Saturday, 21 July 2012

Asia Trip 2012: Iaido in Tokyo - Day 2

THU 19-JUL: Barely 24 hours after our first Iaido class with Hatakenaka Sensei, we are at it again.

This second venue for training is the Shinjuku Sports Center, located a short walk from the Nishi-waseda subway station of the Fukotoshin Line. The dojo space itself was a large wood floor room that was shared with anyone who purchases the 400yen ticket. This day, we were joined by a two dancers doing ballet and something that looked like modern performing art. An elderly man practiced an Iaido koryu that I could not recognize, and another pair of individuals were mixing it up with some sticky hands and bokken work.

While the rest of the building was comfortably air conditioned, the training rooms were void of this luxury. Even with all the windows open, there was barely any wind to cool us down from the 36C day.

Our training was scheduled from 1pm - 3:30pm, with Tsubaki Sensei leading us through warmups followed by some free practice with instruction.

We took a break around 2pm to refresh and took this opportunity to ask about purchasing Iaito and Shinken. Tsubaki Sensei had already mentioned our interest to Hatakenaka Sensei, so after a short discussion on our preferred length and weight, he gave her a call to book the retailer. We would be meeting him on Saturday to test out several options.

With the excitement of a new sword in the horizon, we went back to work on two selected kata for Tsubaki Sensei to help us on: Morote Tsuki and Sanpo Giri

At 4pm the chime rang for the end of the afternoon session and we all had to vacate the rooms. As we passed the reception desk, the ticket we purchased earlier was placed in the basket marked "Martial Arts dojo #1". What a convenience to have such inexpensive spaces in the city for public use. A similar facility in Toronto would cost almost 50 times as much.

We celebrated our second straight day of practice with a tempura dinner at "Tsunahachi".

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