The Tangoubukan was pleased to have Midori Yasui sensei, a special guest instructor from Japan, lead its NCNF godogeiko held on Oct. 18. Yasui, renshi, is a naginata instructor at the Mie Budokan and the Suzuka University of Medical Science.
Approximately 15 people attended the event. Some were NCNF veterans with many decades of naginata experience and at least one started naginata that day.
For most of the four-hour session, Yasui concentrated on developing stronger kihon waza and shikake-oji, primarily on developing a more dynamic shomen uchi and breaking down the detail of shikake-oji No. 8. She said she was impressed with everyone's strong spirit and commitment to basic technique.
Toward the end of the session, she also introduced a couple of group bogu drills, but added that because we were short on time, she couldn't work too deeply with us on them. Her purpose, she said, was simply to introduce us to the drills and for us to think about the possibilities for incorporating them in our training.
Before teaching at the Mie Budokan and the Suzuka University of Medical Science, Yasui had taught Naginata in Japanese public high schools for many years. She is an All Japan Naginata Federation (AJNF) national referee (isshu shinpan) and a Japan Sports Association coach. Yasui was a good friend of the late Miyako Tanaka sensei and has been a longtime supporter of the Northern California Naginata Federation. She is currently the president of the Mie Prefecture Naginata Federation as well as the the director and guidance chairman of the All Japan Naginata Federation (AJNF).