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Student of the Week (Posted: 20th July 2019)

This week’s Student of the Week was Maisie. She was awarded this for the levels of concentration during what was an arduous lesson in which all the senior grades were charged with learning three new routines.

Well done Maisie!

Summer Holidays (Posted: 16th July 2019)

It’s rapidly coming up to that time of the year when schools close for the summer holidays. Unlike your school, we do not close for the summer recess but rather depend upon you for your continued support during this period.

If you are about to go on holiday for a period of time it would be really helpful if you could let us know please and then we can more easily determine attendance numbers.

Finally if you’re not going away, please make sure that you come along to the club in the summer break and support both the club and your peers.

Thank you.

Posted by Sensei Stewart Procter | 7th Dan Kyoshi | Chief Instructor

And another Japanese Fable (Posted: 14th July 2019)

The Tea Master and The Ronin

A master of chado (the Way of the tea ceremony), I Tajima Kozo, was challenged to a duel by an unscrupulous ronin who was confident of winning with ease. As he could not refuse the challenge without loss of honour, the master prepared to die.

He therefore went to call on a neighbouring master of kenjutsu and asked him to teach him how to die properly. ‘Your intention is most laudable’, said the expert ‘and I should be very happy to help you, but first of all kindly serve me a cup of tea please.’ Tajima was delighted to have the chance to practise his skill, probably for the last time, and so he was totally absorbed in the 11’ii‘mony of preparing the tea, forgetting what was in store for him. The expert was deeply impressed by his degree of serenity at such a solemn time: There is no need for me to teach you how to die’, he told him. ‘Your concentration of mind is so great that you can let yourself encounter any sword expert. When you are facing the ronin, first imagine that you are about to serve tea to a guest. Greet him courteously. Take off your coat, fold it carefully and place your fan on top of it, exactly as you have just done. Then draw your katana and raise it above your head, ready to strike when the opponent attacks, and concentrate on this action alone.’

Tajima thanked him and went to the place appointed for the fight. He followed the expert’s advice and totally absorbed himself with the thought that he was about to serve tea to a friend. When he raised his sword above his head, the ronin sensed that before him was an entirely different character; he could see no way round him; Tajima seemed to him as solid as a rock, completely without fear or weakness.

So the ronin, demoralised by this behaviour, threw down his katana and prostrating himself before Tajima, humbly asked forgiveness for his unspeakable conduct.

Posted by Sensei Stewart Procter | 7th Dan Kyoshi | Chief Instructor

Student of the Week (Posted: 13th July 2019)

This week’s Student of the Week is once again Edward. He does everything that is right; practices his Kata before the start of the lesson and during the lesson he is always eager to learn and is attentive until the end. Well done Edward!

Posted by Sensei Stewart Procter | 7th Dan Kyoshi | Chief Instructor

Another Japanese Fable (Posted: 12th July 2019)

The Master and His Three Sons

There was once a great master of kenjutsu (sword) renowned throughout Japan who, when visited by another great master, wished to demonstrate the teaching he had given his three sons.

The master winked at his guest and placed a heavy metal vase on the corner of the sliding doors, wedged it with a piece of bamboo and a small nail in such a way that the vase would fall on the head of the first one who came into the room when the door was opened.

While chatting and drinking tea, the master called his oldest son who came immediately. Before opening the door, he felt the presence of the vase and its position. He slid back the door, put his left hand through the gap to catch the vase and continued opening the door with his right hand. Then, clutching the vase to his chest, he entered the room, shutting the door behind him and replaced the vase; he came forward and greeted the two masters. ‘This is my oldest son’, said the host smiling, ‘he has learnt my teaching well and one day he will undoubtedly be a master of kenjutsu.’

The second son was called and he entered without hesitating and only caught the vase at the last moment: it almost landed on his head. ‘This is my second son’, said the master, ‘he still has a lot to learn but he is improving every day.’

Then the third son was called. Entering the room hurriedly, he was struck on the head by the vase. The blow was a heavy one but before the vase hit the tatami, he drew his sword and, in one quick action, cut the piece of metal in two. ‘This is my youngest son, Jiro’, said the old man, ‘he is the baby of the family and he still has a long way to go.’

Posted by Sensei Stewart Procter | 7th Dan Kyoshi | Chief Instructor

Happy Birthday! (Posted: 11th July 2019)

Just a quick post to wish Chloe a very Happy Birthday! A couple of days late (08/07/19) I know, but all the club wish her all the very best on her seventeenth year!

All your friends at SSKR