Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 459-460

Day 461:

No class today because of the weather.

Day 462:

Today we are back into the small, carpeted room. The dojo is not yet finished.

In Iaido, we did three sets of kata and the instructor reminded me to cut downwards more deeply in the ninth kata. The sword need to come down to the hip.

In Kendo, we did more kata. I taught a student to do the first three kata.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 459-460

Day 459:

Today was back to the carpet room. The dojo is not finished. We did three times the full set of kata. I asked the question about how it’s difficult to put my heel lower when my legs are so long. The instructor said to just do my best.

So, it was back to kata in Kendo. I was assigned a student and practiced the first three kata until he improved. Then I taught him the fourth kata. Afterwards there was still time in class, so we had to do the fifth. I needed a refresher, so I watched an instructor do the fifth kata and then performed it with him to demonstrate. I taught the steps of the fifth kata to the student, both uchidachi and shidachi, until he understood the basics.

Day 460:

Today we were back into the dojo, sanded floor and everything. It was clear the workers were not finished since the floor did not have a new sealant on it, but at least it was sanded. There was a lot of building supplies to move. It seemed by the time the floor was prepared there was only time to do two sets of kata in Iaido.

In Kendo, we went back to the rigorous sets of warm-ups, suri-ashi, kiri-kaehsi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, ai-0ouchi-men, and kakari-geiko. After a few sets of kakari-egeioko, I had to sit out. After what seemed like only a few minutes, I was back to health and ready to put on men. The drill I was missing was hot seat, a favorite of mine. It’s where a single recover stands in the middle and the class takes turns attacking for several seconds at a time. It builds stamina and quick-thinking.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 457-458

Day 456:

In Iaido, we started right away with structured lessons. We learned intricacies of the 6th, 7th, and 8th katas. In the 6th kata, I need to make the initial cut lower because the ki-saki must cut down through the chin. I also need to remember to turn my head first before turning my body for the next cut. In the 7th kata, the end position should be horizontal, not with the ki-saki down. In the 8th kata, before the stab to the second opponent, you should keep the blade flat and horizontal. During the stab, you rotate the wrist and twist the outside edge up.

In Kendo class, we had a more traditional class with two rows of drills. After warm-ups and suburi, we really crunched into many iterations of kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, and kote-ouchi. Then I had to rest because of the many iterations of drills. I sat out, missing ji-geiko. Sensei showed up while I was resting. He only showed up to deliver some necessary paperwork. He looked much more recovered than last time. I jumped back in for a few ai-ouchi-men drills.

Day 457:

Today was an unusual class. Our dojo was being renovated, so the organization that we rent the space from gave us a large room to practice in. It had ceilings that were almost too low and it was carpeted. The instructors decided to have only a kata day. Rei-hou was subdued as we have to talk out loud, but not shout.

I got paired with an ikkyu who was going to test at the tournament next month. I went over the first three kata in both shidachi and uchidachi roles until he had it down. I had forgotten the fourth kata, so the instructor stepped me through it. I remembered the steps as I did them. The instructor then gave a lecture on the fourth kata using me as a partner.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 455-456

Day 455:

Today a new student started Iaido classes and another started the paperwork to begin, so the instructor was busy. I did two and a half sets of kata.

In Kendo, the regular instructor was back. So we did normal amounts of suburi. I did not have to step out from lack of breath. We also skipped suri-ashi drills to get right into practice. Going lengthwise again, we did lots of kiri-kaeshi, menouchi, and kote-men-ouchi drills. We then did a series of lead-up drills that culminated in a rapid 4 times menouchi drill where the partner would strike debana-kote or aiouchi-men. I didn’t have to sit out today even once (even though I came close towards the end).

Day 456:

No practice today because of the weather.