Keiko: May 2011
We have been focusing on Gyokku Ryu this year. I have gone through Jyoryaku no Maki in the finest detail I deem possible. Breaking down each movement, drilling each movement into muscle memory and then practising the full kata with intense zanshin. We are deriving much value from this keiko and I love how I am seeing this from a new perspective, in a new light almost as if I were a beginner again. I am understanding what Unsei Sensei means when he tells us that kata must be practised over and over again, until they're embedded in one's blood, in one's soul until they start to effect the sequence of your DNA. Sensei also affirms that once completing the study and practise of a Ryu-ha, one then proceed to another in the same manner and then the next until you arrive to the first one again. This takes years, supposedly, and reconfirms, among other things - kihon, zanshin, and spirit (seishin ryoku). I really enjoy how I can feel my body perform the techniques more confidently, view them with different, experienced, seasoned eyes and enjoy and celebrate the movement once more. Sensei also extolls the virtues and benefits of learning Gyokko and Koto Ryu at a deep level as they form and set a solid foundation for all the other ryu-ha. Sensei, much like Musashi, regularly asserts that if you master one ryu-ha (or thing) it is much easier to learn and master another. It is with this axiom that the Sessa Takuma dojo undertakes its journey into the illuminating and often painful realms of Gyokko and Koto Ryu.