Sunday 8th December
Training has been intense, to say the least, but I am garnering a new and improved muscle memory already I think. A few hot baths here and there have kept away any aches and pains, but the obligatory bruises will take some time ;)
Had a great time meeting the local students of the hombu yesterday. The topic was a new learning curve for me, as we did Jutte - Sabaki Gata, a weapon I have never handled before. Very fast, and although weak, when used in the correct manner it is devastating. Had a great laugh with everyone afterwards over coffee upstairs. Great bunch of guys.
The training again this morning was one of those reminders for me about why I train. When we finished with Sensei, I felt so alive and fired like a newly tempered blade. The endorphins were firing and my brain and body knew that this is one of my heart's true joys.
This afternoon, Sensei took Mario, Oliver and me to Boso-no-Mura (Boso Village). It's an Edo period village in all it's authentic glory. Sounds kind of tacky but was very cool to walk amongst and be able to go inside and take a closer look at stores, samurai homes, farm houses, trades-people and craftsmen's structures as they were back then. Sensei was a valuable guide, explaining things of interest as we went. The highlight though had to be Sensei taking us for a Japanese tea ceremony, something I've always wanted to witness. Having Sensei's explanation of the details was a blessing, but even if you didn't know the intricacies, the aesthetic quality and economy of movement were a sight to behold. Our knees and feet needed some prompting though to get up and move again once it was all over.
Am a little sad about my trip coming to an end soon, but am grateful for the experience of training here at the hombu with Sensei, Mario and Oliver. What an inspiring group of budoka. Osu!
Travis de Clifford
Sessa Takuma dojo