Friday, July 26, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 495-496

Day 495:

No class today as I am sick.

Day 496:

In Iaido, I did two and a half sets of kata. A student walked over and told me I was holding my sword wrong. He showed me how to hold the sword better and it did help my chiburi from overhead.

In Kendo, I’m back from being sick. I hope I’m not going to sit out. We did suburi fast and hard like Head Sensei suggested. It did really drive home physically the idea of cutting. For waza, we did kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, and a new drill. Both people step together into sashi-men range. The attacker steps forward and then back and then the attacker should be in range then. There was ji-geiko to do, but I missed out to just random position in the rotation. I was in the out position and then had to receive for a student who was in his first class with the rest of us. It’s okay. I’ll get it next time.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 493-494

Day 493:

No class today as I am sick.

Day 494:

No class today as I am sick.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 491-492

Day 491:

Today I did a full two sets of Iaido kata and up to the ninth kata when the instructor started to lecture. He told us of how at the seminar he learned that during the seventh and eighth katas you are supposed to transfer the sword over your head using one hand and meet up with the other hand when the uke part of the blade is overhead.

The instructor also mentioned after class how he was promoted to sandan. I guess I should call him sensei now.

In Kendo, we drilled hard in suburi, orukri-ashi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, doh-ouchi, and fumi-komi. The instructor said we are coming up on our tournament, so it’s time to start hard conditioning of our bodies. It was really hot and humid inside my men. Often I thought of stepping out, thinking, ‘That’s it. One more and I’m done.’ Still, I kept pushing. One more, one more, one more… I finished class just barely without stepping out. I won several exchanges of ji-geiko, including against the instructor.

Day 492:

In Iaido, I had a lot of energy. I finished three sets of kata and a few spare kata. I asked the sensei about the cutting path on the fifth kata. He answered by saying the path up and the path back are the same. You stop with your left hand in the center and the ki-saki to the left, by the hip. That’s different than some of the study guides, but that’s the way it’s done now.

In Kendo, our Head Sensei showed up randomly. He made several changes to our training. Like he does not want us to take it easy in suburi. Each cut with a bokken must be as if we were in shiai. I need to stop my men strike with a slight bend in my right arm, not locked out like I often do. We must never cross our foot in sashi-men drills, even if building up for timing of fumi-komi.

We did men-ouchi drills over and over many times, getting the timing down. We did some kiri-kaeshi and a drill we’ve done in the past. Ten haya-suburi quickly with the last one charging through.

He also lectured over and over about loud kiai with each strike. He said to ‘celebrate each men strike’.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 489-490

Day 489:

Today was a nice day, only warm and not hot. I did one full set of Iaido. The rest was lecture because the instructor and another student came back from a trip to a seminar. He commented on the new changes, such as the possibility that in the fourth kata you must tsuki back and a little left instead of center. Also, he commented that many sensei reminded the group that extending your body too far forward or too far back with a bent knee will end up with you standing up too wobbly. That sounds like what I’m doing.

In kendo, we had only a few students. We did several rounds of okuri-ashi, but in increments. We worked up fumi-komi with short arm swings up to horizontal. Right leg and left arm together. This added the right arm over the left arm and then tenouchi. This adds up to a nice tutorial for sashi-men. I needed this lesson.

Day 490:

No class today as I am not well.