In Iaido class, I got to complete 2.75 sets of kata. I was energetic but sometimes my downward swing was wobbly.
In Kendo, I wasn’t too well. I had some abdominal pain last weekend. I wanted to take it easy. It was a kata day. I spent time practicing the first 7 kata with someone planning to test for nidan.
In keiko, I deliberately took it easy, not pushing myself. I still finished class. I practiced kihon and the same waza from the last several classes. We had 2-minute ji-geiko for several rounds. I made it a point to pace myself and finished with energy to spare. I still did my best to score points. I think I’ve got a chance on the keiko portion of the exam.
No class today as I am ill. I need to save my strength for the tournament and exam.
Day 789.5 Tournament and exam:
The day of the tournament was early, and long, like usual. I was put in charge of managing the first court. We had four courts running all day long. Over 130 kendoka on four courts ran very well, especially since we chose not to save all the final matches for the end. We got out more or less on time. We were complimented on how well-run the tournament was.
In my matches, I had no time to warm up, however I did very well. I won my first match 2-0 and then lost my second match 2-1. Better than I expected. In the team matches, I won my first match 2-0 and lost the second match 1-0. Overall, I did very well.
During the exam, it was a long time just waiting for my turn. There were only four of us testing for sandan. I was getting leg cramps shifting sitting positions.
In the keiko portion, I only got 1 solid men strike, and half-good strikes in men and kote. I kept trying to be as fast as I was during the tournament. During the tournament I was faster than I was ever before. During the test, I was second-fastest. Darn it. I was not invited to kata. I know that if I was invited to kata, I would have passed. Keiko is my weakness. My arms feel so slow compared to others of my rank.
I’m going to stop this blog. It’s no longer helping me adjust to practicing anymore. Also, I just don’t feel like a beginner. A beginner just practices waza over and over. Now I’m trying to practice dynamic seme, trying to bait and goad my opponent into attacking first so I can take advantage to them. I’m no expert yet, and clearly not a sensei. However, I think I’m somewhere in the middle, like the European word of “journeyman”. I wonder if there’s a Japanese word for the same thing.