Thursday, October 20, 2005

Impressions of a great seminar

Matsuoka sensei and Kinomoto sensei demonstrate HikimiAnother superb and instructive iaido seminar is over. It never ceases to amaze me how much one can learn in a weekend and how much pain one can experience in one's knees after two days of shinkage ryu iaido.

The main emphasis this time was on tenōuchi, the grip on the sword hilt. The tendency is to grip the sword tightly, thereby inducing tension in the lower and upper arms. This translates into the use of too much power during cutting. The sword should be loose in the hands until the moment of the cut and then pressure can be exerted in controlling the blade and giving strength to the cut.

Other important lessons were the drawing together of the shoulder blades during sidewards cutting. Instead of focusing on the hands and sword, it is more efficient to draw the shoulder blades together; the arms move as a consequence: clever stuff.

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