Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Hello Mr. Ledyard,
I agree, technology is definately improving. Might I ask when you trained with them (out of curiosity only)? I belonged to the WR from 1993-2001. Swear I always remembered the tsuba, but then could be wrong (certainly wouldn't be the first time). Also agree that it lends a level of safety, but also think it lends to a level of allowing nage to feel more comfortable going for a full-out attack (for someone like me who really doesn't want to hit anyone). What do you think about that?
I had the unique experience of simultaneously heading a dojo within Chiba Sensei's Western Region of the Federation, having a Shidoin Certificate signed by Yamada Sensei while being one of Saotome Sensei's senior students.
Anyway, my exposure to Chiba Sensei was first in Seattle at Bookman Sensei's where I trained regularly (I was also a member of Mary Heiny Sensei's dojo). Then, after I became Chief instructor of Mary's dojo when she moved to Canada I went to Chiba sensei's Instructor seminar in Berkley. This was all in the mid to late eighties before I opened my current school (1989). I think my first exposure to Shibata Sensei was on a visit I made to Honbu Dojo. He decided I was a wimp because I fell too soon out of his kotegaeshi and didn't wait for him to crank me. He seemed awfully disappointed... Anyway, I am pretty sure I was at another Chiba sensei event after he came to the US and I saw him again. Memory is a bit hazy.
And I agree that anything that makes it safer for one of the partners to parctice will allow that other partner to attack with less energy held back. We use often fukuro shinai for this reason... your partner won't hesitate to blast you over the head with one of those but will usually hold back, if only a little, when bokken are used.