The May edition of Sword and Spirit has been posted. In this issue, Itten Dojo chief instructor Robert Wolfe presents a photo-essay detailing a “Renzoku-waza Drill,” a “continuous-techniques” exercise. As we move forward with the process of revamping our practice of aikijutsu, a major focus is structuring kihon (fundamentals) and introductory material to provide new students with skills and techniques that can be applied in practical, personal defense very early in their training. This drill is a step in that direction. Download the newsletter by joining the Sword and Spirit group on Facebook, or directly from our website, at https://www.ittendojo.org/.../download/swordandspirit/pdf/55 . All back issues of Sword and Spirit are available at https://www.ittendojo.org/articles/swordandspirit .
Showing posts from May, 2022
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Lessons from the Gorin no Sho (the Book of Five Rings ) A glance at the rack of new bestsellers in any book store will reveal a rash of “self-help” books, all of which profess to offer the reader a practical guide to everyday life. These books advocate every conceivable behavioral pattern, but they share the common factor of having been written, for the most part, by persons who have no more than an academic claim to any special way of life. In contrast, consider the following: 400 years ago, a guide to kenjutsu, strategy, and life was written by an old hermit who lived his last years in a cave. He based his observations on experiences gained over a lifetime spent surviving one of the most violent eras of human history, the years leading to the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan. Musashi’s Gorin no Sho is unique, in that it treats fighting, strategy, and life as one, condensing the underlying principles that are common to each. Read more at https://www.ittendo
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KAKEMONO OF THE MONTH — MAY 2022 Or probably more like a-month-and-a-half. Maybe two months. Almost certainly longer. This antique scroll, an original work by an artist we’ve not yet identified, was presented to the dojo very recently by Jevin Orcutt, in commemoration of what he called “the rebirth of the dojo.” Now, you might assume he’s referring to training picking up again after the pandemic-related events of the past two years. But that’s not it. Although virtually nothing about the dojo is the same as it was at the end of 2019, it’s for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the pandemic. For us, the past two years have been more like a gestation period from which we emerged with new arts, new affiliations, new instructors, new friends, new members, and a greatly enhanced sense of purpose. Later this year the dojo will enter its fourth decade of existence, focused on providing the central Pennsylvania area access to the finest training available in classical Japanese mart