Coming back to training after about five or six months off seemed quite daunting at the time. Sure, we’d been keeping up to date with each other with the wonders of zoom calls every week, but seeing everyone again after so long was, well, daunting. The zoom calls weren’t only to catch up on missed time, but to exchange knowledge about various aspects of Japan, which was so interesting and insightful, and I honestly learnt so much from those meetings. Everybody took part and had a go at presenting something new to us, so it really felt like a group activity.
When lockdown began to ease and we were finally allowed to start training again, I was actually pretty nervous. Thankfully the dojo was ‘on it’, with health and safety measures put right on into place. We all wore face masks, sanitised our hands and any surfaces we touched and maintained two meters away from one another, so most of my worries were dealt with almost instantly.
I’d actually injured my shoulder over the ‘time off’ and knew that training for me was going to tough, if not impossible for the first few weeks. But still I turned up to training to observe the others and learn as much as I could. When I eventually had enough strength in my shoulder to hold a bokken I began to train again, for only a short amount of time each session. I have now worked up to full sessions, but still, I’m using my bokken and not my sword. Everybody has been really understanding and patient with me and it’s really put me at ease knowing that I can train at my own pace to gradually build my shoulder back up again without the worry of injuring it again.
Training regularly again has actually helped me regain a sense of normality in my life. During lockdown I was classed as a key worker, so I actually ended up working overtime and very… unusual hours. I have anxiety and let me tell you, I was all over the place, as I no longer had any regular routine, other than our weekly zoom meetings. Now things are slowly going back to normal and I have found that I am relying on iaido to keep me grounded in such uncertain times. So, while things aren’t still what you would call normal, what with social distancing, having to wear face masks and so much hand sanitiser that my hands will never be the same again, it’s good to be back.
Seishin Budo Dojo UK