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Trained Mind, Body and Spirit

por Caleb - US/Denver - 12-Apr-2018

Senpai Thomas had spoken a lot about Senpai Wenzel weeks before his visit. After listening to what Senpai Thomas had said, I built an image of how Senpai Wenzel would be. However, I was quite surprised when I first saw Senpai Wenzel. Senpai Wenzel did not fit my mental image yet further observation revealed that he was indeed a true swordsman. The way he carried himself was the first sign of a trained mind, body, and spirit.

Senpai Wenzel started by showing us how to properly equip the kimono and hakama. "It is not there to be comfortable", the words of Senpai Wenzel which I still hear every time I tighten the straps of my hakama. When the usual training began, it was great to have Senpai Wenzel observing us, making corrections here and there; for me it helped to grasp the finer details. At some point, Senpai Wenzel and Senpai Thomas demonstrated a kata. I watched Senpai Wenzel very closely, noticed how clear and controlled his moves were, and knew that I must train intensely for many years to one day reach his level. Just by watching him I was learning a lot.

During our special session with Senpai Wenzel, we learned a lot about many important small details. Even with seemingly silly exercises such as dropping and catching our swords, I noticed a greater understanding and feeling of the proper movements when I returned to the cutting drills. It was very enjoyable to perform basic movements in unison and to receive advice from Senpai Wenzel on correct form. For me, it is most enjoyable to repeat the same thing over and over under the supervision of a superior as it ensures I can truky build correct muscle memory. Senpai Wenzel was also invaluable at stressing the importance of the left hand (something I am still working on).

After the training, we all went to a restaurant to eat/talk. Hearing about the tournament, stories of Sensei, and what the Institute in Brazil assured me that I am on the right path and that Brazil is where I must go to truly hone my skills. Senpai Wenzel also reccomended that we buy Sensei"s Shinhagakure, I ordered it that night. Since then I have been overwhelmed that such a school exists today and that I am fortunate enough to be a part of it. I feel more certain now than ever that I have made the correct choices in life and that I will achieve my goals through Niten.

Arigato Gozaimashita


Caleb - Denver

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