Monday, April 14, 2008

Weapons Camp

I am bushed. I spent Friday to Sunday up in Michigan at a Weapons' Society camp. We (Sensei, Sensei D, T and I) drove up together. We arrived about 5:30 Friday night. Orientation, dinner, class. Bed at 10:30. Morning line-up at 8am. Class until breakfast. Class until lunch. Class until 30 min. before dinner (the first time I had a chance to call Rob). Class until 10:30 again. Sunday was class until 11:30am except for breakfast.

My brain is fried. If I retain 1/10th of what flew by me this weekend, I will consider it a triumph of major proportions. We went through bo basics, Tonfa basics 1 & 2, Matsuhiga (basic tonfa kata), some hand play, which morphed into baton play. Some baton work. Some open hand basics - supposed to be good for figuring out kata bunkai, though we never really did much towards figuring out how that worked. Sensei (who has been a black belt for 16 years, last I checked), seemed to be feeling every bit as overwhelmed as I was, which was somewhat reassuring.

The sheer amount of experience in that room (we literally never left the dojo, we ate and slept in there), was amazing. As near as I could figure, the average experience level in the room was around 25 years. At home, I'm the senior student, spending almost as much time helping other students as being instructed myself (no complaints, I do like teaching). Here I was the merest novice, third or fourth up from the bottom in total experience. I had forgotten what it was to be deluged in knowledge coming from people with stores so vast that I can't even get a handle on it.

If you can't tell, I had a blast. My brain is stuffed, and I'm falling over exhausted, but really, really happy. It wasn't the perfect camp (the showers were non-functional, bo was not listed as an available weapon, but then was taught - and I hadn't brought mine, several of the under-instructors kept disagreeing about fairly basic things and kept having to call in Carbone Sensei to check what he wanted), but it was very good. I met a lot of great people, as well as getting to see some I already knew. Rob couldn't have given me a better birthday present.

And now I will spend this week recovering from the sore muscles and liberal bruises. Tonfas leave a mark when you whack yourself!


Becky said...

Sounds like you had a great time!

Perpetual Beginner said...

I did. I'm definitely going back next year (and to any shorter events in-between that I can manage).

Plus, by next year the showers should work!

Bill said...

So, had enough time to absorb everything (at least, everything you're going to absorb this time)?

Perpetual Beginner said...

I think so. I still remember Matsuhiga (as does Sensei) and the hand play. The tonfa basics I only remember 4 of 12, bo basics are mostly gone. Hand basics I remember the first four only. Most of the refinements are long gone. I am pretty happy to be clear on Matsuhiga and hand play, though.

Becky said...

I've tagged you for a meme on my blog.

Ernie Santa Ana said...

Gasshuku can be very demanding. There is always something new to it should be.