Jodo/Iaido Stage, Vienna

May, 11th and 12th 2013

The VJK Ronin Wien has once again been happy to invite Michel Ducret (SMR Menkyo Kaiden, MSR Chuden FEI) for a combined Iaido/Jodo seminar. Participants from Vienna, other parts of Austria, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary, all in all 15 practitioners attended the stage.

For most people, emphasis was put on Kata practice. After starting off with an hour and 15 minutes of MSR Hasegawa the whole group engaged in Uchi Komi. After that - with only four participants in the Kihon group - the rest was able to work together on Chudan. Saturday afternoon was started with Kenjutsu, moved on to Ran-ai and then other series according to level. Michel made the effort to practice Ran-ai with every trainee.
For me this was a confirmation that one-on-one practice and teaching is the best way to learn. Technical details can be passed on by lecturing in front of a group, but the deeper concepts, the real lessons have to be learned through direct experience. For me the one full-out Ran-Ai with Michel was quite a revelation.

Training had to be stopped half an hour early to give room for a shodan examination. Michi managed to pass a challenging program (Kihon Sotai, Tachi Otoshi, Kasumi, Ichi-Rei, Ichi-Riki, Midare-Dome, Yokogiri-Dome, Ran-Ai, Ken: Sarin, Uke-Gaeshi, Suri-Komi) and we enjoyed the celebration in a Japanese Restaurant.

Sunday started again with Iaido (Okuden) and Uchi Komi. The rest of the morning session was dedicated to training in groups according to level. Michel added a Kata for those who were able to advance.
After a short lunch break with a cold buffet we continued the training with emphasis on associated weapons (Ken, Kusarigama) and more Jo Kata trained in groups. This time the advanced people were asked to help out their Kohei with their new Kata.

Before we stopped Michel invited us to come to him in turns. He spent a few minutes with each participant on one or two Kata of their choice.

All too soon we had to leave the training hall and bring Michel to the airport. As always the good-bye left us with mixed feelings: Tiredness and satisfaction that comes from two days of good, intensive practice, but also the regret of having a good friend leave.

ヘルガ (for the VJK Ronin Wien)