Happy New Year everyone! One of my goals was to improve the website which is a challenge in itself. 2018 was very eventful for the dojo. I believe the crew has grown very much in the maturity of their technique and mindset of practice.
I believe this had to do with numerous reasons one being in bringing several guest teachers to our dojo and being open to having practitioners from other groups visit. Being able to meet others with different perspectives and skills can help each other learn. Plus, it's a good excuse to go grab something to eat and drink after!
Another is not being afraid to put yourself under pressure. Whether it's testing, or demonstrating, it's always best to see how well you can keep your poise.
First up, we started at Brooklyn Battodo to start 2018 with our 1000 cut session! Beautiful and spacious dojo so a great way to start off the year.
Following, we had John Matthews sensei from Vero Beach Florida come and teach a US Battodo Federation seminar. He brought his years of experience as well as his skill in Karate.
Also, it was Tristan and Dave's first time testing! They did quite well.
Shortly after that, we had Hataya sensei visit with Minobe-san and Hasegawa san. 3 days of seminars and testing for Zen Nihon Toyama Ryu Iaido Renmei.
In May, it was the time for the ZNTIR Tai Kai in Japan. It was Rob's first time to Japan in which Shap and I were his companions. Shap and Rob tested for nidan and performed well at the Tai Kai. Rob got to learn how the practitioners in Japan train and how it feels to cut mats at a verrrrrry low price. Also, the after party is always a good time. For me, I've been there many times so visiting the dojo felt just like visiting family
After coming back, we had Mike Femal sensei come up in July who is the owner of Nihonzashi and one of the best cutters who is someone I got to meet when I first started Toyama Ryu in 2000. One awesome part he taught was the sword sharpening portion of his class. People really focused hard on that part.
August was the East Coast Tai Kai brought together by Tom Smyth sensei in Palm Bay Florida. It was Dave's first time at a Tai Kai. Everyone competed and represented very well. Best part is to meet practitioners of other schools and what they're technique and approach is like.
Not just sword, but we feel very lucky to be able to witness one of the fellow dojo mates big moments. This year it was the wedding of Jan and Mei. Beautiful wedding and some of the best wedding food I've had. Also, the open bar had a very impressive selection available.
We have Batto-campu along with Genbukan at Tim's farm up north every year. The training is more free but I think people go up for the food more so than the training or to relax....
At Brooklyn Battodo, 2 great teachers from another style came. Erik Johnstone sensei, of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai Heiho and Dentokan Aikijujitsu, came to teach us about Aiki principles and how to apply them to sword technique. Lots of interesting stuff about structure, esoteric conditioning, and how to generate power in very subtle ways. Matt Ubertini sensei came out to assist as well.
To go out with a bang, Rob said round 2 to his Asia trips and this time went to Hong Kong to compete and hang with the crew there. I think he did alright...
So as you can see, quite the year in events! As the dojo grows and people improve, I can always look forward to updating this blog more. Hope everyone has a great year of training!