Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 543-544

Day 543:

In Iaido class, I finished two sets of kata before the practice test. I also found that I’ve lost my ability to do big chiburi, meaning the one from jodan. I asked Sensei who told me to stop trying to rotate the sword and just twist my wrist. Then you just drop your arm in the plane of the sword. That’s so much easier. Also, the shodan gave me the advice of not ‘breaking’ my wrist. It means not allowing the sword to flex my wrist beyond straight arm. I do it on several cuts.

Doing the practice test, I got a 5:45, which is perfect in my opinion. However, when putting my saya into my obi at the beginning of the rei-hou, it felt really restricted. I think I messed that up. It prevented me from doing saya-biki. Sensei also mentioned that I need to show more saya-biki.

In Kendo, we had a small class. Just myself, the instructor, and two students. While putting on my tare and doh, the instructor had to correct the youngest student for not shouting responses during suburi. After jumping in, we immediately put on men and lined up. We practiced kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, doh-ouchi, and kote-men-ouchi.

For the final kote-men I did, I tried harder to raise my arms and finished with a loud POP. That was so satisfying. The instructor reminded me about not pushing with my arms after trying to crash into my opponent after a strike. Letting my arms go limp and crashing with my abdomen.

Then we had ji-geiko, but with the new student it was kakari-geiko. I’m liking my smoothness and speed with ji-geiko.

Day 544:

No class today because of the weather.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 541-542

Day 541:

In Iaido class, I got to practice one and a half full sets of kata. After that, we got a lecture of proper techniques and then got to perform two practice tests. My first time was 5:30 and my second time was 5:38. Both are acceptable, but I should be aiming for 5:45. Slowing down and taking two breaths between kata helps your time. After class, I made sure to remind our treasurer about my need for my Iaido zekken. Just to be sure it will get done.

In Kendo, we had a new student join us. After suburi, we worked a lot on okuri-ashi. I made sure to stay on my back foot and step forward smoother. I made sure to fumi-komi a little shorter and gentler rather than harder. Then we broke and put on men. We practiced kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, doh-ouchi, kakari-geiko, and ji-geiko.

Day 542:

In Iaido class I got through two sets of kata before we got to do another practice test. I forgot about the mii-jo command. I got caught in mid rei-hou and had to start again. I gotta remember that one. I got a time of 5:53. Pretty good but I should probably be a smidge faster.

In Kendo, I was asked by Sensei to teach the new student about footwork and basic strikes. Suri-ashi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, doh-ouchi, and a familiarization with the suburi.

Head Sensei showed up and taught the advanced class. I do not have time to stay for advanced class if I practice Iaido. Too bad.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 539-540

Day 539:

Today was the first Iaido practice in months and the first practice of the year. I remember the kata, but my ankles do not. My right bicep and the tops of my ankles feel sprained. Also my sword cuts are wobbly. I need to relax my arms as I draw.

In basic Kendo class, I stepped into suburi and kept up with the class. I guess all those advanced classes have helped my health. After putting on men and kote, we did kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, and a few rounds of ji-geiko. Standing more on my back foot seems to really help.

Day 540:

In Iaido, I did three sets of kata quickly, trying too hard to get back into shape. My ankles are really sore, especially after sitting in tate-heiza. I did a few spare kata of 1, 6, 7, and 9 to practice.

In basic Kendo, I stepped in for okuri-ashi. After some footwork, we did some basic fumi-komi drills, which hurt my left ankle. Darned tate-heiza. Still, taking it easy and shortening my stride saved my ankle. We did some renzuko-men and put on men.

We practiced some hard repetitions of kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, doh-ouchi, kakari-geiko, and a round of ji-geiko. I faced off against Sensei and scored some points. I think I’m getting better.