First Katori Shinto Ryu Class

I’ve been having a growing interest in sword arts for a while now and have slowly gathered up the keikogi, hakama, iaito and cleaning kit to join Aikido of Santa Rosa in their Katori Shinto Ryu training that they offer. So, I had my first class at Santa Rosa Aikido. I really enjoyed it! It was tiring, my hakama kept on slipping down down, but it felt really good to be there. I spent the first half hour learning how to bow in, lay out my sageo, bow to my sword, etc. There is a lot of ritual surrounding this art and as I have somewhat of an understanding as to why, practical reasons are: you are working with a weapon that can have lethal consequences if it inadvertently slips out of your hands. The ritual surrounding the entrance onto the mat heightens your awareness and respect to the sword and the training you are about to undertake. I worked on my first draw, strike and resheathing of my sword. It’s interesting to watch everyone make it look so easy when it seems so awkward to resheath my blade.

After we were done with the iai portion we went onto the 2 person kata practice. I was a bit out of my element and overwhelmed. There was a lot of information to digest at once. (thank god for youtube) but i think that we need that sometimes. i like being overwhelmed and then after time and diligence, the light bulb turns on. The people are really nice and very helpful. My biggest woe is having to figure out how to keep my hakama on… thats my first priority… I am tired today, I’m sore in weird parts of my body, and I have a big grin. I had so much fun!

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