Hiten's First Disciple

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ShinobiTruth
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:25 pm

"Again!"

Hijikata stood surveying young students as they practiced their basic strikes. About twenty students in all, Hijikata was very happy for the dojo he'd come to assist. He was surprised to see that, despite having such a heritage with traditional styles of swordsmanship, even towns in the Tea Country were finding it difficult to recruit new students. If he had to use the allure of being a foreigner (many of these young pupils had never met anyone outside of Tea Country) to motivate others to learn the sword, so be it. A warrior had to learn to be adaptable, both inside and outside of combat. It wasn't simply combat skills he was teaching these young folks, either; he would often begin his lessons with a discussion session before, a short lecture if you will, on how swordsmanship was more than a way to kill. Swordsmanship didn't simply reflect itself in when one was taking a life; it shows itself in the mercies extended, not the amount of vengeance taken or blood spilled. A true master of the sword saw their craft reflected in the ways they lived their lives and the ways they treated those around them.

In unison, Hijikata would call out each of the nine vital points to strike. If they had to resort to violence, then they needed to know how to bring their enemies a swift, merciful death. He could have elaborated how doing so would help the soul of the enemy find peace in the afterlife, but he knew that not all students shared the same reverence for the spirits, and he would not impose his faith upon them.

"Karatake!"

In unison, they cried, "Hah!"

"Sakagesagiri!"

"Hah!"

"Miginagi!"

"Hah!"

"Migikiriage!"

"Hah!"

"Sakakaze!"

"Hah!"

"Hidarikiriage!"

"Hah!"

"Hidarinagi!"

"Hah!"

"Kesagiri!"

"Hah!"

"Tsuki!"

"Hah!"

Occasionally, he would walk over to a student and help them adjust their posture, but other than that, he simply taught by example, doing the exercises with them, using a wooden katana. While the students practiced with shinai, Hijikata's own was more similar to an actual katana, even accompanied by a scabbard. In his own way, he also improved his own swordsmanship alongside the students. He currently wore his white keiko-gi, and the sound of the younglings' kiai shouts rang out from the dojo. His arrival, mostly due to him being a foreigner, was the talk of the town. His location at any given time would be no secret.

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Envy
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:04 am

Hide sat aloft in a tree lazily swinging his legs as he savored his pilfered meal, it was some sort of sweet riceball that while not the most luxurious meal the young man had enjoyed the price could not be beaten. He found himself outside of the Iaido dojo a spot he found himself in fairly often these days having been trained in the basics of the style himself though he couldn't help pity the students below. Training stances and kata were useless or at least mostly so in Hide's opinion, Hide's training had failed him when he needed it most and as a result, he had gotten himself into some pretty dire straights.

The Foreigner was interesting enough though, as Hide moved closer into the interior of the Tea Country the number of foreigners seemed to dwindle so another strange face stuck out like a sore thumb and typically the locals ate that up, he seemed to know his stuff though, Hide could pick out the obvious errors in the new trainees but the guest teacher didn't seem to be that much older than Hide and even sported his own Katana. Hideaki couldn't help but size up the students "I could take him, him, her, maybe him if I fought dirty" he said to himself but as usual, the boy was nothing more than bluster and let these thoughts comfort him safe in the knowledge his preconceived notions would never be challenged.

Sizing up the teacher was another thing entirely and Hideaki knew he'd have to fight really dirty to ever stand a chance but he knew the Foreigner's type, he was all about honor, Bushido and the katana as an extension of the warrior rather than simply a weapon or at least that's what Hide caught of the man's speech lead him to believe. He'd wait until the end of the lesson before approaching the teacher, he had no doubt that he could learn a thing or two and the boy thought anything but a private lesson below him, after all, he was Hideaki master fugitive.
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:25 pm

Hijikata has noticed the young man sitting in the tree branch from the first day he’d started observing the students. He’d done nothing to disrupt the class, so Hijikata had paid him no mind, only occasionally glancing over towards him to make sure he was minding his own business. Hijikata has no reservations with teaching the young man, but the seasoned teacher could see that his eyes were not one of curiosity, but those used to size up opponents. The fact he felt he could adequately do so implied some combat experience, but he doubted the boy had ever faced opponents as skilled as himself.

Hijikata continued with his lessons. He would do his best not to prejudge the boy. Everyone had the right to learn the sword. Still, the conditions under which one learned the sword had an impact as to how viewed swordsmanship... and how they used it. If this boy started to hassle the students, he would have to step in.

Sure enough, as the lesson ended and Hijikata began to scrub the floors along with his students, the sound of unfamiliar footsteps, and the sudden hushed whispers of his young disciples, signaled Hideaki’s arrival. Making sure to keep his behavior above reproach, Hijikata sat up on his knees and nodded. ”Good day, young man! How can I help you? If you are looking to partake in the class, I’ll have to ask that you please return tomorrow. As you have seen, we just finished our lessons for today, but we would love to have you as a part of the class.”

The teacher’s immediate reply to Hideaki’s yet unspoken request brought further murmurs from the students. Some were excited by the tension; others were afraid of what it might mean. Hijikata locked eyes with Hideaki. His resolute gaze clearly showed that funny business and shenanigans would not be tolerated.

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:18 am

Hideaki shovelled the remainder of his rice ball into his mouth and made his way down towards the dojo as classes had started to wrap up, the trash which was formerly the packaging for his lunch he stuffed into a small hole in the tree "I'll come back for that later" he told himself despite that fact he was fairly sure he wouldn't.

"What's up Teach?" Hideaki began a lopsided smile curling his features, the man was polite as Hide assumed he would be, Hide often came across as abrasive and some of the time it was even on purpose today, however, wasn't one of those times, at least not yet. "Join this class? Thanks but I put down wooden swords a long time ago" at least 2 years felt like a long time ago when you were only sixteen, "I was wondering when the intermediate classes trained, now one of those I'd be interested in".

Hide continued to walk up to the dojo but stopped just outside the doors, he hung lazily on the door jambs not wanting to bring dirt inside since the floors were in the process of being cleaned, he was an asshole at times but usually, some form of provocation prompted that side of him to come out. Looking around at the student's faces he knew the looks and had seen them dozens of times before, half wanted to see a fight which in this case knew he'd lose, of the rest some wanted Hide gone through fear or disdain and a few outliers either didn't care that he was there or just wanted to get home. "Y'all can chill out, I'm not looking for a fight" he sighed tilting he neck from side to side eliciting a few cracks and pops.
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:47 am

Hijikata’s eyes narrowed, scrutinizing the young man further. It was true that his skill ceiling, simply measuring by his posture, was likely well above any of his students thus far. The young man carried his katana in a familiar way, a clear indication he had used them numerous times before, and he could certainly use it again if he needed to. This young man had at least drawn blood, if not taken life, this early in his life.

With that said, his looseness seemed to lack a solid foundation. He clearly studied the fundamentals of swordsmanship at some point. So why the lack of poise and balance? Perhaps it was a ruse to lure the opponent into attacking a false opening? That was effective, sure, on petty bandits and thieves. But, aside from those bloated with self-importance and overconfidence...

Such a trick was useless against a more evenly matched opponent. He did not realize this, and yet he sought “intermediate lessons?” The boy did not realize his foolishness, nor his own potential. There was a chance that he could be built back up, to become a swordsman to rival Hijikata at his current level of skill. But to do that, Hijikata still had one quality he had to search for in the boy:

Humility. It was time to look for it.

”Gakusei, sentō no junbi o shimashou!” Hijikata called. The students reacted fanning out and forming two rows on either side of the dojo, blocking the entrances as the sat back down on their knees. Taking one of the bokken off of the wall, he tossed it to Hideaki. ”If you truly seek to learn swordsmanship from me, I will never turn a potential student away. But I do not offer shortcuts in my instructions. So, if you wish to advance to the next stage, you just prove you are worthy of it.”

Brandishing his own wooden katana, Hijikata held the handle with one hand, facing foward in an otherwise traditional kendo stance. ”Begin!”

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:24 pm

The scent of the wood after being freshly cleaned brought a wave of nostalgia over Hide he breathed deep filling his mind and soul of simpler times, times of wooden and not iron swords, of laughter and bloodless growth. With a deep breath, Hide caught the wooden sword and kicked off his sandals leaving them just outside the doors to the dojo, the floors had just been cleaned after all.

Taking a moment to grip the wooden floor with his toes Hide scanned the room, the floor was firm yet pliable, the water had for the most part already evaporated meaning that hopefully, he wouldn't slip on his arse during whatever exercise this man was trying to perform. Hide had the slight advantage in having watched his opponent training meaning at the very least he knew his dominant hand even if he didn't know the full extent of his strength.

It had been years since Hide had encountered Iaido and an amateur clashing with an expert in like styles was typically a very stupid idea and while Hide typically followed up with stupid ideas that didn't happen during combat and this, despite being with wooden swords was combat. Electing a style fresher in his mind Hide dropped into a low stance and reversed the grip on his sword holding it flat against his forearm, he had thought before he would have to fight dirty to beat some of these guys and while this wasn't anywhere near dirty for him he had no doubt some of these Bushido types would think so.

"Well hold on to your butts, here goes nothing" Hide began to run at the stranger who had only just realised was still a stranger, even Hide knew not having an introduction was rude but it was little too late now. Hide knew that more often than not Iaijutsu began with the draw and keeping that in mind used his reversed grip on his sword as more of a shield for the moment, charging into and with some luck ultimately past his opponent he'd hold his sword close to his side to deflect the draw and aim a heel kick at the back of his opponent's knee.
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Toryu • Lock Sweep
D-Rank Kenjutsu Maneuver
Prerequisite: 5 Speed
A basic technique of the style wherein the user moves in for a basic lunge-thrust with their weapon, only to turn in mid thrust and attempt to sweep their leg under the opponent's own. This tends to be useful as a basic feint and can usually knock down those with 3 less strength than the user.
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:29 pm

Hiji's suspicions were confirmed as he watched the boy reminisce and feel out the stability of the floor with his feet. It was clear that the young man had been formally trained at some point in the past... but something had gone terribly wrong. He was curious to know about his story, but he was even more curious about the stance he took. He'd seen that style while traveling before... Yes, in the Land of Pebbles. It was a rough style, to be certain, but it was strong in its own right. Its use of feints and misdirection were impressive, and they were deadly in the hands of an experienced warrior.

Sadly, though he aspired to be, this young man was not such. Not yet, at least.

Hiji did not assume the traditional Iaido stance, instead opting for a standard ready position for basic kenjutsu, the sword held out in front of him in one hand. If he resorted to Iaido, it meant in HIjikata's eyes that he was taking a shortcut, not enforcing his instructions of mastering the fundamentals before learning to flex their limits and bend their rules. Every swordsman, himself included, still mastered the fundamentals before all else. The boy dashed towards him, keeping his profile low. That same low profile essentially telegraphed his movements; pivoting slightly, Hiji followed his movements and waited.

Certainly enough, the kick came, and Hijikata stepped back slightly and brought his wooden sword to strike Hideaki's Achilles' tendon of the offending foot with the flat of the blade. If it hit, it would cause considerable pain but no permanent damage. "Hidarikiriage!" he called out as he executed the strike.

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:01 am

Hide's foot caught air and then something that wasn't and then pain, not the worst the boy had endured in his lifetime but pain by its very nature wasn't pleasant "Son of a" he muttered under his breath. This wasn't the first time that Hide had to prove his worth this was probably the least painful of the provings he had endured but he had never really seen the point of them, the one with the creepy guy with the masks being the exception.

Hide jumped a few paces back and brought his wooden training sword down into the most basic of kendo stances "So uh, what are you trying to gain from this exactly?" he paused for a moment spinning the sword around in a few simple flourishes that were useless they were worse than useless and left himself exposed in several key areas. "You know I'm not going to win and I know I'm not going to win so either this is to show your students you can beat up mouthy kids or you have a very specific fetish here and are getting your jollies for free rather than seeing a rent boy up the road" Hide smirked to himself, he knew full well he wasn't going to land a hit on the guy's body but that wouldn't stop him giving his ego a good seeing to.

"You wanna hit me again go ahead and hit me again, you'll learn the same amount you did from the first time" he slung his sword over his shoulders and braced himself, this entire spectacle was folly, you'd have to be some kind of moron to continue to fight someone who knew full well you had no chance of defeating and if this were the real world he'd be gone already.
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:45 pm

Hijikata shook his head, ignoring Hideaki's sharp insult. "You misunderstand, young one. You discard the fundamentals as if they are useless, pointless. But the fundamentals are the fundamentals for a reason," the samurai corrected. "The truth is this: yes, you are more experienced than any of my students here. You know swordsmanship in the real world. You know blood. You know death because you've come face-to-face with it. But you incorrectly concluded you were forced to face your own mortality so frequently because the fundamentals of swordsmanship were somehow flawed, wrong. You concluded that you should focus only on your own style, trying to become unique instead of becoming better."

Hijikata nodded towards the boy. "I tell you, truly: in terms of ability, of raw talent, you are not much weaker than I am. If you give yourself the opportunity to really learn what you discarded, you will become a fine swordsman and a cunning warrior. But because you have neglected the basics, your raw talent means little. You are no more proficient than any one of my students because of that fault in your reasoning. If you are truly worthy of more complex lessons or private tutoring, you will force me to use my signature style. At your current level of ability, you are capable of defeating me using only basic swordsmanship. But only if you have mastered the basics as I have..."

The instructor momentarily pointed his sword towards the class. "...And as all of these students are striving to learn. You are wise enough to recognize a lost fight. But are you humble enough to do what is right, what is best for you, even if you hate it?" Hijikata asked pointedly, fierce eyes seeing through Hideaki's youthful folly.

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:04 pm

"You sure do make a lot of assumptions about my fundamentals" Hide began slowly pacing around the room, wooden training sword over his shoulders still his slow lazy strides making it obvious for the moment he had no intent to charge his opponent. "I know fundamentals just fine, I learned them in a place just like this with kids just like these" he shifted the sword from his shoulder and began to use it almost like a makeshift cane though putting very little weight on the training blade, he moved with a soft tap following his footsteps.

"A wise man once told me you don't try to outswim a shark, I think you're smart enough to figure out what that means but I'll play your dumb fucking game until I get bored I guess" he'd made his way back to the entrance of the dojo and made a point to make sure his sandals were still where he had left them seeing as he heard there was a thief around and he was never quite sure if that meant just him.

With a deep breath, Hide steadied his mind and rolled his shoulders, fixing his reversed grip back into a more traditional one he bent his knees slightly and gently bounced on the balls of his feet. Sucking in air rapidly through clenched teeth he released a small kiai as he began what in his mind was a fruitless assault on his opponent bringing his training sword down in a downwards arc towards his opponent's collarbone and neck.
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