Kiyama Sensei called me early one morning last week. I'd sent him a letter about some training, and a link to pictures of a seminar I had taught. He emphatically told me to just teach folks the shoden set and drill them on that. The pictures included lots and lots and lots of pics of folks doing tameshigiri, even though that had been a little bit tacked on at the end of the day. From the ratio of tameshigiri pics to everything else, I can see how he thought we did mostly cutting that weekend. It's funny, to an American, I'd try to justify what I taught and what we did. To Sensei, I just said "Thank you for the instruction on teaching" and started thinking about reasons why he is right. I've learned to approach things differently with my teachers in Japan, in ways I have trouble applying to my relationships with Americans, even when I really want to.
Oh, for the tameshigir, I just told him it was an aikido dojo and they wanted to do tameshigiri for their aikido. Now I need to send him another letter with some training questions and other things that have come to mind since the last letter. The problem is that I write Japanese so slowly, and I'm embarrassed by my poor Japanese. It communicates, but it's not pretty.