Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 479-480

Day 479:

No class today as it is a holiday.

Day 480:

Today was hot and humid. The humidity made me feel bad. I nearly quit.

In Iaido we had more structure. We did thirty matoburi-suburi, only Iaido style. You turn the blade sideways while rising up to practice blocking. We practiced the first, second, and twelfth katas. During the lessons for the second kata, the rest of us just practiced random kata.

After class, the shodan pointed out that I’m not switching hands right. I need to cross my right hand over my left and then curl under the saya. That will put the sword in the proper position.

I continued to feel lousy into Kendo. I missed warm-ups but I came in for suburi. The instructor tried to explain when it’s acceptable to step in. It’s only when the group bows. You have to pay close attention and run in when you can.

After suburi, we did okuri-ashi with fumi-komi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, kote-men-ouchi. After we broke to men-tsuke, I started feeling better. Curiously, it’s right when I stopped sweating.

We practiced kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, and kote-men-ouchi. I started getting drained again. The instructor corrected me by saying I was bringing my left foot too far forward when passing by after a strike. I notice that keeping it back keeps my speed up.

When I got into the out spot, the instructor called for a massive drill, three men, three kote, three kote-men, and three doh. Ouch. Fortunately, it was only for one time. I just barely finished class.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 477-478

Day 477:

Today was really, really hot. I had to pace myself doing three sets of kata. I felt fatigued near the end of the last set.

I started class again. I did warm-ups, suburi, and okuri-ashi. We did men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, kote-men-ouchi, and kote-men-doh-ouchi. We did something different. We put on kote and used our shinais to go through a two-person tunnel for waza without men. This prevented us from overheating but it was more dangerous. I actually hit someone in the face with my shinai. I was trying to start from farther and farther away to increase my fumi-komi range.

We got a safety lecture while partners are not wearing men. I didn’t have to sit out. I felt really good and worked.

Day 478:

Today we had structure in Iaido class. It was really, really humid. I didn’t feel well all day. We did a few exercises that one would do in an Iaido seminar. We did a sitting kata where you cut horizontal and vertical to the front, right, behind, and left. You finish backwards and have to do it again, winding up cutting in all four directions. We also did a deep knee exercise by cutting vertically while almost putting a knee to the floor, alternating knees.

I was so tired after Iaido that I missed half of Kendo warm-ups, tying my doh and tare on. I did do suburi and okuri-ashi, but that drained me. I felt so weak as we put on men and formed lines. I pushed myself to finish all of the men-ouchi and kote-ouchi drills. I spent some time letting the new guy men me and coached him to pass through. I had a problem with my energy, resulting in my leaning forward. I guess I was gripping the shinai too hard, tensing my shoulders. The instructor kept reminding me of that.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 475-476

Day 475:

Today was warm. I did three sets of Iaido kata. I was really leaning forward on my forward foot too much, almost to the point of wobbly. The instructor was teaching a new student about horizontal and vertical cuts.

In Kendo, instead of helping with warm-ups the instructor asked me to teach the new students (of which there are three) about standing and walking. This would give him the chance to watch the regular class and correct student there. I felt very honored, being trusted to teach the beginners. About halfway through, I was corrected by an instructor not to teach too fast. Footwork only on the first day. Another student reminded me to ask the student to check their feet once in a while to make sure they’re keeping good footwork. I did that for the whole class.

I’d be a little upset at not getting hard training if I was planning on testing in a few months. However, the instructors answered my question about how I was doing by saying I wouldn’t be ready in a few months. I think they’re right, so I’m not upset. I wouldn’t mind teaching again.

Day 476:

Today was hot and humid. I did two and a half sets of Iaido. The normal Kendo instructor did not show up.

I was asked to lead rei-hou, warm-ups, and okuri-ashi. At the end of okuri-ashi, the lead instructor switched places with me. He taught the class while I taught the beginners to combine suri-ashi with men strikes. We worked up towards kiri-kaeshi. The extent of it was four men-ouchi forwards, followed by four men-ouchi backwards. It was good for my footwork as well as theirs.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 473-474

Day 473:

No class today as I am not well.

Day 474:

Today was a simple day for Iaido. I did three sets of kata. The fifth kata seemed strange. My saya keeps flipping itself over before cutting downward. I asked the instructor and he said you’re supposed to make sure it does that so you can noto.

I finished class and put on bogu. I stepped into warm-ups. The instructor decided that we were lazy, so we did two sets of fifty haya-suburi after the normal suburi. Then we did some of the older men, kote, doh, and kote-men drills. It’s nice to see the old ones back again.

During okuri-ashi, the instructor commented that when trying to keep my posture for fumi-komi drills I’m being too conservative in my leap. I need to leap farther.

We did a ton of drills for practice. Kiri-kaeshi, seven men-ouchi, kiri-kaeshi, seven kote-ouchi, doh-kiri-kaeshi, and even two ji-geikos. During the drills, I leaped farther and farther, only to feel the broken callous on my left foot rip open. The warm wetness came signaling blood. There’s no blood allowed on the floor, so I had to step out. The instructor told me to tape it up and I can get back in. I taped it up, but I had to angle the tape around my foot to avoid having it scrape off. I went back in and the instructor commented that I’m starting at too close to my opponent. That’s embarrassing. I was telling other students the same thing earlier today.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 471-472

Day 471:

I did two sets of Iaido, but I was wobbly on my feet. I think I’m leaning forward too much. The new student wanted to start Iaido lessons.

In Kendo, the weather was cool and rainy. We didn’t have the overhead fans on, so my throat didn’t dry out so fast.

We did warm-ups, suburi, and okuri-ashi. We then did several rounds of kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, and kote-ouchi. We had time for a match of ji-geiko at the end. I fought against the instructor and did well. Not only did I hold my own against him, I think I struck points on him more often than he scored against me.

I did not have to sit out during the practice. I feel I’m getting stronger.

Day 472:

I did two sets of Iaido today. I seem to run out of time doing only two sets. I was still wobbly, so I tried leaning back some. I need to get used to that.

In Kendo, the instructor was late today. As he walked in, he told me to just start class. So, I led the opening ceremony, warm-ups, and okuri-ashi. I tried to impress on everyone to keep their feet not side-by-side during footwork.

We then lined up and put on men. We did endless drills of men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, kiri-kaeshi, kote-men-ouchi, and one match of ji-geiko. It was against a younger student, so I fought at the ikkyu level.

Again, I did not sit out. I was faint and tired for a long time. The last four drills, I felt like sitting out but I toughed it out. I’m so hyped about staying in. I feel like I’m getting better towards where I was before I had to sit out.

The doctor’s office called and let me know my liver is nearly fully healed. I’m doing well.