Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 612-613

Day 612:

In Iaido class, I was able to complete 2 sets of Iaido and then a few spare kata. I remembered to try to cut across the shoulders of the enemy instead of “horizontally”. It seems to make the path better.

In Kendo I was teaching again. I had to compress the schedule since he doesn’t show up twice a week. We did rei-hou and stretched. Then we reviewed okuri-ashi, fumi-komi, and 2-step men. Then I put on bogu and taught him kote and doh strikes. After repeating the strikes several times, I had him doing something like kakari-geiko where I give a random opening. Next week is the last training class and I introdouce kiri-kaeshi.

Day 613:

In Iaido class I tried to focus. I squeezed in a full 3 sets of kata and then immediately ending rei-hou. I’m really losing track of time in class. Cutting lower across “shoulders” helps for the first 2 kata.

In Kendo, we had an old-fashioned stamina-training session. After warm-ups and suburi, we had several rounds of okuri-ashi. We had several rounds of men-ouchi, small men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, small kote-ouchi, ai-men-ouchi, and ji-geiko. The new drill was ai-men against men and kote and doh. After class, I was told that I keep dropping my guard. I give bait and then don’t fully recover. I should fix that.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 610-611

Day 610:

I was able to complete three full sets of Iaido again. I concentrated and did not hesitate. I need to remember to cut lower horizontally across the eyes. Maybe I need to imagine cutting across “my shoulders” instead.

In Kendo, I had to teach again. My student came back and seemed eager to practice. We reviewed rei-hou and warm-ups. We went over some words in Japanese and then did some okuri-ashi in our corner of the dojo.

It was time to teach him fumi-komi, so we joined the class. However, when the class did their kiai, he left. He had an anxiety attack and refused. All I could do was try to comfort him and get him to recover. I taught him basic fumi-komi together and we practiced 2-step men with and without fumi-komi.

I added the 4-step suri-ashi drill to the mix and he finished the class today. He told me that he could only practice once per week. Next week I’ll have to compress the schedule and teach him kote and doh.

Day 611:

No class today because I am not well.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 608-609

Day 608:

In Iaido class, I only got to accomplish two and a half sets. I was really distracted. Maybe I was obsessing over being prepared for teaching today. I got my last new shinai from the club. We don’t sell equipment after this so I need to watch my shinais. When I think I need a new one, I’ll have to order two from the website. I also put in an order for the “How to Teach Kendo” book. It has great pictures and explanations.

In Kendo class, I taught my student. We reviewed rei-hou and I included standing rei. We reviewed chudan and some basic footwork. Today I introduced the three-step men. The kid was a natural. After several repetitions, I combined footwork and three-step men.

Day 609:

I finished two sets of Iaido kata today. I didn’t think I was stalling but the time flew by.

No student today, so it was Kendo class. After warm-ups and suburi, we did lots of repetitions of basic waza. Kiri-kaeshi, men-ouchi, quick-men-ouchi, ai-men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, and quick-kote-ouchi. The advanced waza today was men-debana-kote-ouchi. We finished with ji-geiko. Next week I go back to teaching.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Beginner's Point of View 606-607

Day 606:

No class today as it is a holiday.

Day 607:

In Iaido class, I finished three sets and then practiced the fifth kata again. I need to pull the sword against the saya before drawing to make it more smoothly.

Today, I started being an instructor in Kendo. I was given a young kid for a student and this was his first class. I taught him rei-hou, stretching, holding the sword, and walking. I kept his attention by suggesting that he imagine a street thug as tall as he is trying to rob him. He holds the sword at the throat of the attacker and holds it. He did well. After about half an hour, I put on men and stepped into class. My instructor suggested this as he felt half an hour was enough to keep his attention. I still had a talk with him about the bogu and what it did.

In class, I did a quick kiri-kaeshi and then a few rounds of men-ouchi, kote-ouchi, kakari-geiko, and ji-geiko. I had taken my tabi off after Iaido and I was astounded by my speed and acceleration with bare skin touching the floor. That tabi really forces me to grip the floor with my toes.