Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Beginner's Point of View 770-771

Day 770:

In Iaido class, I got to practice 2.5 sets of kata plus number eleven a few times. It’s actually much easier to make the first cut at the angle when I do not draw to right jodan above my head.

In Kendo class, it was time for lots of repetitions of kiri-kaeshi and kihon. We then practiced quick-men and quick-kote. At some point, I noticed that my Sinai had several deep splinters and my cheat had some pain. I stepped out to sand my shinai and calm down.

Day 771:

In Iaido class, I got to practice 2.5 sets of kata before time ran out. Sensei had a discussion with us about the right cut in the seventh kata. A sensei said it was a vertical cut but we’ve been taught by other sensei that it was angular. The official manual says it’s diagonal but a steep angle.

In Kendo class, we had a Guest Sensei. After kiri-kaeshi and kihon, we had several lessons about oji-waza such as kote-nuki-men. I was able to complete the lessons but against higher ranking people I seem to get hit. However, I don’t notice that I’m getting hit. I just need to raise up higher next time. We had long sessions of ji-geiko which nearly tired me out.

Today was a bad mental health day. I kept getting distracted by bad thoughts and bad fatigue. This means that the ji-geiko against Guest Sensei was terrible and not worth remembering. I hope a good night’s sleep will fix that.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Beginner's Point of View 768-769

Day 768:

In Iaido class, we had a structured class all about breathing properly. Finally, I get some targeted lessons. We went thorugh katas 1-5 all about breathing. I seemed to get light-headed when breathing as deeply as instructed. I think I should maybe breath more shallow.

In Kendo class, Sensei asked me to teach the class for bokutou kihon waza. We need to get people ready to test this year. Our tournament and testing will happen this summer. Sensei reminded me of which ones were katas 1-6. I taught the class the basics and we did it together, both ways for the whole class. It was kihon, kote-men, harai-men, men-tsubazeriai-hiki-doh, men-nuki-doh, and kote-surigae-men.

Today’s practice was not hard, and that’s good for my leg. I hope I’m not hurting it again.

Day 769:

In Iaido class, we did the same as last class. I need more practice I suppose.

We had another day to prepare for mudansha exams. Practice katas 1-6. He was training our ikkyu for the shodan exam for the Kendo kata. After that, we had ji-geiko and kakari-geiko.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Beginner's Point of View 766-767

Day 766:

Today I only went to Iaido class. I was still hurting from the seminar, so I thought I would skip Kendo to take it easy. Sensei actually gave us a structured class today. We concentrated on breathing properly during the first and second katas. It’s really awkward to do so, but it does slow down the kata for a better time.

Day 767:

No class today as I am injured. I think I made my mild leg sprain worse last class.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Beginner's Point of View 764-765

Day 764:

Today was a preparation day in Iaido. I did 2 sets of kata and then was invited to practice a test twice. My first test I did a recommended set of 1, 3, 5, 9, 11 and got a time of 5:25. Not bad but I need to stretch it out more.

I then tried a set of 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and got a time of 6:07. That didn’t make sense. I did stretch out my breathing but that much time seemed a bit long. The senior student admitted that she forgot to give the command to approach and started the time without giving the command. That makes more sense. I need to remember to make 2 short breaths between each kata.

In Kendo, we had a tournament preparation day. After suri-ashi, we had the beginners line up for matches and we taught guests and family members how to keep time and score. In my matches, I fought Sensei and my old first instructor who is nidan like myself. I lost the first match and tied the second one. Just like how real tournaments go.

Day 765:

No class today as I am ill.

Day 765.5 Iaido seminar:

Ouch, ouch, ouch. Standing in place for hours and performing kata is hurting my back. I need to see the doctor about that.

Still, the seminar was very good. We learned a lot about how we’re not breathing right. We need to breathe in slowly to start the kata and then exhale strongly for each cut. Breathe in and out for noto and stepping back.

It turns out that I was making a mistake with the eleventh kata. The draw is not straight overhead. It’s a little bit angled like the twelfth kata so it is sympathetic with the first cut. That makes it so much easier.

Breathing this way actually does make everything work better. I should remember to do it that way. Not that I can seem to remember it. During the tournament, things were exactly as expected. One match, no flags, loss, then wait for hours and hours for the next event. At least I sat down for a lot to save my back.

For the shinsa, at least I psyched myself up. Need to cut deliberately and smoothly to impress the judges. I made sure to use as much spirit as possible and cut the air with authority. It seemed to have worked and I passed ikkyu.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Beginner's Point of View 762-763

Day 762:

In Iaido, I completed 3 sets.

In Kendo, the beginners joined the class. We are all one now. We started with okuri-ashi, then kir-kaeshi, kihon, and ji-geiko.

Day 763:

In Iaido, I completed 3 sets. We’re getting close to the seminar.

In kendo, we had lots of people join us. We had to line up in lines and rotate motodachi. I like doing that since it saves energy.

We did okuri-ashi, then kir-kaeshi, kihon, and ji-geiko. We’ll be doing this for a while until the beginners get better.