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As President of the Homeowners Association, it takes me away from the dojo once a month, and being a board director on the Asian Pacific American Heritage Association (www.apaha.org), takes me away from the dojo another few nights per month.
So, I teach less, but focus more on what is being taught; and yesterday we focused on Ikkyo.
We started out with simple kirikaeshi with the bokuto. Back and forth, back and forth, over and over again. Trying to help the students get the feel of the movement of lifting up the sword and going forward, using the hips and not the feet.
After that we did Kumi-tachi Ikkyo (A composed technique of the First Teaching).
I was trying very hard to make the association for the students between the movement and the technique; from sword to no-sword.
Finally towards the end of class we got into Shomen-uchi Ikkyo.
Yesterday, everyone really understood the association between the movement with the weapons and without (hopefully they won't forget.)
Sometimes it's very hard to see how the movement with the weapons translates into the movement without the weapons, but it's there and it will make sense when you see it. If you don't see it yet, keep studying the movements. Keep analyzing; keep questioning and little by little things will come together.
Erik Sasha Calderon