Just had my first Osaka bujinkan class. It's actually quite convenient for me because there's an express train into the city which I can catch to get there perfectly on time. I went early today just to make sure I knew where it was, and so I could stop in and get some plain black t-shirts from uniqlo for training. I brought one with me, but it's always better to have extra, especially since I didn't have room to pack a gi.
So I got there and introduced myself to the guy who I was pretty sure was the sensei. We have a nice chat. I let him know where I live and he says he comes from that area. I think nothing of it, but I'm excited because he says there's no one to train with when he goes to the training hall which is right next to the arch center where I work. I give him my phone number and tell him to invite me because ancient training halls are awesome. I let him know how long I'll be there and by then it's five minutes past and no one else is there so he says let's start. We just do some basic freestyle punches and response then. I think I might have tired him out because he called a break, and then we switched to throwing shuriken. I got a 10 min personal lesson on throwing shuriken and now I know how to throw a spread which is neat! And how to defend against a barrage of shuriken with my short sword. Cause, you know, I live in feudal Japan. lol.
We had switched to training with a sai when someone finally came in, followed by his wife, and two more stragglers came in several minutes later. I didn't protect my face well enough while training with one of them cause when they flailed with their wooden short sword, it smacked me right on the nose. It hurt quite a lot but there wasn't any blood. It's tender to the touch now and swelling a bit, but at least it's not broken. I'm curious if it will bruise. I can add it to my collection then since there's no padding in the room we train in so bruises are to be expected. I ended up training with a French guy who trains there which was good since I could give him advice in English, but I do hope I get to train with the others as well.
We trained for two hours, then I headed back to the station because if you don't get to the express train back early enough, you don't get a seat and then you have to stand for 20min until people get off at the first stop which my feet were very much not up to. So I do the usual rigmarole of transferring to a local train at the last minute because my station isn't on the express line (it really only adds 5min to the journey... it's just a pain), and the train empties out as it usually does since my stop is one stop before the express stop. I go to get off and lo and behold, the bujinkan sensei is getting off at the same time and was in the same car. We're the only people who get off and he does a doubletake when he sees me. He asks how I get to the arch center everyday and I tell him I bike. We keep walking, both going in the same direction. It turns out we live on the same street, just a block away from each other!
So I hope I get an invite to train in the ancient training hall near here eventually. He seemed pretty satisfied with my skill level (how do I know? he paid me the bujinkan 'compliment' of letting me be uke occasionally and get beat up by him).
March 2nd, 2016