Friday, August 02, 2013

Kata in the Wind

One of the firsts I did this time on my vacation was bring my bokuto. I am in the process of training for my training certificate and did not want to lose the opportunity to continue to train.

Practicing here versus practicing at home has been somewhat of a wash. On the down side, I brought my second-best bokuto and so perhaps have not totally trained as hard as I could have. On the bright side, I had the opportunity to practice with the wind.

I have commented before on my love of this place because the wind, the silence so deep that the wind blowing through the trees is audible and sensible. It is my place in which God walks through the trees.

And, apparently, practices iaido.

In practicing my kata, my cuts and blocks and footwork, I found myself starting to dance in time with the wind and the trees. A sense of being at one with nature came over my soul as I rose and fell with the blade, the "whoosh" of the trees accompanying my blade's quiet descent. As I continued to move, crunching the brown pine needles beneath my trees, one began to get a sense of how the great swordmasters of the past practiced and trained as well, how they valued so much the time spent training alone with only nature as training partner and watching eye. The most successful of movements are those which are the most natural and mimic real life; dancing with the bokuto among the trees imbued a sense of flow and etheralness to the practical combination of wood and muscle.

I will return to Old Home this week; my studies will submerge themselves back into the routine of dojo and home. But remain hopeful that, even in the returning deluge of urban sound, the sounds of the wind will haunt my blade as it moves through the forms.

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