Little House In Ise


Last Class at Saruta Hiko Jinja Dojo
January 23, 2008, 13:14
Filed under: Aikido, Expat, Japan | Tags: , , , , ,

Tatami may be traditional for dojo but they’re harder, more slippery and abrasive than judo mats or even most home-grown tarp covered mats that I’ve trained on. Move with the grain and your feet will often slide more than you really want them to. Go against the grain and expect friction burns. The cold days, when you can see your breath all through practice, the tatami feel even harder than they really are. Maybe it’s just that my feet and hands start out out numb and slapping the tatami during rolls stings more than normal. The mats are more tattered than when I first arrived. They’re heavily patched with gum tape and arranged so that the most worn spots are farthest to the sides. It doesn’t help much. After one good fall my hakama is covered with dust and bits of straw.

Training with and becoming a friend of the folks at Saruta has been the high point of my stay in Ise. I look forward to coming back and rolling around with them more, even though the mats chew through my ankles every time! 🙂

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