More than half way through the trip and my brain is very full. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop. After all every class is a huge opportunity to learn more.

Noguchi Sensei

Class flew by. Noguchi Sensei worked us on the Gyokko Ryu Joryaku no Maki.

I am very familiar with this scroll, and I noticed that when he demonstrates the scroll technique, he does it just enough as if to give a reminder. He usually only shows it once. I don’t think he is doing it to specifically say “do it this way” but more like “remember this one? We’re going to play with it”.

My Japanese is also getting better, and I was able to understand most of what he said. I also realized that he was talking about a few details that without knowing the language might be missed.

Knowing the gata, I was able to discern more of what Noguchi Sensei is doing – he is showing how these little elements of the technique are applied in the manner that Soke is referring to. He’s saying something like, “you know this part of this technique? Well you can apply it this way. And this is what Soke did, or where that particular movement comes from.”

It helps with the breakneck speed of his class – you can keep up a little better when you understand the source material.

Soke Hatsumi Sensei

Cochise from Brian’s group was my partner, and he had softened his technique quite a bit since we first partnered almost a week ago. Mind you, that doesn’t mean his technique has softened – it’s even sharper.

He reminded me of what my Sensei Matt Woodard had drilled into me. At first I didn’t get it: “Stay on the line”. Huh? Turns out he was talking about my centerline, or diamond as Shihan Woodard would say. It was a bit different than how I originally learned, but it was never the less the same.

Cochise and Brian’s group are good because they really make you work for it. Also I am beginning to understand that while I might be capturing the overall movement, it’s those key details from proper technique that make it work.

That just means I need to work harder. Alot harder.

Tomorrow is a full day, beginning with my first class ever with Ishizuka Sensei.

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.

One thought on “May Japan Trip 2016 | Day 8

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