Friday, September 18, 2009

A Beginner's Point of View 96-99

Day 96:

My wrists seem to be healed nicely from the seminar. I think I’m just about ready to go back to the advanced class. I think I’ll finish this week in the beginner class sharpening my waza and then go on my vacation. Today I spent the entire class assisting sensei as he taught the beginners how to do one-step strikes leading up to kiri-kaeshi. I skipped warm-ups to put on full bogu.

Sensei took a brief opportunity during warm-ups to delegate the warm-ups to one of the sempai. Instead, Sensei showed me the basics of debana strikes and let me practice kote-debana-men and men-debana-men on him. I think this was his way of filling in some instruction my way since he knew he would use me all class to help others train instead of getting more training for just myself. The class would take turns striking men on me and then striking kote on me. Eventually, sensei would lead up to having the class practice one round of kiri-kaeshi on me (instead of the normal two rounds for a full drill).

The Head Sensei showed up close to the end of class and gave me the advice that if people were not hitting too hard then I should skip the step where I would block their strikes with my sword. I can understand this as it lets them get used to striking sayu-men on target. He even performed an example of kiri-kaeshi at his full speed, which was blindingly fast. I could just barely keep up. I did remain calm, however. I think that was the important part. However, at the end of class I felt the beginnings of such a headache. I can appreciate my teachers taking those same lumps for me, letting me learn at their expense.

Day 97:

This class was fully delegated to the sempai from last class. I think he is a shodan and getting ready to test for nidan. I think Sensei delegated the entire class to him as training to get him ready to be able to teach a class himself one day. That’s a great idea. Sempai led us in warm-ups and then started in with waza. He suited up in full bogu and we took turns doing simple one-step strikes on him.

Eventually we went up to kote-men strikes by the end of class. It was a good class. Now I think I’m ready to go back to advanced classes after my vacation. I really need to rest after the horribly hectic work schedule in the past few weeks.

Day 98-99:

No class because I am on vacation.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Beginner's Point of View 94-95

Day 94:

No class as it is a holiday.

Day 95:

Today sensei did not show up. He had some business of his own to take care of. Normally, some schools would not have class but in Kendo, we train to all eventually take over the role of instructor. One of the sempai naturally filled in and taught the class. She led us through warm-ups, footwork drills, and then waza.

Even after the beginner class was over, there were three advanced students who stayed for the advanced class. They just naturally moved into a logical pattern of rotating positions to train with each other to maximize efficiency. One of the great things about Kendo is that we all learn to move like a machine. This speeds up training and makes sure everyone has a chance to practice.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Beginner's Point of View 92-93

Day 92:

Today I attended the basic class and was reminded about how I am not in the best of shape. Warm-ups caused my breath to leave me and my heart to pound loudly. Still, it was a good workout.

We concentrated on footwork this time. We did a lot of basic footwork to work up to a full haya-suburi to teach proper stance. We then practiced men strike over and over while charging across the floor. We practiced kote strike while charging across the floor. Then we practiced kote-men while charging across the floor. All of this was leading up to the class practicing men, kote, kote-men drills to finish the class.

It was a good practice and a good workout. I decided not to push myself too hard for the advanced class and I went home. I may need the workout, but previous doctors have told me that pushing your heart too hard too often is not a good thing. So I decided to pace myself. I want to make shodan, not hurt myself.

Day 93:

No class as I am working late at my job.