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Another great day of training with great people.
Went to training with Nagato Sensei. My training partner proved to be a fountain of knowledge: Dan was invaluable in helping me understand the depth of the techniques. I started off struggling with what Nagato was showing, but by the end of class I was starting to find the groove with Dan’s help. He explained how Nagato was breaking the opponent’s structure to protect himself from the next attack, and that attacking itself allowed him to move without giving openings. Nagato shouted, “don’t give any openings – that is $hit”. The way Nagato moves is truly impressive, moving to where an opponent is weakest while maintaining strength and protecting from the next attack. I wore one of my old Todai shirts. He came up and noticed and asked “you study at Todai?” He then allowed me to feel the technique, while also giving me an excruciating pinch with a smile.
At the end of class we talked a little bit more and I let him know about the dojo and how I took it over. I could sense the respect he has for Shihan Woodard and I hope to earn his respect as well.
Next came Someya’s class. We continued to work with the giant and heavy bisento. He also took time to show us a Sword from his collection, as well as a copy of a unique tanto in a museum. I always enjoy the amount of history Someya injects into class. On the train ride home I got to speak to Steve Olsen more about his view on the art. I realized that I like how much Someya follows the densho and I could tell Steve does as well. Someya’s technique is prestine. I also got even more insight into the evolution of the Bujinkan, and how everyone fits together within it.
I’ve never had a trip here that has so radically redefined my view of the art and of our training within it.
And I still have half more to go…but first – sleep.