Thunder Bay Practice – Kim Taylor Feb 1, 2023

Added with permission from Kim Taylor Nanadan (CKF) Iaido, Rokudan (CKF) Jodo and Niten Ichi Ryu Shidoin, January 2023

We just finished five days practice in Thunder Bay. Pretty much morning to early evening each day.

These are your senior ranks here in Canada, and we worked exclusively on Seitei Gata Jodo (Well a bit of Koryu iai, Seitei Iai being beaten to death in many seminars overseas in the last few years by those who do iai as well.)

In fact, we spent twenty or thirty hours on seven seitei jodo kata, and did not run out of things to practice. Twice, we had a zoom session with Chris Mansfield sensei and “practised to change” as he puts it. I certainly moved a few things around, and one of us has a list of six things to work on.

Six things in five days. Does that seem like a small thing? I don’t know how many points I took away, maybe less than six, but these are things that are beyond “this foot there” and “move slowly and smoothly between the check points as outlined in the book.”

Let’s face it, two or three of us were there at the beginning of our jodo practice in Canada, in other words, the early 1990s. I had been doing Aiki Jo since 1980. We are familiar with the stick. We know the kihon, it’s in the body, we’re working on things that can’t be in the book. There are things that are not in the book, I promise. It isn’t “spend twenty years working on twelve kata.” It isn’t even “spend twenty years memorizing 70 or 80 kata.” It’s much more difficult than that, it’s “move just before he decides to move.” It was lovely to be with people who know that stuff.

I got a welcome reminder of what it was like to tell folks “change this little thing” and to hear, “got it”, instead of “let me work on that for a year.”

I was going to put down things that those reading this could benefit from, and it isn’t going to work. I was delighted when one of us went half way through a kata we know well, and teach often, and went zooming off in another direction, without any break in form. Do you see how difficult this is to say “you should be there”? No, instead maybe I’ll say this.

Your senior jodo instructors found it of benefit to go off by themselves for five days and work like the blazes on things. Maybe you might make it to the next class??

Yes, we’ll use that one.

Kim Taylor Feb 1, 2023

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