Thread: Japanezsing
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:59 AM   #14
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Japanezsing

I was at a tai kai (sword event) and there were some guys from a local karate school that also did sword work. The funniest thing in the world to me was that when these guys answered questions, or let out a kiai, they all sounded like they were doing really bad Toshiro Mifune impersonations. Now considering most of them were teenaged boys and a few girls it was really, well, silly sounding. There were more traditional groups at the same tai kai and the contrast couldn't be greater. Nothing flashy, nothing loud, just solid work.

Now I'll add that all these local kids were quite sincere. One kid "grunter" kid asked me about swords at the competition and in conversation I gently suggested he watch someone I knew who was performing at that time who was top notch. He noticed the contrast. I introduced him to a few local sensei. Not that his existing place was bad, but I wanted to at least open the door for him to other options.

Anyway, over time he lost his Mifune-esque deep samurai grunts as he focused on a more traditional approach to the sword.

Shrug. I wear tabi because my knees prefer it. And since I go barefoot all day long I need to have something to protect the tatami from my feet...

Knew another guy seriously into swordsmanship from decades ago. Wore geta all the time, even to work. I kept waiting for the top knot. Over the years he became more circumspect, dropped most of the behaviors, and is now a top level instructor, fluent in Japanese, well read, and he really knows his stuff. Shrug.

So I'll repeat the other question. How's the aikido?

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