Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Beginner's Point of View 760-761

Day 760:

In Iaido class, my first Sensei showed up. I gave him the check and bought the sword. I got to complete 2.67 sets of kata. To do better, I need to swing more gently and calm down.

In Kendo, I led the warm-ups for the other nidan. It was a small class today. It’s the last week that Sensei takes the other students aside for basic training. It was easy drills of taking center and tsuki. During ji-geko, I was light on my feet.

Day 761:

In Iaido, I completed 3 full sets with time to spare. This sword is really good. I need to avoid twisting the ki-saki at the draw. It’s scraping. We should do more practice testing since the seminar is coming up.

In Kendo, our other nidan did not show up. I ran the class, wanting to teach something more advanced. I showed them a bunch of oji-waza to get them to take center and then strike. Harai-men, suriage-men, nuki-men, and tatsugi-men.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Beginner's Point of View 758-759

Day 758:

No class today because of the weather.

Day 759:

In Iaido class, I got to complete 2 sets of kata plus a few spare sets of standing kata. This new sword is so very light compared to my previous sword. I used to just start sweating when I completed 2 sets but this? I’m not even breathing hard. I’m going to buy it. I just need to remember to twist my hip for noto.

In Kendo, I was asked to teach the class. I decided to give everyone something hard to work on. We worked up to it using kiri-kaeshi, kihon, kihon, kote-men, and doh-kiri-kaeshi-with-tsuki. The waza of the day was kote-doh-ouchi. It’s really hard to do, especially if you step lightly in between waza. We finished with ji-geiko.

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Beginner's Point of View 756-757

Day 756:

In Iaido class, I completed 2 sets of kata. I didn’t pay attention during the 4th kata and I stabbed myself at the base of my index finger. It stung, to say the least. It didn’t bleed very much, though.

In Kendo, we got to do kiri-kaeshi, lots of kiri-kaeshi and men-ouchi. The instructor wanted us to sharpen our kiri-kaeshi for form and speed. We had a lot of ji-geiko after that.

Day 757:

In Iaido, I completed 2 sets with my First Sensei’s new sword. He brought it to class as part of a larger effort to sell older sword to others. I like his steel iaito. It’s a little shorter and very, very well balanced. I plan to buy it. The balance is so good that I don’t feel at all tired doing kata.

In Kendo, I was asked to teach again. I decided today was a good day for kata. We did kiri-kaeshi, kihon, kote-men, men-nuki-men, and ji-geiko. Worked on fundamentals and brought them into a nidan-waza.

In kata practice, I took the beginners and taught them the first part of shidachi for the first kata. I love kata. It’s the “why” of Kendo to balance the “how” of waza practice.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Beginner's Point of View 754-755

Day 754:

In Iaido, we had two new students. Sensei spent time with them teaching them the basics. This would normally be the time to have the class practice the finer points of kata and practice test.

I got to complete 1 set of kata. Then my fellow student asked me to run him a sample test. Sensei was okay with it. I answered some questions and then taught him the basics of how to perform the test. He forgets to do the opening rei-hou properly.

In Kendo, there were five new students. This month Sensei offered to take the beginners. We have to split the dojo floor to accommodate everyone.

I got deferred to as instructor. The other nidan acted like my assistant. I ran the class for learning kihon. We did suburi, kiri-kaeshi, and then the set I came up with. We did men-ouchi, then kote-kiri-kaeshi with tsuki. After that, we practiced kote. We did the same for doh-ouchi. I even gave a short lecture about how to hit doh properly. We then finished with ji-geiko.

Day 755:

In Iaido, I got to complete one set of kata again. I had to answer questions from my fellow student and then give him a practice test. He keeps forgetting the proper rei-hou and even lost his place in the test. He failed one test and then finished the next one what I would call 5-kyu/4-kyu. I should go through a class with the test to give him better understanding.

In Kendo, I had to run the class again. Today I wanted to focus on hiki-waza. We had the most people ever that I’ve seen, with even more beginners. We were crammed in tightly but still finished the class. We did kiri-kaeshi, kihon, then men-hiki-men and men-hiki-kote. My fellow student in Iaido was in his first time in bogu in Kendo. We finished with ji-geiko. After class, I gave a short speech about how I’m not good at hiki-waza so I expect to practice things I’m not good at. I was trying to inspire others to not be embarrassed about missing in class.