Cutting Edge Issue 2 - Page 29

JOCK HOPSON SENSEI done in the dark and on your own.“ But when we got to the Shinbukan Ishido Dojo in Kawasaki and I saw Ishido Shizufumi Sensei’s iaido and experienced his clear, concise and logical method of teaching, I thought “yes, this is for me.” the drains and water were connected, As the hot and sticky summer mening we didn’t have to sprint halftemperature rose, my enthusiasm for a-mile to the town square and the kendo keiko fell. Encouraged by Dr. public loos after a fiery curry the night Hatakeyama I enrolled at the dojo of before. Of course Sasamori Sensei to to keep the cement I had looked on the practice learn the rudiments of iaido as a bit like self abuse of Ono-ha Itto Ryu, and slates coming – “something best done in in, I had to take the knowledge some supply work of which, Dr. the dark and on your own.“ locally in Wolverton Hatakeyama and Dunstable. Deb of course had assured me, would lead me to it easy while I was at work fending ‘fear no man’. The big crunch came off stroppy teenagers. Re-pointing though, one day in June, when Dr. the chimney, fixing new roof slates, Hatakeyama invited me for a “nice installing the electrics – not a problem friendly keiko” at the local police dojo for Deb. who were doing their shochu geiko or hot weather training, and I could think The Spring of 1979 saw me once of no way to wriggle out of it. Then again back in Japan, ostensibly to came the blessed sentence “well, prepare the ground for the British if you don’t want to do kendo, we Kendo Squad to attend the 4th World could always go to an iai dojo, its air Kendo Championship in Sapporo conditioned“ – what an offer! later that year. Very luckily, I had the free use of an apartment owned by Now from the time with Roald a Japanese doctor who had been on Knutsen doing iai in the early ‘60’s, I holiday in the UK for a ‘fact finding had looked on the practice of iaido as tour’ of European kendo and iaido. a bit like self abuse – “something best An early picture Ishido Sensei For the first time, under Ishido Sensei’s tutelage, the cuts and thrusts of iai made sense, and having already spent eighteen years doing kendo at that stage, it was fairly straightforward to pick up. I worried about how training and teaching English in the evenings would work but sensei explained that, having paid my dojo fee for the month, the dojo was there for me to use and that if he were free when I turned up in the daytime then I’d get a one to one lesson – an unbelievable bargain. Along with just about everyone else in the Shinbukan dojo I was entered for the Kanagawa Ken Summer Taikai and, to my amazement, went home with a first in the mudan division. Mind you, I don’t think there are ever more than a handful of people in Kanagawa who are mudan at any one time, but nevertheless, it was nice. CUTTING EDGE | 27