My recent trip to Japan for training was, as always, amazing. And each time I feel I advance a little bit more in my understanding of the art. Rarely though, do I experience in my body what first my head comprehends. This trip, on my last training with Soke, I had so many ah ha’s that I felt I was exploding when I left. I couldn’t calm down for a few hours, in spite of needing to pack and get up early to catch my plane. This time any concept just bypassed my brain and went directly to my body. I can’t now, even, put into words what it was I experienced.
My friend, Cinzia and I, had a chance to talk with Soke at his house, to ask some questions regarding a project we are working on. In the course of that, he said, no one is able to do what I am doing now. Well, yes, I think we all know that. So when I say I had many ah ha’s in my physical training, I think it safe to say whatever it was, was just the next level for me to progress. I can only sum up those moments by saying that the less I did, the more effective I was. And by less, I really mean I thought I did absolutely nothing. My partner would say, what did you do? as he was falling. I don’t know, is all I can say. Just capturing the feeling I got from watching Sensei. And Sensei says, these are things he cannot teach, we can only watch, listen and feel it. Nothing new…. nevertheless it was a wonderful time for me 🙂
Maybe to give you a little taste, you can see by the images, how subtle, tiny, finger only movements he used, yet was able to control his opponent. And although one without any training or little training would think it’s all BS. Those of us who experience it, know that how he controls the opponent has nothing to do with his techniques, but something that none of us are able to adequately find words to express. He controls the entire space and plays with our minds. He is there and not. He can be pinpointed in space and time one second, and gone the next, so much so, that the opponent no longer can believe or trust his/her own 5 senses.
There are many sayings I remember Soke said over the years, ones that stuck with me, that helped me to look for a feeling in my training. I could see all of those clearly this time.
“leave your shadow behind”, “breath the same air”, “swim in the same stream”, to quote a few. Just think about those…
And as many of you know, I do a few side trips. This time I went to Roppongi to the top of the Mori Building and took pictures of the sunset and night city lights. I also took one picture of the tulips outside the front and turned it into art. Just thought I would share those 🙂
And one more item on my Japan trip. I visited my sword teacher, Soke Kenshinsai Machita. I presented him with a memory book of training. He is 85 now and passed on the art to his son. I wanted to give him something to remember as an appreciation of the 20+ years I was with him and his wonderful family. I love the pictures of his early years in training. Wonderful. You can view the book here. But you will need flash, as it is a flip book. So best viewed in your browser.
Your comments are welcomed.