Thread: Most awkward dojo visit ever.
3/28/2008 1:52am, #1
Most awkward dojo visit ever.
So monday I went on a visit to a possible new school for myself. I have been looking for a place to learn the sword and low and behold there is one 3 blocks from my work for battojutsu with an emphasis on sparring. Swords...Sparring??? Count me in. Naturally I'm skeptical of such stories as usually they are yarns spun by larpers, but you never know unless you see for yourself. So after a call I make an appointment to visit the monday class. Monday comes, I show up about 20 minutes before class starts. As I walk into the school first thing I see is the entire floor area is filled with a BJJ class.
They were just starting their warm ups. After some glances around I determine I am infact in the correct place. Chances that this class was in the wrong place seemed slim. After looking around for a second I see a small area in the back that is sectioned off by one of those big folding paper screen walls one would expect to find in a japanese school (the school is a karate dojo and these classes use the space in the off time it seems). After shuffling by a bjj class doing some sort of back crawling across the floor. I can see the standard cache of japanese weapons displayed on the wall and the sensei on the matt. After an introductory talk with the sensei I sit back to watch what I hope would be my blade filled future. By this time I can see the bjj class already rolling with eachother. From where I was sitting I had a very unique vantage point. I could actually see both the sword class and the bjj class perfectly.
Coincidence or providence??? I had been planning on visiting a jujitsu place in seattle in the near future. While not the same style I can at least get an idea of what to expect as far as drilling and workout from it. Both classes run for 2 hours. The first hour was technique, positioning, basics and footwork. I was waiting oh so patiently for the sparring. Would it look like larping? Seven Samurai? Would my dreams be reduced to rubble? As I sat watching my eyes couldn't help but wander to the grunting and thumping coming from the other side of the screen. The familiar smell of sweat and pain filled the air. Grappling looks fun. Must make appointment for seattle school.
After sitting for the first hour I am relatively impressed, though I admit as a sword newb I don't really know **** from shinola when determining iaijutsu type techniques. All I can say is that at least twice I said to myself "Yoshimitsu does that in soul calibur." Sadly it was not the sword pogo. After the first hour is up and a few bows later, I see two helmets, what looks to be swolen katana and a camcorder. According to the sensei he records the sparring sessions so he can watch them and get a better point of view so he can see what needs improvement. I am instantly excited because A) he seems to really give a **** about applying the techniques effectively, and B) if I do join the class and something awesome happens I can satisfy the bullshido video or it didn't happen policy. The bjj class is still rolling. They have stopped briefly a few times for the instructor to show them something. Mostly rolling.
Finally the sparring begins. The swords they use are some form of metal rod weighed and balanced roughly the same as a normal katan but the "blade" is covered with a thin foam layer. The helmets are padded around the head and full clear plastic facemask with big open slit for sight. The sparing was interesting. I will hold off on commenting about the students because I don't know their respective skill levels but they were trying to apply the techniques and there were some decently clean exchanges by everyone. The sensei seemed to have solid technique and footwork from what I could see. Again during sparring I caught myself saying "I am pretty sure thats a misurugi move." Not because its flashy, or he is spinning or lightning is eminating from his sword making his next strike unblockable. But because I was pretty sure he just hit X. It was just a perfect slice across the midsection. Nothing fancy, no retarded 17 strikes afterwards. Just simple fluid strike and then they reset for the next go. Even a couple of the bjj onlookers seemed impressed by some of the sparring.
After the class was over, I talked with the sensei and I will start monday. Sometime soon I'm gunna call me that jujitsu place. Grappling looks fun.
Best dojo visit ever.
3/28/2008 2:18am, #2
Sounds like a good school, but why is your thread titled "Most awkward dojo visit ever"?
3/28/2008 4:36am, #3
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
Maybe he had an unmissably huge erection the whole time that he forgot to mention.
3/28/2008 5:25am, #4
- Join Date
- May 2006
- Seattle, Washington
it was akward because their was no BJJ class. it was really a film set for NAMBLA. and he had to keep telling himself it was BJJ to keep from throwing up in his mouth.
either way, congrats on finding a LARP free sword school. and if your looking for MMA/BJJ training, Seattle is full of it.
3/28/2008 7:13am, #5
- Join Date
- May 2007
Sounds like a really good school. When it comes to swords we have only done some point sparring because lack of equipment. We simply use bokken, and mouthguards since we had a little accident once. Are the sparring swords you use curved? I don't really like shinai or fukuro shinai because they are straight.
Anyway, swordfighting has to have a little LARP to it. It's fun : )
Last edited by SWEHurricane; 3/28/2008 7:35am at .
3/28/2008 7:27am, #6
3/28/2008 7:29am, #7
3/28/2008 8:13am, #8
i feel cheated on the titleThere is no cheating, there is only jiu-jitsu.
3/28/2008 8:22am, #9Originally Posted by cyrijl
3/28/2008 11:01am, #10
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
- Seattle, WA
Hey Hooded Justice - where was this dojo that you visited? It sounds cool.