Friday, 20 July 2007

Kesa Giri - Tough Iaido training

Well it was a tough training session yesterday. My mind is exploding from it. You think you've nailed a form (haha) and then the teacher just points out one or two things.... (sighs)

So we started the iai with Mae. Firstly I was shown that it's important not to collapse the elbow in at O chiburi. I tend to flatten the wrist and lose the cutting grip and bring the elbow forward first. If the cutting grip is maintained the chiburi can be executed correctly and with much less effort. Equally the tip of the blade must advance over the wrist and the elbow should follow. I was tending to bring forward the elbow and flick down with the hand.

More practice!

But the real penny dropper moment came during Kesa giri. The beautiful standing form which cuts up and then down through the kesa line. After these cuts the tip is brought immediately up whilst stepping back into hasso gamae. (Tsuba at mouth level!) It was here that I was shown the importance of maintinaing the cutting grip- if this grip is kept then the chiburi can be executed. If the hand flattens (as in my O chiburi!!!) then correct chiburi can't be made. PING! Oh yeah. I didn't realise that before.....

My teacher once said that iai practice isn't cutting with a sword. It's everything-it cultivates an attitude towards life. See the bigger picture and have your vision and goals by all means but take care of the detail and make sure you do the job properly. If it's worth doing it at all then do it well! If you decide to do something then you may as well set out to do it well! Why choose to do something then make a half hearted effort at it. It makes no sense. Stay focused on the task at hand and do it well.

(This ripped from web somewhere:)

Bart- "Dad I gave up playing the guitar because it was too hard- I hope your not mad."
Homer- "Son, if something is too hard to do then it's not worth doing. Just put the guitar in the cupboard along with your short wave radio and karate oufit and we'll go inside and watch TV."
Bart- "What's on?"
Homer- "It doesn't matter."

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