My First Experience at the Gi Yu Dojo in Ohio
By Jake Lund (13 years old) San-Kyu

My first experience at the Gi Yu Dojo in Dayton, Ohio was completely amazing.  I was there for the third annual seminar and learned many new techniques.  The seminar lasted three days and we spent time focusing on the Gi Yu Suwari Gata, Jinen Ryu Bikenjutsu and tatami cutting.  Although I have practiced some of these things at the dojo in Atlanta, I really enjoyed working with other people and different body types at the seminar.  

Getting a chance to cut tatami with a live blade was one of my favorite parts of the seminar.  I have tried cutting tatami before but I learned a lot by watching Sensei Sandhu’s cutting in person.  I had seen Sensei cutting tatami on video but it was much better seeing him live.  Sensei demonstrated by cutting one, two, and then, three tatami mats rolled together. His cutting was very impressive.  I learned how to use my body to control the sword better and cut through the tatami easier.   

I also had the opportunity to test for my Green belt during the seminar.  There were many techniques that I had to memorize for the test.  My Dad was also testing for his Green belt and we worked on our test requirements about a thousand times at home and in class.  But, when it was testing day, I really wished we had gone over our techniques at least 500 more times.  I was really nervous when it was time for the testing to begin.  My Dad and I did our techniques well but the test was not over.  We still had Randori to finish.

The Randori part of the test was where we show how well we could evade attacks and escape from certain situations.  It was very intimidating to be attacked by all the senior students.  The way they attacked made it hard to escape.  I just wondered “How am I going to do this?”  I realized after I got started that the most important things were to keep my feet moving, focus on each attack, and to not stop.  Doing the Randori training helped me understand that Kobudo was a true self defense school and not a sport martial art.  I did just what I was taught and my Dad and I both passed and got our Green belts!  

It was great to meet so many new people at the seminar.  Everyone made us feel so welcome.  My trip to Ohio was very educational.  I think many things I learned at the seminar could help me in other athletic activities.  I look forward to going to next year’s seminar.