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Saturday brings us to Day 2 on our training trip, and is typically the longest training day.
First up was Seno Sensei. Since he has the fewest classes at Hombu, he has always been an enigma. However, I’m starting to get a feel for him this time around.
What is incredibly impressive is his subtle precision. He let’s the class work on a technique for a long time (as long as 20 min) to really find the sweet spot where something works and where something doesn’t. Something as simple as a few degrees of angle, where a hand is placed, the subtle sinking of the hips can mean the difference between making what he shows work, or finding it ineffective.
The Someya Tradition
Next was supposed to be my first Someya class, but when Pablo and I arrived there was nobody at the dojo. As it turns out, the tradition of showing up for a Someya class – when there wasn’t class – continues into this trip. It’s also a lesson on making assumptions; it’s better to double check the schedule.
Furuta Sensei turned out to be the third class. I was impressed with him last time I was here, and am even more impressed this time around.
We worked a variety of techniques, and each time we began with something fairly orthodox. Then we drove deeper into detail within the technique, exploring concepts of distance, timing and positioning. Training with Furuta Sensei is quite rewarding, and I plan on dedicating more time to him on future trips.
Last was Sakasai Sensei. On my last trip I tried his class and it instantly became a must on future trips. This was Pablo’s first class with him and became his favorite class thus far. What’s so eye opening about Sakasai Sensei is not just his movement but also his timing – how subtle adjustments make the techniques flow so quickly: it really closes the gap between keiko (training) and jissen (combat).
Another pair bites the dust
On another note, all this training finely made me blow out my Tabi. So it was a day of Huckleberry Finn’ing it. So tomorrow will have a stop at the Tabi shop.
Onward to tomorrow – with Noguchi and Hatsumi Sensei.