Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Family Day in Ottawa

We spent the February long weekend in our nation's capital visiting family. Hanna's parents live in the North East area of Ottawa, not too far from Parliament Hill, while my cousin, Remy, lives closer to Barhaven, just south of Nepean.

The weather was as mild as it was in Toronto, so unfortunately, the city had to close Winterlude early. We normally take advantage of this time of year to do some skating on the Ottawa canal, but I really can't complain at the above average temperatures.

We also took the opportunity to attend an Iaido class at the Tateyama club lead by David Green-Sensei (Iaido 6 Dan). The dojo has a clean, but rather slippery floor with a long, full-height mirror along the entrance. A small window allows those in the foyer a nice view of the classes that could easily fit 10-12 iaidoka at one time. 

Green-Sensei often visits Toronto for large seminars and the annual gradings, and you can be sure he'll be there in Guelph, manning the registration desk and taking your money =)

Overall, a pleasant and relaxing trip.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Funday Monday! Series #4-8 Making of Takiotoshi

Gan-Ryu series: Counters to Eishin-ryu - Urokogaeshi:

This one actually took us quite a long time to figure out. There are so many movements in this technique that we didn't know where to insert the "magic".  In the end, we decided to do both sides.

The previous attempts had their moments. 

Day 1: Plans that didn't make the cut:

Day 2: New Plan & Initial takes

Monday, 13 February 2012

Weekend Activities: February 11/12

We had quite an exciting two days of martial arts this weekend!  =D

Kyudo - The 4th Seikyu Kai Introductory course is more than half-way complete and progress has been quite spectacular. After several weeks of Gomu-yumi, Subiki, and Taihai practice, this hard working group of beginners finally took their very first shots. The excitement was palpable, and their smiles revealed how pleased they were on Yukiko's announcement as the class was about to start. It's a real testament to the efforts of our Sensei and assistants, to constantly tinker and upgrade the way the introductory class is taught, so each student can make the most of their limited class time.

Kung Fu - A Valentine's/Birthday party was held at Chung's Martial Arts Academy on Saturday night and it was quite the kidfest. ^_^ Partnering with the Marketing Network, guests were treated to delicious food, a lion dance demonstration, and quite a few games for the children. This event was a great example of how martial arts clubs can be as much a place for fun and community building, as they are for physical and mental training. As this year continues, we're looking forward to getting to know our fellow brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles (...sounds strange to say that in English =P), and the greater kung fu community.

Iaido - Back by popular demand, after a year of absence, Mu Mon Kai once again hosted our bi-annual Tameshigiri Seminar. Over 25 participants from Toronto, St. Catharines, and Guelph came out on this snowy Sunday to test their cutting on rolled-up tatami. Like the Kyudo class, there were a few individuals who have never used a sharpened blade. But with careful guidance from our Sensei and seniors, they succeeded quite nicely and departed with a new found taste for straw mats. Over the course of the afternoon, participants were treated to amazing displays of precision and power from the more experienced cutters, and they sure put on quite a show. It even seemed to encourage some people to browse the various shinken and iaito that were being sold by SDK Supplies and Dynasty Forge. As the seminar wrapped up with a pair of competitions, and Ohmi-Sensei calling out winners based on who would buy him beer (semi-kidding =P), we celebrated with food and drink at Tako Sushi.

Funday Monday! Series #4-7 Making of Makko

Gan-Ryu series: Counters to Eishin-ryu - Makko:

The clip below shows both how we made it happen which, you can probably guess from our previous videos, and also some of the screw-ups. =P

It's great to have such a fun concept of an off-camera, floating sword to allow for this whole series of counters. With the next Guelph seminar just three months away, it's hard to see us coming up with something just as creative. I'm sure we'll have a lot more suggestions now that these vids have been posted online. 


Friday, 10 February 2012

Funday Monday! Series #4-6 Making of Urokogaeshi

Gan-Ryu series: Counters to Eishin-ryu - Urokogaeshi:

Funday Monday on a Friday! Sorry for the late post, but after our weekend trip to the US East Coast Iaido Seminar, I had to go straight to Redmond, WA, for a Microsoft conference. Both were exciting trips and as much as I know everyone likes Microsoft, I'll only be posting a summary of the Iaido trip, later.

For now, please enjoy the making of and outtake videos of this kata which, IMO, are better than the good version. =P

Behind-the-Scenes View: