Last night at Iai we did open hand.
Open hand is the equivalent in our art of karate (which, literally, means "Empty Hand") and is the extension of our art into the realm of hand to hand combat. The belief of our Soke is that if one knows the sword, one will know all other weapons.
So last night was open hand.
Open hand is largely blocks and punches and falls and locks. Lots of locks: ankle locks,wrist locks, arm locks. Falls and recoveries. Up and down,
As you can imagine, I am a bit sore.
It is good. I love the ebb and flow of open hand. Frankly (and perhaps oddly), I love being taken down for the sheer sake of learning. I especially love being hip thrown - there is something above being flipped over onto a mat that is just mesmerizing to me, even after so many years.
It is a mental challenge for me of course. Prior to 2009 I had never really performed martial arts and so the concept of engaging someone in combat is always a little difficult for me. I worry about injuring others unknowingly or accidentally. But this is part of training as well, not just learning to trust others but to trust yourself and to learn control.
When this publishes, I will probably be creaking out of bed in the morning and muttering about sore muscles.
I foresee a great deal of stretching in my immediate future.
But life is very good. Martial arts has made a very positive impact on my life.