January 2017 Winter Intensive Begins!
There is a tradition in the Japanese martial arts of training intensively for a period of time in the coldest part of the winter (winter keiko).
What’s “intensive” about the January “Winter Intensive?”
At the dojo, we like to cultivate a sense of training seasons throughout the year. Winter Intensive is a time to focus in on a training theme, experiment with a teaching approach or try out a new class on the schedule. This year we are poised for all three.
The theme this January is proficiency with the 5th and 4th kyu curriculum. This month, teachers will focus classes on the techniques found on the 5th and 4th kyu Birankai test guidelines. We are working together to give you a focused experience of these techniques week by week. One of our goals is to cover all the techniques on the 5th and 4th kyu curriculum over the course of the month. Attend classes consistently in January and you will have the opportunity to build your confidence with performing these techniques well. At the end of the month we will conduct kyu testing.
If you are not yet 5th kyu, we encourage you to bring your mettle to training this month and set a goal to test at the end of the month. If you are 5th kyu and already preparing for 4th kyu, train diligently 3-4 times per week and you will be ready to test at the end of the month. You can do it! We will equip you. Sign up for either Jan 31 or Feb 1 and make the commitment to test on that date.
If you are currently above 4th kyu, then this is your chance to take your art to the next level by infusing familiar forms with a whole new level of centeredness, connectedness, wholeness, liveliness and openness (Chiba Sensei’s five pillars of training). Work the forms, embody the principles.
Bokken and Jo training will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, respectively. The relationship between body arts and weapons work is germane to our art. In January we will focus on the fundamental weapons forms as outlined on the kyu guidelines.
This January we’re also trying out new, added practice sessions:
- Wednesdays, 12:30pm, Greg Corbin will host a practice session with a focus on test preparation help.
- Wednesdays, 7:30pm, Oliva Sensei will lead zazen sitting practice.
- Saturdays, 11:45am, Van Amburgh Sensei will host a practice session where you can bring test prep questions, get feedback on your technique and practice your ukemi.
Will the new practices sessions continue past January? It will largely depend upon the level of member support and enthusiasm through January. On reflection, in a previous year we tried out a new monday evening class during winter intensive - it was well received and we’ve continued the class as a regular part of our weekly schedule. Similarly, last January we tried out a new 12:30pm class and it too has continued with enthusiastic support. Your participation shapes our future class schedule.
This January we have several special events lined up for you.
Special events in January:
Jan. 2, Mon, first class of the new year. Resolve to Train!
Jan. 3, Tue, Overview for the month’s intensive (First Tuesday open to all levels this month, all members encouraged to attend)
Jan. 4, Wed, 4:30pm: Fold a Crane for the New Year (public event for adults and children - concurrent with children’s class)
Jan. 8, Sunday, 1pm-4pm, intensive training session
Jan. 10, Tue, Kagami BirakiJan. 31, Tue Kyu tests part 1
Feb 1, Wed, Kyu tests part 2
Dojo party (date to be announced)
Note: Children's program has special practice sessions scheduled on Sundays in January 10:30am- noon.
The new year is an excellent time to renew our commitment to training, look in the mirror (kagami), break our old habits (biraki) and resolve to improve ourselves. We invite you and challenge you to step up your training, focus in on a defined set of techniques and hone them.
Aki Fleshler, Suzane Van Amburgh, Jon Paul Oliva and Sean Sheedy