I never had any intention of starting a blog about budo, and yet, here I am. I didn't want to do it for several reasons:
1) My time is limited. I have a career, a family, other interests, another blog on a completely unrelated topic, church, and now Facebook (my, how that thing is tempting).
2) Whatever I could possibly think of to say about budo, someone further along the path than I could probably say it better, or with more authority, or, heaven forbid, would say something completely contrary.
But I do think about budo, a lot, really, so why not jot a few of those ideas down? Maybe no one will read them, but that's fine. Mostly, I think, this is for me. If anything, the process of transcribing my thoughts helps to either solidify them in my own mind, or bring to light their inherent flaws. Either way, if I alone learn something, grow, take a few steps further down the Path, then it will have been worthwhile.
And so I begin...
Today was the first day of Shochugeiko at Windsong Dojo, where I currently train. For those who might be unaware, there is a tradition in Japanese martial arts to hold two long, intensive training sessions, one in the middle of summer (shochugeiko) and one in the midddle of winter (kangeiko).
Different arts and dojo arrange these sessions differently, and we, ourselves, have experimented with a couple of formats. Nick Lowry Sensei (the dojo cho) first held a kangeiko that lasted from 6pm one night all the way until 6am the next morning! I tried it, and couldn't last. I went upstairs and fell asleep around 3am or so. My schedule hasn't allowed me to attempt another since then, until this week.
This time, Lowry Sensei is holding the shochugeiko all week, to include both regular classes (morning, noon and evening, plus Saturday), but also some additional mid-morning and mid-afternoon sessions. If one were to attempt every single class/session, (as two of my fellow budoka are attempting to do!) you would accumulate over 45 hours of training in a single week!
Needless to say, for me, that is out of the question. In addition to my normal morning classes, I'm going to try and make the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday noon classes, Tuesday and Wednesday night classes and all the Saturday classes, which will total somewhere around 20 hours. I will definitely be trading off time with my wife to watch my son (mommy needs time off, too!), but ultimately, it should be a good experience.
This morning, we started with the normally scheduled judo class. We covered a few interesting variations from the first position of the "envelope" drill which included an arm bar and a choke. We went on to review the first several techniques of goshin jitsu no kata, which Lowry Sensei has decided will be an acceptable substitute for nage no kata in regard to rank advancement demonstrations.
All in all, a great start. It was good to see Kyle Sloan Sensei (who normally instructs in the evenings) as well as Lowry Sensei; we morning folk don't get many guests that early!
Hopefully, I'll keep this up and post more as the week progresses and hopefully more about budo in general. Thank you to anyone who chooses to follow along.