All this training is both catching up with me, and helping my movement. Although my legs are dying, I have a full day today.

Shiraishi Sensei

I had a bit of a light bulb in class today as I got a deeper understanding on Shiraishi Sensei’s method of foot work, spine work, hand work.

As the tori performing the technique, we concentrate on properly executing the technique in the sequence. However, this is not why it works; the uke is being affected in this sequence of well. It adds whole new perspective on utilizing the methodology and why it is so effective at breaking the balance while locking the spine.

In fact both myself and my uke attempted to lightly resist the technique and stay standing. Every time, we hit a point where our Balance broke and our spine locked, forcing us.to collapse to the ground.

While some may disagree with what Shiraishi Sensei teaches, it is indeed effective. And I understand now how he reverse engineers Soke’s movement.

Nagato Sensei

I’m really starting to appreciate this class, as it sometimes.functions as a laboratory for ideas on movement while drilling key concepts.

Rob Renner was in class and gave me some help. He explained that Nagato is saying to look for opportunities from a safe position, not necessarily to do a specific technique. “You have good technique, so don’t think about doing a technique.” He then echoed what Nagato had said – that it’s a dance. Except in this dance your leading.

It connected with what Nagato had told me the previous class – don’t do the same technique twice.

Someya Sensei

Someya wore the shirt I gave him again! I’m happy he likes it.

We continued with bo kata, and I had the pleasure of working with the only Shihan from Turkey. I worked very hard to do the techniques properly, and I felt a little more comfortable asking him questions.

Someya was going into quite a bit of depth as the class was small. Unfortunately, we were distracted by a bit of rude behavior by a student.

He was not wearing a Gi top, which you should do with someone as traditional as Someya. He was chewing gum – which is something you’re taught not to do in middle school. And while Sensei was talking he was playing with his sword not paying alot of attention. Now any single one of these is bad – but maybe not terrible. However the combination was definitely rude and disruptive. It showed he was not observant whatsoever of the conduct around him.

I don’t share this to shame this person. It might be his first time in Japan. His teacher may not teach etiquette in their dojo – making it the teacher’s not the students fault. Rather, I share it so anyone who reads this will know what not to do. And at the very least read the room.

Matt and Steve were in class, and afterwards we talked about the behavior of a student. I did feel like we should mention something to him, so he knows what to avoid. However, if he wasn’t observant enough, speaking to him directly may not help.

At the beginning of class Steve dropped a bit of a bombshell on me; remember that demo he asked me to uke for in Soke’s class that we didn’t end up doing? Turns out I will be doing it – at the Foreign Correspondence Lunch where he is giving a speech!

We stayed after class and did a bit of practice. Someya may also ask me to uke for him for a kyoketsu shoge demo as well! Hey no pressure right?

So tomorrow, I will either have been a good uke and reflected positively on Steve, Someya and Soke, or…well…just stay tuned to hear what happens.

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>

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