This was the 6th annual seminar and as per usual, there are calls for another one in the spring. Holy doodlebug, can I think of another way to damage myself? Demonstrating the relationship of seiza and tate hiza I managed to fire myself backward faster than my little feets could keep up. Before slamming into the tables at the wall I figured I’d better fall down, which I did on my right hip, avoiding a smashed sword and a smashed head. I slid under the tables instead of into them but tile on cement and not much padding on the hips any more. Ouchie, ouchie this morning.
Well it’s comforting to know I can still fall down, which is a very martial arts thing to say I suppose.
Ohmi sensei was in excellent form this weekend, there were a few students grinning ear to ear while being yelled at for being ” ‘orrible little students who don’t know anything”. I swear, martial artist is an alternate term for masochist. We just love being yelled at, at least if it’s by someone who cares about us. There were a few stories over beer about supposed big shots who lose it and yell because their delicate little egos have been bruised. The jerks will always be with us but fortunately, we don’t need to stick around those guys.
This seminar finished up with the usual number of attendees, which was a great relief to Jim Wilson who is the head sensei for the Kenshokan group. I guess the seminar has been accorded the honour of “of course it will happen” because a goodly chunk of registration came in over the last two days. Really guys, stop teasing the old men, register for these things a bit earlier please, our hearts aren’t getting any healthier.
Ohmi sensei’s final comments to the seminar included a request that we practice the koryu a bit more often than we do. There is so much to be learned, so much that we neglect if we constantly train toward tournaments and gradings. These sentiments were echoed by Galligan sensei and myself. Your koryu is yours, you own it. Seitei iai feels sometimes like you just rent it. There are good things about Seitei, wonderful things, like being able to practice with sensei and fellow students from all over the world, but the grading bits sort of feel like renting a tuxedo to go to your graduation dinner.
Sunday began with everyone showing Omori and Eishin Ryu. The lessons of Saturday seemed to have been absorbed overnight as Ohmi sensei was happy and split the group into two section so that everyone could go on to Oku Iai. As is traditional, we skipped the seated kata to stand up for a while. Some koryu practice must be going on somewhere, because we went through the standing and then the seated oku kata by lunch. That included a lot of generalized instruction on my side of the room because we weren’t spending a lot of time trying to figure out which foot went where.
Again, Ohmi sensei was pleased that we got through all three levels because “now they can start going into the deeper learning”. Participants, you should feel good about your efforts this weekend.
In the afternoon Ohmi sensei and Galligan sensei did a bit of grading practice, with the latest tweaks from Europe being examined. For those who were not grading, we went through (on request) about half of the Tachi Uchi no Kurai kata with lots of yelling about distance and timing and “OMG what are you doing you’re dead! Dead! Dead!” Of course the drama wasn’t all that, the techniques we got through were mostly fine by the end of the day.
At 5pm on Sunday, I don’t think anyone was too sad that it was time to quit. There was a rubbing of the feet and stretching of the back in general.
As promised, and perhaps expected, I will be writing up another edition of “My Sensei Said” tomorrow. I hope that folks were taking their own notes during the seminar because I was sometimes out of earshot of Ohmi sensei’s instruction. I very much hope that you all appreciate what a wonderful, hard working, talented resource you have available to you in Ohmi sensei. I know how much he studies, how much he reads and practices and watches. Long may he yell at us.
It’s time also, to recognize the Kenshokan students for their hard work at these seminars. We do notice that several of you who are injured (back problems, heart bypass surgery, that sort of thing) are there, setting up snacks, repairing the facility, making sure the seminar runs smoothly. Eyes open, something needs to be done, it’s being done.
Nov 5, 2018
Check out the seminars below for the rest of 2018. These are grading seminars so I suspect they will be well attended.
November 22-25 Mansfield Sensei, Mississauga, Jodo seminar and grading
(also 4dan up iaido on Thursday, JCCC Toronto. Contact Mu Mon Kai)
December 1 Mitani and Hatakenaka, Etobicoke Iaido grading.
April 6, Seito Bugei Juku seminar in Peterborough.
May 17-20 Annual CKF International Jodo and Iaido seminar and grading, (Kurogo sensei and Mansfield sensei) Guelph.
November 8-10 Annual CKF International Jodo seminar and grading (Kurogo sensei), Mississauga