Sunday, May 1, 2011
At the recent Shihandai (Black-belt classes), we had a new attendee (a reader of this blog, LOL) who had never attended one of our Shihandai before. Unfortunately, only about 6 of the local BB showed at that one. Some worked on some weapon's kata, and the new attendee worked with myself and my teaching associate. We explained and demonstrated the 6 basic tuite principles, and reviewed some basic tuite (illustrating their application and use). From what was gathered, he hadn't worked with any RyuTe instructor's in a while, and was just getting some review time in (and “feeling us out” I'm sure, LOL).
The “locals” (here in K.C. MO.) restarted the Shihandai (after an extended hiatus from their occurrence) about a year ago. My teaching associate and myself view this as being a good thing. The ability to interact (not to mention practice) with fellow association member's is always a positive experience. We're hoping to include some of the Yudansha from the surrounding area's to join us when practical (for them). The invitation is out there, all they have to do is show-up, LOL.
In the past (IMO), certain (now departed) instructor's tended to feel (or at least act as if) alienated. This could (and did) cause some unjustified feelings of being ostracized. That aside (and more importantly, IMO), some individual's began to feel that only they were learning/teaching (or knew) what Taika was wanting student's to learn. By creating this (their own) isolation, those individual's have attempted to establish themselves as being (somehow?) especially knowledgeable about what Taika teaches now (though not having studied with/from him for several years?).
Regardless, those individual's are now out of the association, and the present member's are striving to eliminate the possibility of a re occurrence of those situations. The greatest loss (in my own opinion) is by the student's of those who were removed. Having spoken to a few of them, many were (completely) unaware of the situation, and now will have no opportunity to (actually) train with Taika.
Amongst the local Yudansha, there is a consolidation of known weapon's kata being done, and expanding that knowledge to the various (interested) local/regional Yudansha member's (there exist far too many for the average (individual) member to have complete knowledge of/about all of them).
My associate and myself have been attempting to categorize and record (as is practical, LOL) as many (root/basic) tuite technique's that have been taught over the years to various member's as we can ascertain. This becomes difficult (as far as categorization) in that some border between (what “we” consider to be) “combination” technique's, and (simple) “Tuite” technique's. These also have to be limited to “basic” versions (as the variations number in the dozens, if not more for each, LOL).
The goal of the Shihandai, is to disseminate acquired knowledge amongst the individual attendee's. Individual instructor's often are unable to practice (their own) techniques with (other) Yudansha ranked member's (which is more practically done with non-student's). The Shihandai also provides the opportunity for instructor's to learn weapon's kata that they may not have the opportunity to learn otherwise (as the Yudansha class taught by Taika is often focused upon the concepts and applications that Taika wishes to convey/teach).
Hopefully, the surrounding schools/individual instructors (who don't have a class to attend to on those dates) will begin to join us at these classes, and we can further unify the Yudansha member's of the RyuTe Association.