As Victoria comes out of lockdown, in-person training will resume with some changes. 6 February is the tentative start date for regular training in 2021, with 27 February as the start of the next beginners' course. Please check in with this website regularly for updates.
Here's a video of two senior members of Tatsumi Ryu performing various kata at the annual demonstration at Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto. They start with iai, and you can see the standing and seated variations of Muko and Marui at the same time.
One of the things that makes Tatsumi Ryu unusual is that it has paired kata for weapons other than the sword. Here you see long sword vs spear (yari) and also short sword vs spear. Traditionally in most old Japanese arts like Tatsumi Ryu where the sword is the primary weapon, the sword always wins: the kata exist mainly to prepare the kenshi to use the sword against various weapons.
However in Tatsumi Ryu there are kata for weapons versus sword where the other weapon wins, and also kata that don't involve the sword at all, such as spear vs spear. In fact Tatsumi Ryu spear kata demonstrate the spear's amazing versatility: it can be used to strike at distance using its great length advantage (around 2.5m), but it can also be held near the tip and used at close quarters like a dagger.
By the way, in Japanese arts, the spear is never thrown. We often think of a spear as something you might hunt an animal with if you're a stone-age hunter (perhaps flung using a force-multiplier like a woomera). So in martial arts, the term javelin is used to differentiate a spear that is a missile-weapon from one like the Japanese yari that is a thrusting weapon.
PS: it looks like the previous kata video was taken down from Youtube for copyright violation. Oh well...
If any of you are good with your hands (or your mum or dad is!), you might like to try making this kendo dummy. I haven't made one but it looks good and the detailed plans are free to download. http://www.bestkendo.com/HowtoDummy.html b
Some more holiday reading, this time about something that I hope everyone will be doing and thinking about regularly while they are not in the dojo – suburi! This research is by a group of researchers from Keio University in Japan, led by two 7-dan kendo sensei. They looked at the best position to swing back to, and also the best position to stop the cut, whilst doing men suburi. Click here to read the article. b *Thanks to www.miamivalleykendo.org for the article