Today was a tough day, and a slow day.

I spent today getting a few errands done, like laundry, before heading to Ayase for Soke’s class.

The beginning of class I felt like I was doing well. I was able to do the technique rather naturally. As the class progressed though it kind of fell apart. I saw what Soke was doing, but when trying to replicate it, it became a mess. My partner had very good technique, but I think was missing the point. After a while we both started doing better.

Most of what Soke was talking about was feinting an attack to get your opponent to prematurely commit to a defense, and then using that response against them. He did this using a sword: he would feint an attack and as the uke moved in to capture, he would move in a way that they instead became vulnerable. Then he would move from technique to technique like a “stone skipping across the water”.

Then came time to demonstrate and we were one of the pairs asked up. I had an idea of what I was going to do, but my partner did not react in the way I expected or hoped. Instead he kind of stood there, and I just finished the technique – missing the entire point.

I felt dumb. I had this opportunity to at least show that at some level I was getting it. And I totally blew it.

Maybe this is an ego problem for me. Maybe I think I should be anything more than a tiny fish in a big pond. I’m amongst people who have been training for over 20 years. Many of which even longer. And I some how hope to stand out – to get some kind of validation of what I’m doing. The truth is there are so many people here that I’m just another face in the crowd. Maybe the problem is that I’m trying to hard. Maybe I’m doing it for the wrong reasons.

It is all very frustrating. I feel like a burden rather than an asset. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day.

Shidoshi Hamilton

<p>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.</p>

2 thoughts on “May Japan Trip 2015: Day 7

  1. Sébastien Beaudry says:

    I go to japan in january 2015
    My Partner was choosen for showing a move at ayase, when my turn come, my Partner was suddenly resisting, more then when we practice 5 minute ago… Maybe i’m wrong, but I think it is a test… If not, this kind of uke just want to be more shining then you… I hope this is not.

    • Shidoshi Hamilton says:

      I had an experience like that in one of the other days during that trip, but I don’t think this is what my partner was doing. I think it was our lack of experience and excitement of being watched. Funny things happen when you start to feel adrenaline.

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