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Showing posts from May, 2010

Weekend Suburi and Sushi

Short post today!

I was out sick on Wednesday, so I didn't get a chance to practice, so I was very open to the idea of getting some people together for a suburi session at the park yesterday. It's Memorial Day weekend, so we didn't have practice yesterday or tomorrow. That means one more official practice before Obukan, and I wanted to get in as much as I could before then. I put up a posting online about it, and we ended up having four people there (myself, Sean, Jeronimo and Marek).

After some fun killing time on Sean's new slack line, we decided to do the team training suburi, which is made up of nine varying suburi drills, and we decided to do fifty sets of each. They are:

-Jogeburi (big swings, all the way back to your tailbone and all the way forward as far as you can, step back as you swing back, step forward as you swing forward)
-Men (two steps forward, two steps back)
-Sayu-Men (Men strikes to the right and left side of the head, alternating, two steps forward…

Bruises and Illnesses

Late post today. I usually post in the afternoon, but I've been out sick all day. Caught some kind of cold from somewhere (I think it's going around). Right now my head feels all pressurized and my throat is very dry and scratchy. Definitely no fun! Let's hope tomorrow I'm ok for Kendo practice. I just realized that we only have two more official practices before Obukan!

Sinclair Sensei and the rest of our dojo were back last night, after a weekend at the Bellevue Jr. Taikai. Our 15 and under team took second place, and our 16-18 team took first! Also many, many top finishes for a lot of the people who fought in individuals. Makayla made some news by not only placing fourth, but also third! How that happens, I do not know, but the official placings that Marsten Sensei posted show her at third, so congratulations either way!

I had an interesting event occur before our practice even started. For some reason still unknown to myself I developed a large, ugly-looki…

Just Relax...

Yesterday was a great Kendo day. Not only did I make the advanced class, but we had team training afterward. AND I helped out the intermediate class and went over some more Kihon Kata.

Sean (McNally Sensei) led the advanced class today, and he wanted to emphasize being relaxed and having relaxed arms and shoulders and everything during our drills. And how did he accomplish this? By putting us all through the team training suburi. Sixty of each drill. Yikes! I held in for most of it, but two of them I had to cut out early at fifty (one of them being the one-handed suburi). After we were all thoroughly tired out by this, we started training proper.

We concentrated mostly on Men strikes and drills today, with a few Kote drills thrown in. Most of them were done with three strike each, so we could take our time setting up the strikes and letting ourselves relax. We also did a couple of interesting drills. One of them we had to hold our kensen above our partner's head and then …

Kihon Kata

Last night was a short Kendo night for me. I attended the intermediate class, where they were going over Kihon (basic) Kata very in depth. For people who don't know, Kihon Kata is a relatively new thing for Kendo, and focuses on doing regular, shinai kendo movements and waza. There are nine Kihon Kata in all, and our intermediate class is learning 1-5. They are performed with two people, the Motodachi (receiver), and the Kakarite (attacker).

1 - Kihon Waza. Men (head strike), Kote (wrist strike), Do (abdomen strike), Tsuki (throat strike)
2 - Ni-dan waza. Kote-Men (hit Kote first, and Men)
3 - Harai Waza. HaraiMen (knock the opponent's sword out of the way with a very short, sharp swipe to the side while raising the sword to hit Men).
4 - Hiki Waza. Men-Tsubazeriai-Hiki Do. Kakarite hits Men, which Motodachi blocks. Both come to Tsubazeriai (sword-guard lock). Kakarite gives a push down on Motodachi's sword, which causes them to raise up. At the same time Motodachi r…

It's all in the Wrists

I always feel like I should be greeting someone at the start of these posts. But then I remember that my audience is the vast, nameless void that is the internet. Full of information yet super anonymous at the same time...Anyway...

Last night we switched things up a bit for the warmups. We started with a jog around the gym for a few minutes, and then went into some new stretches and warmup exercises, then moved into some suburi (Jogeburi, Men, Sayu Men, Kote, Do, and Hayasuburi).

Next up was some more in-depth advice from Sensei on hitting small Kote and Men. Again he emphasized using your wrists and lifting the hands slightly. He made an example that you should think of lifting your hands and the shinai up to and through the opponent's Tsuki (neck), and that you should not use your elbows. There should be very, very little to no elbow movement, all the power comes from the hands and wrists in these hits. Sean (McNally Sensei) also pointed out that if you are at the proper dis…

Feeling Old...

I felt very old and hindered today at practice. A few days ago I woke up and my knee felt kinda funny when I would walk and it would straighten out, and that feeling was still there for Kendo, only worse because of all the movement that we do during practice. I also still had my blister from the last practice, so I had to tape up (the tape kept moving around and rubbing my foot, too...wonderful!). Plus I forgot to take some pain reliever before I went to practice, so my shins were not doing very well by the end. I ended up having to sit out the last half hour of class due to everything. While I welcomed the break from the practice, since it was probably the hottest day of practice so far, I really, really wanted to stay in the whole time.

Today was a bit different. After a few rounds of Kirikaeshi, Sensei Sinclair stopped us and had us focus on short hits. He showed up small Men, which we were used to doing by bringing our left hand up until we could see our opponent underneath …

Shiai-Geiko practice

It was a lot easier to get up this morning and go walking/jogging. I actually was awake around 5:30 this morning, just tossing and turning and waiting for the alarm to go off at 6am. I was able to jog for a short block before my shins starting acting up. I'm trying to push a little more out of them all the time, but I know that this is a slow recovery process, so I'm also not frustrated that I can't do much yet. It'll come, with time. And then I'll be bouncing and running all over the place!

Kendo practice last night was awesome! I was tired, sore, ended up with a new blister, but it was well worth it. My brother came to visit and watch practice, and he's very excited about starting with us in August. It'll be fun to have someone doing practice with me, and I'll hopefully be able to help him along the way. Also Takado Sensei was back to practice with us, after being gone for all of last week. We don't have much longer to practice with her b…

No Pain, No Gain

Hello all my dedicated readers! (I'm practicing for later when I have readers =D )

I was surprised to find myself up and ready to go this morning at 6a.m. Usually on days after Kendo practice I'm wiped out and try to squeeze as much sleep in as I can. I was up, I was ready, and it was nice out so I took a short walk. I even jogged a bit! I haven't been able to do that for a while because of my shin splints, and it felt good. I didn't jog very much (slowed back to a walk when I could feel them becoming uncomfortable), but the fact that I was able to do it at all shows a lot of improvement, in my opinion. Even now, a few hours later, there's still no pain. Anyway, onto Kendo!

Last night's practice was wonderful, if a bit hot and tiring, as well. Ando Sensei brought visitors from Mukogawa, where he works at. About a dozen young Japanese females who were heading back to Japan in about two weeks joined us for warmups and kihon keiko. Sensei put them through…


Just for the record - I've had one cup of coffee today and I'm considering another. VERY tired today!

Last night was a good practice, although for some reason I was more tired than I usually am. I had to step out for a couple of rotations to catch my breath and let my shins rest for a bit. They were throbbing last night, which hasn't happened in a while. I'll still push on, but I hope they're not digressing again. I really, really want to get rid of these shins splints! Anyway, onto the meat of the post, Kendo!

Sinclair Sensei was back and led practice. We started a little differently then we normally do. We did a few footwork drills, including variations of fumikomi and follow-through steps (during this time we held our shinai behind us to help keep our bodies straight while moving). We then moved onto doing suburi drills in place. First Kote-Men, and then Kote-Men-Men. The final part was forming a big circle and we were instructed to hit Kote-Men-Men wh…

Windy, with a chance of Kendo

First of all, let me talk about the weather for a minute. It was crazy yesterday! Little rain in the morning, clouds and sunshine throughout the day, but the main event yesterday was the wind. Huge gusts were blowing through here all day, knocking over tree and signs and people and pretty much anything else that got in its way. Luckily the only thing that happened to my car is that it got dirty, because I saw some other cars that had been hit by flying branches. Not fun!

Anyway, back to the subject at hand: Kendo! Last night's practice was very good, but I was abnormally tired by the end of it. Yoshi (Tsumekawa Sensei) joined us last night. He doesn't speak much, but he is very good, and it's always a pleasure to have him at practice.

Sinclair Sensei was not present last night, so Ando Sensei led class, and we worked a lot on maai (distance between opponents), including hitting from To-ma (a distance of a whole step or more away from your normal hitting distance), …

To Do or Not To Do

Practice yesterday was intense, and very, very good. McNally Sensei led us, and we focused a lot on the finer points of hitting Do. He broke it down to the most basic pieces, and had us build from there. I genuinely appreciated this, as I have been having trouble with my Do strikes, but through this I feel like I picked up a lot of good pointers and advice to help me fix my issues.

We had quite a few people show up yesterday, which is always good. Around 20+, including some people I haven't seen in a while due to one reason or another. Always good to see our fellow Kenshi back in practice!

We started out with the normal routine of warmup exercises, stretches, and suburi, then moved straight into Kirikaeshi and then a few rounds of Do Kirikaeshi. I've been trying to be able to do Kirikaeshi on three breaths lately, but I fail at it. I usually end up having to do at least 5, but it's something I'll continue to work on.

Next we did a few rotations of Men and Kote befor…