So my first day of training is in the books. It’s interesting coming back to Japan as some things that were once so foreign become somewhat familiar.

Due to some confusion I started the day by missing Shiraishi Sensei’s class – which was a real bummer. But I was able to attend both Nagato and Noguchi Sensei’s classes, and they did not dissapoint. It’s amazing how both can take a technique that one might take for granted and put a whole new level of depth into something once thought simple. Nagato with his being able to cover from every attack and Noguchi confusing the opponent.

Nagato Sensei taught katate nage, but with such a movement that made the opponent countering seemingly impossible. Then each Henka took the core technique and turned into something completely different from within the same core principles. My training partner Selia from Argentina was half my size but was able to twist and turn me knocking me down on the ground seemingly without effort: both a testament to how size is of little importance and how great her technical ability is.

When asked for requests in Noguchi Sensei’s class, I chimed in with Takagi Yoshin Ryu (after sometime where no one else asked). Considering how much I’ve been focusing on this school, Noguchi Sensei’s interpretation blew my mind; the techniques were equally familiar and unfamiliar and brought a whole new level of understanding to each gata. It was truly amazing. This time Alex from Germany trained with me and he too was of great caliber. Often he would help me understand what Noguchi was doing when he would tie people up using his body. Most of it comes from need to sink my hips straight down – something I was missing when trying to duplicate the movement.

The caliber of practitioners here is a reminder of just how much I suck, and how much more I need to train – it’s a gut and ego check. But I’m thankful, since it’s what I need to get better.

The new dojo is beatiful. It’s roughly the same size mat area but now has a very nice area for changing and storing gear. It reminds me a bit of Someya ‘ dojo on a larger scale.

And I’ve made new friends; I’ve connected to a group from all over the US. It’s amazing not only the type of people we get to train with – elite military and Law Enforcement – but also the caliber of character; nice, honest, good nature.

I can’t wait for day two.

Shidoshi Hamilton

Scott Hamilton is an 8th degree black belt in the Bujinkan, and travels regularly to Japan to train. In addition to being the owner and head instructor of Todai Dojo, Scott is also the CEO of a national manufacturing company. He has also received training in other martial arts, and in-depth modern weapons training.

2 thoughts on “May Japan Trip 2015: Day 1

  1. Dr. Stephen Trudeau says:

    I am so jealous of your being in Japan and able to train with such masters. Someday I hope to travel to Japan and do the same. You do not “suck” at all. But I respect your self deprecating humbleness. Know from your student that your skill and technique are quite formidable. I eagerly await your return to share your knowledge!

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