Friday, 7 December 2012

Self Analysis

I've often found myself wondering, when reading other martial arts blogs, what the writer is like in person. How would they analyse themselves using the same perspective they've shared about the various events, locations, or instructors, that are detailed in their writings? If I were to look at photos of myself and treat the image as just another practitioner, what would I like this person to focus on?

It takes a special photographer to be able to make an Iaidoka look better than they are. Two such people are good friends of mine from the All United States Kendo Federation (AUSKF): Nancy James (5 Dan) and Gordon Hall (3 Dan). I really like these two pictures as they highlight a lot of good points while exposing those that I know I need to work on.

This first picture was taken in 2011 at the AUSKF Iaido National Summer Camp in Kent, Ohio. With an unprecedented number of Canadians participating in the event, the US committee had generously invited us to perform an Embu (demonstration) at the end of the seminar.
2011 AUSKF Iaido Summer Camp
Eishin Ryu set - Yama Oroshi
  • Good intensity and focus
  • Good balance (shoulders above hips)

  • Right arm disconnected
  • Body power in wrong direction

  • Lower right shoulder, keep with body
  • Maintain hips to target
This second picture was taken in 2012 at the GNEUSKF Iaido Seminar and Shinsa in Newark, New Jersey. It was during regular practice when James-Sensei was snapping away with her camera.
2012 GNEUSKF Iaido Seminar
ZNKR Seitei set - Ushiro
  • Good balance
  • Strong sayabiki
  • Body and Legs aligned forward

  • Too much right hand/arm
  • Hips misaligned
  • Head tilted
  • Holding breath

  • Use left hand to turn saya 90 degrees
  • Keep right shoulder in with body
  • Maintain hips to target
With my 4 Dan grading over and done with, I have an opportunity now to start tearing down specific habits and start building up again. Looking forward to 2013 being a year of significant growth!

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