There was an unusual buzz in the dojo last Saturday morning, between the early weapons class and Goto Sensei's first class. The news had just arrived that one of our most-loved Sempais, Ginny, might join Goto Sensei and about a dozen other students from our dojo for their planned two-week visit to Japan this Spring.
As I watched still others decided right then and there to make the trip. The excitement spread across the mat as small clusters of students talked about their preparations, and their delight that there would be even greater numbers of them cramped into the uchi deshi quarters in Iwama.
Alas, I'm not going. April is a busy month for me, and I don't like being away from the kids. But I have to admit that I was tempted to consider joining them. So, I'll have to content myself with blog reading and with pictures and stories that will come back and become part of the Bay Marin dojo lore.
Against the backdrop of all this excitement over visiting Hitohiro Saito's dojo, Goto Sensei was ruthless in his form correction, swooping down on anyone who wasn't sinking into the mat. As we held position at the end of a strike, rippling zanshin as hard as we could, he made the rounds, tipping us off center easily and tsk*tsking us for our lack of grounding. I got the feeling that he was doing this so that Saito Sensei wouldn't need to rip everyone to pieces on the first day.
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