Saturday, February 7, 2015

Zanshin Morris

There's a local tradition, here, of something pretty similar to a Morris dance, the version with sticks (and always with sticks, here; short, two, maybe three hand-spans). Today we had the chance to watch three troupes perform their versions. One was from the "state" capital, the other from an old fortress town, the third from a local hub farther beyond.

The first ones were a demo show. Nice satins, ribbons... Cutey.

The second ones... I'll get back to those.

The third ones were happy, unashamedly asking for contributions, laughing and dancing. Getting with their own routines when the first ones faltered because they lost partners along the route (clothing mishap; no, not that kind).

The second ones? Those I was to get back to? They were the ones that better recalled what those things were. If the last ones were performing group kata at a tournament, the second ones were warming up for training. They had the only performer I saw (and I wasn't able to check as thoroughly as I would have liked) who didn't need to look at the sticks. He did see them, and watch them, he simply didn't turn his eyes or his head towards them. A boy in his mid-teens. That was the group that broke a stick while I watched and swapped it without stopping the dance.

Zanshin. And, BTW, they did NOT move from the heel.

So, why do we train?

Take care.

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