Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 445-446

Day 445:

No practice today due to weather.

Day 446:

Today I felt run down. Perhaps it’s been the idleness. I went to class and practiced three sets of kata. Since I was the first to arrive, I also swept the floor. The floor felt different. At first I thought it was the new broom, but it was the floor. It did not slide as it once did. My feet almost felt sticky upon it.

After finishing three sets, I practiced a few spare kata until the instructor had a moment to spare. I asked him that during the fourth kata, he would raise the ki-saki up over his head before striking. Was that the new way of doing it (since he had just come from a seminar)? He said that no, it was a mistake and he’d have to watch that. It’s encouraging to know that sometimes, even higher-ranking Iaidoka can still make mistakes. I don’t have to be perfect; I just have to strive to be perfect.

After practice, I felt drained and exhausted. I inspected my feet when I got home. They’re dried out and cracked in multiple places. My left foot has a patch of dried blood in spots under the skin right where I push off for suri-ashi. I wonder if I should be putting lotion on them or letting them rough out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 443-444

Day 443:

Today felt like a short day. I did three sets of kata while the instructor timed himself. I did some spare kata until he had a moment. I asked him to watch me perform the first kata. I thought I was cutting too low, but he said it was just about right. Maybe my hands could have been lower but the ki-saki was in the right position relative to the tsuba.

Day 444:

No practice today as I am not well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 441-442

Day 441:

Today I really had a lot of energy. I did three sets by the time the class was half over. I did a few spare kata before I noticed something. The instructor was holding his iaito differently than I was. He always had the blade facing towards the opponent where my hands were twisting it sideways. It was just a natural motion, but apparently, it’s making my chiburi harder.

I started keeping the blade straight forward and then only flexing my elbow and wrist. I did twist the blade towards the new plane of motion. Then I did better chiburi seeing only the back side of the blade when it stopped moving.

Day 442:

I did three sets of kata today at a normal pace. I didn’t do a big enough saya-biki several times, causing the sword to rattle coming out on the draw. Also, one of the instructors let me know that on the sixth kata I was not raising the sword high enough before swinging downward. I slowed down my steps, giving myself enough time to raise up higher.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 439-440

Day 439:

Today I started doing two sets of kata. Then we did practice tests. The instructor said I got 5:45 and 5:47 for times. That’s right about perfect for a target time. All I have to remember is to take a deep, slow breath between kata. I still look awkward going into tate-heiza. He said I need to not slide my right foot forward and just keep it still going down, even to the knee.

Day 440:

Against the same day. Two times sets of kata and then two practice tests. I got times around the 5:50 mark which is good. The instructor said that I look somewhere around the ni-kyu level. If I can keep this up and not backslide then I’ll do well in Iaido.

Next week I give blood to the doctor for analysis. Hopefully I can get some good results.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 435-438

Day 435-437:

No class today because of the holiday.

Day 438:

Today is the first practice of the new year. I must have eaten some good food, because I did three sets of kata by the time the class was half over. Still, I was tired. I practiced a few spare random kata to fill the time. I noticed that someone from Kendo stopped by to practice with us. I forget if he usually practices with us before, but I don’t think so.

Next week, the instructor says he’ll start doing practice tests for us. I’m not nearly ready to go back since the seminar and exam will be spread out over two days in two locations across two states! No way. Ugh.