http://idesigniphone.com/samurai-warrior) In answering this question I want to get to the core of human physical emotional and spiritual movements but it gets really complicated in Japan due to a lot of social tendencies. I make it difficult because I have my own American social predispositions. I want to talk about the… Continue reading We Are Not Samurai
Today I had my second practice with Yamada Sensei and it was invigorating. I was sure to get there early, and ready to see what was going to happen. When I went the door was locked and nobody was around, but I saw Sensei’s car. Last week Sensei said I should go in myself and… Continue reading Iaido Progress
(Cool pic found at http://www.layoutsparks.com/pictures/forest-7) I wander in the woods inside of myself, where I just move. Maybe I’m teaching myself. It’s good because it’s where I go. But in the dojo I’m holding a tool. I’m working together with this foreign object to fly on invisible straight lines. Alone I warp myself into… Continue reading Martial Arts Solo Practice: Good or Bad?
(Cool pic found at http://wallpoper.com/wallpaper/samurai-347997) So iaido is going well and slow. I meet on Friday mornings to practice with Yamamoto Sensei and one other student and practice on my own time in my apartment (trying my best not to slice up the walls and ceilings.) But last Snday afternoon I got a call from… Continue reading Meeting the Head Iai Sensei