Crystal Wings

Things change, time flies. And so do I.

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Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

About me. Well, I COULD lie and make things interesting, or I COULD tell you the truth and let you decide, but i'd rather you just form your own opinions.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Iaijutsu

It looks like i'm learning something new everyday. Today, the main experience on my plate was my Iaijutsu class. Unfortunately, my english meeting didn't fall through so I went straight from university to the gym. Having contacted the instructor earlier in the morning, I stuffed my bag and gloves into the gym locker, headed upstairs and sat through the final 15 minutes of a Karate lesson. I was surprised to watch that most of the kattas being practiced were similar (and in some cases, virtually identical) to the ones I had done years ago while I was taking Tae Kwon Do lessons.

The class today was a small one. Before we began, a short ceremony was performed to pay respect to the sensei, and the weapon. After that, things started to get tiring. The bokken, or wooden sword that I was given to handle was surprising hefty. I spent the first few minutes practicing my 'golf' grip, after which I was taught the basic guard stance. It was surprising to note that as opposed to unarmed martial arts where the stance is slanted at an angle to minimize the open target area, Iaijutsu stancework favored a stronger, offensive stance. Heavily emphasizing posture, I was taught to fully face my opponent, with most of my defence coming from the bokken itself. Once I had gotten over the stancework, I was taught several strikes, including head, neck, wrist and leg strikes. An hour later, I was practicing moving strikes while maintaining stability. Finally, I was taught to draw and sheathe the weapon in the proper manner (which turned out to be the hardest lesson to learn, as bokken are fairly long weapons). At the end, we performed the earlier ceremony in reverse and paid our respects to the weapon, sensei and the dojo. After a short discussion, I managed to sort out the administrative aspects of 'course'. It turns out that the first 2 classes I can take are free, after which I can continue and pay on a perclass basis, or as a monthly fee. I haven't yet decided what my plans regarding the subject will be, but I am very interested in proceeding.

Once everything was said and done, I went back downstairs only to discover that the gym had closed! Fortunately, all I had left in the locker was a change of clothes and my boxing gloves. Seeing as to how I can't go back until Monday because the gym will be closed tomorrow, i'll just have to wait it out then return later to collect my belongings. While i'm there I might as well practice. At least my things are kept safe, with the locker key, my phone and wallet with me. My copy of Dianetics is locked along with my clothes so it looks like i'll be reading Evil Genius over the weekend. Not a bad read.

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