Saturday's seminar, was at Sensei Marshall's request shared between 3 Sensei.
Ritsu zen, Yuri & pair training was held by Esko. Hai, Neri & pair training was held by Andreas. Åke ended with Tanshu, Terminology & Etiquette.
The training started with Ritsu zen where you start in a low position with the arms then go up to
a middle level and finish in a high position. Switching between positions had to include flow and expansion.
When Ritsu zen ended, each person swithed over to Yuri, which consisted of working with the 3 dimensions of the circular motion, up/down & forwards/backwards (vertical), up/down & left/right (vertical), forwards/backwards & left/right (horizontal). The exercise started by making the 3 circles separate one by one. Then by combining the circles together, flow and direction changes were included.
In Hai, working slowly, we mainly focused on the lower part of the body. We did this gradually and step by step, first examining the feet, then feeling the intended "balloon" between the knees and finally rounding the lower part of the spine and the pelvis. In this way each body part was given extra focus separately with an active intension.
This intension we brought with us, when we finally made Hai with the whole body in a coherent movement.
Then Neri was made in the form where the arms go around in front of the body in a vertical circle, like a windmill.
Together we did some exercises where we gradually went from Hai to Neri by adding more and more Neri movements into the free Hai.
Continuing this way, we finally switched totally doing only Neri movements.
We also tried out what happens if we gradually and slowly switch between making a big Neri movement
and a small one. Asking our self what intensions and feelings we could bring with us from the great movements into the small and vice versa.
The pair training started with 2 bunkai based on a circular motion that halfway into the movement changes direction. The movement changes 90 degrees to the original direction. Here we also practiced on flow and a smooth transition in the moment of the change of direction.
The last half hour we went back to our work with the Neri exercise we did earlier, this time working two and two in pairs.
First, everyone had to come up with as many different applications as possible based on the Neri movement. Showing the applications to each other, each person then had to choose
an application that they liked to refine working in pairs.
Finally, the groups got some time to do a Randori where the goal was to blend in the different applications.
This part of the training ended with a competition between the different groups. During a two minute long Randori each pair scored a point every time they managed to blend in an
application for the particular Neri movement we had been working on.
Somewhat unintend that exercise showed how complicated it can be with scoring issues if we suddenly introduce
rules that do not really belong in Yoshinken, but on the other hand the competition also offered a good atmosphere and many laughs.
During the last part of the seminar, Sensei Åke held a review of Tanshu and its contents, the terminology used within Yoshinken and a etiquette part that included personal behavior during/outside training and correct handling of Jo and Bokken.
Esko & Andreas