The Iaido Journal  Apr 2011
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Haru Geiko Gasshuku, Peterborough

April 2, 2011

A big thank you to Mike Chinadi Sensei for arranging this special day. Having Kim Taylor Sensei available to train with was a real privilege.

Location: Gymnasium at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Water Street. Good facility with plenty of space for the participants. Acoustics were good, and it was never difficult to hear Taylor Sensei. Some of the credit needs to go to the participants – everyone was so attentive, you could have heard a pin drop.

Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Participants: Two students, Tom Briones and myself (Doug Lytle), and Chinadi Sensei from our dojo were represented at the session along with several from Jim Wilson Sensei’s dojo and a few others from out of town.


Taylor Sensei reviewed the opening and closing of a typical class; proper bowing ceremony. He talked about the proper form for the placement of the sword, the arms and hands as well as body posture. He emphasized not creating openings during the ceremony – bowing the head too far and showing the neck (both an opening and a show of disrespect for your ‘opponent’) was a good example of this.

Care of equipment:
He gave some good tips on care and maintenance of the sageo. Frayed sageo can be trimmed and retied to hide wear and tear without appearing sloppy.

Taylor Sensei’s opening of the training session was memorable to say the least. He opened with the question, “Who wants to have their technique ripped to shreds?” One brave soul raised his hand and proceeded to perform Ipponme Mae for the class. Sensei helped the student with his technique and on his second performance marked improvement was seen.

Taylor Sensei then asked, “Who would like to improve their technique?” Not surprisingly, most people raised their hand. His response was, “They were the same question!” This lightened the mood immediately, and got everyone thinking about the real reason for being there.

The session proceeded with several extra personal ‘technique rippings’, including yours truly for Nihonme Ushiro. I found his insight extremely valuable, though I know I still need help with this one!
The session then moved on to an in-depth analysis and practice of Sanbonme – Ukenagashi. Emphasis was put on the nature of the timing of the kata as well as positioning and the nature of the kata. Demonstration of parts of the kata using boken and rapid real-world style movements were very useful and gave us a much better understanding of the kata. In particular, the blocking motion and timing of the block were examined in detail. He described the kata as a bit of a waiting game – waiting to see if the opponent is actually going to attack, waiting for the right time to block, and quickly striking once committed. I found this to be a very useful segment of the session.

The session moved on to an open question, answer, demonstration and practice session. Questions were asked about Jupponme – Shihogiri, Ju Ipponme – Sougiri, Ju Nihonme – Nukiuchi and the tatehiza position. Examples and practice for each followed. Especially useful were practices involving the students lining up in two opposing lines and performing Ju Ipponme – Sougiri and Ju Nihonme – Nukiuchi.

Conclusion :
This was a fun and informative session and one that I would recommend anyone taking advantage of in the future. I understand that Chinadi Sensei is working hard to get Taylor Sensei back again next year for a similar program and possibly a two day session which would be a fantastic opportunity for all of the students in our dojo.

Many Thanks
Doug Lytle

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