Studying Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu with My SonThomas Hufnagel (Gensui), 2008-05-13
In early 2003 I was looking for an activity that I could do with my son, Eric, who was 17 years old at the time. We had played golf off and on, but I wanted something where we could be together on a more regular basis. It was at this time that I attended a demonstration of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. I was very excited after the demonstration, as Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu seemed to involve my interest in swords and Japanese history and, at the same time, provide the possibility for a local activity that I could participate in with my son.
In May of 2003 both of us were accepted as students (Deshi) of the United States Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Michigan Dojo and I must say that I could not be happier with my experience to-date. From my perspective, I think that training together at the same Dojo, and being in the same class has worked out very well. We have taken Iaijutsu classes together for over thirty months, as well as lessons in Japanese language and Japanese calligraphy (Shodo).
Since Eric currently lives at home, we have had quite a few discussions concerning form in our practice of Kata and have found that we can help each other out with our problem areas. We have the ability to point out flaws in each other’s form without causing problems. Because my travel schedule for my job, and Eric’s work and school commitments, we have not had as much time to practice together as I would like…but the time we do spend together practicing outside of the Dojo is enjoyable and productive.
I have not really seen any problems so far with taking Iaijutsu classes together as father and son. I look at this as a lifetime activity, and hope that Eric does too, and that through our practice of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu, we can continue to spend quality time together for many years to come.