Hiroshi Kato Sensei demonstrating Ikkyo kumitachi at the sumit of Enchanted Rock. Justin uke.
© 2000, M. O'Connor - J.
Lee. All rights reserved
We practiced some
more, this time with the bokken, in a field near camp.
Kato Sensei taught us to drop low to gather energy and then to
use that energy to rise into uke’s attack.
This point was to become something of a recurring theme
throughout the seminar. At
one point, as we all struggled to grasp what he was trying to teach
us, Kato Sensei joked, “Nobody here knows anything.” Pause. "I know something.” Everyone
laughed. We finally stopped practicing when it was almost dark.
Everyone is ravenous by this time.
We spread our food on the table and shared a strange but
satisfying feast – everything from turkey sandwiches to noodles to
tofu. Later, the kids who
had come along with their parents roasted marshmallows over a roaring
campfire (with expert instruction from ex-girl scouts) while the rest
of us partook of sake, beer and good conversation.
Kato Sensei speaks very little English, but somehow we all
ended up rolling with laughter and getting the gist of each other’s
stories as the night wore on.
Sankyo kumitachi, Sasha Calderon uke
night was calm, a nice breeze cooling the air.
Perfect outdoor sleeping weather; bugs, ants and strange
creature noises notwithstanding.
The next morning, we hiked back up the rock. A short but intense bokken training session later, we head
back down to camp for jo practice.
We finally stop for brunch around 11 a.m., scarfing down fruit
and sandwiches before breaking camp and heading back to Houston for
the rest of the seminar.
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