Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 579-580

Day 579:

No class today because of a holiday.

Day 580:

There was a great deal of traffic today. I arrived late to the dojo but still first. I only had enough time for two sets of Iaido and a few spare kata. There was a person who showed up as a prospective student. I told him a few facts about Kendo and Iaido to keep him interested.

In Kendo, the day wasn’t too hot but it was humid. After suburi, we lined up for kiri-kaeshi and men-ouchi. Then we had a surprise round of uchikomi-geiko. We got back to kote-ouchi and then split up into lines. I was in the instructor line while the rest of the class rotated into and out of my line for sixty seconds of keiko. I got my second wind and kept in line the whole time.

We then broke into groups and did some practice ippon-shobou matches. Sensei wanted as many lower-ranking students to fight me as possible to get them to try hard against a harder opponent. I remember being on the other end when I was san-kyu and forced to fight a ni-dan. It made me bring out higher levels of effort. My first fight was embaressing because my Sinai kept getting caught in my opponent’s arms and tangled. The subsequent fights went my way, though.

We then had a long lecture about what not to do in a match, leading to hansoku calls. Things like being bumped out of bounds, pushing others out of bounds, falling down, etc…

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 577-578

Day 577:

Today was hot and humid. I did three sets of kata and my sweat was pouring out.

In Kendo, I stepped into suburi and then did my best in okuri-ashi. I shouted very hard and tired my voice.

We put on our bogu and then practiced our waza. We did kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, men-men-ouchi, and then kakari-geiko. I lost my breath and was very tired. I had to sit out for a few minutes.

After I stepped in, I practiced kote-men-ouchi and a few rounds of ji-geiko. We then did a practice tournament. I volunteered for two fights against lower-ranking students. I let them have a few strikes but I made sure to advance and strike twice for the win each time. I was totally out of breath during each match. I really underestimated my strength during this weather. The guest sensei told me about how I wasn’t showing much zanshin except at the end of each match. I don’t know why I’m so slow to recover my breath from okuri-ashi.

Day 578:

In Iaido class, I was tired and distracted. I only did two sets of Iaido and then nine kata. Not even a full set.

Today was cooler than the previous class. After suburi and okuri-ashi, we did lots of repetitions of men-ouchi and finished with a ji-geiko. I got to fight a nito-player that used to belong to our dojo. I always like fighting against him.

We then did lots of repetitions of kote-ouchi and then another ji-geiko. We did repetitions of doh-ouchi and then another ji-geiko. I nearly had to step out but I toughed it out.

It was sensei’s birthday, so we all took turns fighting him. I was in the second half of the class, so I saw him when he was breathless. I practiced men-men-ouchi and was able to strike. After class, one of our sensei said that my hips were not square, so my left foot was awkward. Now I need to remember to square my hips every time.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 575-576

Day 575:

Today I gave blood to the doctor. Not as much as last time but still gave blood. I only went to Iaido class today and skipped Kendo. I have a history of pushing myself unhealthy after giving blood to the doctor. It was also brutally hot today.

I completed three sets of Iaido with a few minutes to spare. I thought I would only have time for two sets but I did it. I finished with a few sets of matobori-suburi and vertical cut suburi.

Day 576:

Iaido class was cooler than previous, but still humid. I did three sets of kata and felt like I sweat a pound of water.

In Kendo class, we did suburi and then went into kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, doh-ouchi and then some ji-geiko. Sensei wanted to practice kata in preparation for our tournament and testing.

I was paired with a shodan candidate. He looks so young for shodan. Still, I was assigned to teach him, so I did. We did both shidachi and uchidachi sides twice. He really seemed agitated and excited. I told him to relax and be sure that shidachi follows uchidachi.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 573-574

Day 573:

I completed three sets of kata in Iaido plus a few spare kata. I had a question for Sensei. During the seminar, a Sensei instructed me about pulling my hands into my body as opposed to reaching forward like in Kendo. My Sensei told me that this was kiri-oroshi (allowing the cut to fall) as opposed to kiri-otoshi (making the cut fall). It is the way to really cut with a sword as opposed to charging forward to supply the forward motion.

In Kendo, I’m using the tabi to preserve the skin of my left foot. I don’t like the deep cracks and blisters anymore. This is my first Kendo practice since having influenza. I was asked to lead warm-ups and suburi. We did kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, step-in-other-men, step-in-other-kote, step-in-ai-ouchi-men, and then a match of ippon shobu for only 20 seconds. My left toe hurts. Perhaps I twisted it during practice. I’d hate for this to be normal for wearing atabi just barely big enough to fit my foot. Also, I nearly collapsed from the effort. Maybe the flu took more stamina from me than I thought.

Day 574:

Today was a warm day. I was actually able to perform three sets of Iaido kata and have enough time for a full set afterwards in random order. I feel tired but good. I decided to try Kendo again. We had someone show up and watch practice. We might have a new student.

In Kendo, I stepped in for suburi. For practice, we did kiri-kaeshi, step-in men, step-in kote, walk-in men, ji-geiko, and a final set of kiri-kaeshi. I felt poorly by the end of class, like I nearly wanted to step out and rest. I pushed myself and just finished class. I need more time to recover. I have an appointment with the doctor for a physical. I may need to stay out of Kendo while recovering.