Training Sept 2006
Cleaning the Niten Ichiryu Dojo
copyright © 2006 Jeff Broderick,
all rights reserved
I think I might get the chance to get a bit more into Niten Ichi Ryu. I
had a one-on-one practice with Iwami Soke a couple weekends ago, and it
was really good. Well, actually it was terrible; or rather, I'm
terrible ... we were practicing walking, for God's sake. That's how far
back to the beginning we had to go.
Cleaning the dojo under the watchful
eyes of Imai Soke, Kiyonaga Soke, and Aoki Soke.
It was an interesting practice, though. First, we spent about an hour
cleaning Imai Sensei's old dojo. It was a bit neglected. As it was well
over 30 degrees and extremely humid, I was really embarrassed because,
as I shlepped the vacuum cleaner over the floorboards, I was literally
leaving a trail of sweat droplets every few inches. By the time we
finished cleaning, I was dehydrated and absolutely exhausted. It was
really, really tough for me to muster up any strength or "spirit" for
training, and that's awful when Sensei wants to see how much spirit you
can develop. I looked and felt like a wet rag.
It made me happy to be able to clean the dojo, though. I have always
felt that true training is synonymous with being in service; with being
of use to somebody. Perhaps, if we really believe that the focus of
martial arts is self-improvement, we should go out a few nights a week
and hit a soup kitchen and skip the dojo entirely...
Anyway, here's the flipside of things ... a tongue in cheek portrait of
"Jeff-as-samurai". (To be perfectly honest, I ran into my friend on my
way to practice, and she insisted on taking a picture of me.) But
actually, it's not a bad shot... if every Japanese woman under the age
of 60 didn't think that "budo" was synonymous with "weirdo" maybe I
could use it to pick up chicks... if only ...
I'll admit it: I only got into iai because of the cool clothes. And I'm
okay with that.