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Showing posts from July, 2010

Spokane Kendo Club Shinsa, July 2010

I wish I had some pics of this event...oh well, I'll remember next time to bring my camera and have someone take some pictures for me.

In a nutshell, today was awesome! And it's not even over yet. We had our local shinsa today, and had about half a dozen people, including myself, testing for rank promotions. For the past year I've been 7 Kyu, which is a very low rank. Now I am 4 Kyu. Still a low rank, but I'm moving up the ladder!

Yep, 4 Kyu. I skipped a couple of ranks. I'm not exactly sure why, except that I've been doing a lot of Kendo practice and Kendo-related exercise in the past few months, so Sensei saw fit to bump me up a few ranks from where I was. I definitely appreciate it and feel honored that he believes my Kendo is at this level. With the new promotion comes new responsibilities, including being more of an example for everyone around me, especially those that are lower-ranked then I am. I always strive to be as helpful as I can be, but …

Gearing Up for Shinsa, pt. 2

So....I might have pushed myself just a little too much last night. My foot pain was little much, and it's still kinda sore this morning. I think after the shinsa I'll have to take it a lot easier until it's back to normal. Also my thumb still hurts a bit, but luckily last night I didn't injure it any further. It should be ok for this weekend.

I had my last full practice last night, before this weekend's upcoming shinsa. I'm pretty sure I'm ready. I just have to go out, relax, and do the techniques that I know and try not to think about it too much. I know I can do it, I just need to not be nervous.

We started out advanced class with Nihon Kata practice again, and I used the time to go over 1, 2, and 3 again. I am still swinging too big on Nihonme, but I think that I was able to help fix the distance on Ipponme and slow down the pace just a bit on Sanbonme. I went over Nihonme with my partner many, many times, on both Uchidachi and Shidachi side, and…

Gearing Up for Shinsa, pt. 1

On Monday Sinclair Sensei sent out his recommendations for who should test, and the dates for the local and PNKF shinsa. I am testing for 5 kyu, which means I'll be skipping a rank (I am currently 7 kyu). This is very good news for me, and I appreciate the fact that Sensei thinks I have enough skill and understanding to skip a rank. Another big surprise is that the shinsa is this Saturday. I believe that I'm ready, but I also ended up injuring myself, twice, this week. I have a foot injury from Saturday which I'm hoping will be ok by this Saturday, and I jammed my thumb on Monday night at practice. What a time to injure myself. After being injury-free for months, this happens right before shinsa....Murphy's Law gets me every time.

Since we had a shortage of Yudansha on Monday, Marek and I ended up tag-teaming and leading the intermediate class. Marek did the bulk of the speaking and explaining, and I interjected advice and more explanations here and there for the…

Better Late than Never

So I have had such a busy last two days, I wasn't able to get a proper blog post up. But fear not, I have one today!

Let me mention one of the things that stuck out to me from Wednesday's practice. Before we started practice Sinclair Sensei had a question/answer period for questions about kata. One of the questions that came up was how fast or slow should each movement be, and this led to an explanation about the "pace" of kata. Sensei said that each movement has a purpose, and we should look into the purpose and meaning behind each one to determine if the movement should be tense, relaxed, fast, or slow (this was actually going to be my blog title for Wednesday). Let's use Kata 1 (Ipponme) as an example. lowering your sword and stepping back to the proper distance is a slow, relaxed movement. There's no immediate danger of attack since you are far out of reach of your partner. Coming to kamae and then to Jodan kamae is also slow and relaxed, for the sa…

Kaeshi Do

I think I did a little too much last night. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and I paid for that with a small blister on my foot. Not a big one, which is good, but still. I think on Wednesday night I'll skip intermediate practice so I can heal up a bit. Intermediate last night was good, and tiring, but all of the extra footwork got to me, and I had to sit out during jigeiko in the advanced class because I could feel the blister starting.

Class last night started with Nihon Kata. I partnered up with my buddy Billy Joe, and we went through kata 1 - 3. We each took our time, and went through both Uchidachi and Shidachi sides many times over. I focused on keeping that connection with him, and doing each movement precisely and deliberately. Trying to make each movement stand out as I performed them. Afterward we were told to pick one kata with our partner to demonstrate in front of the class. We decided on Ipponme, and I was Shidachi for it. Ando Sensei gave…

The Otaku-Con Demo, and More

This weekend was very interesting, as far as practice goes. I touched a little on beginner class, showing one of the new people the opening and closing movements that we go through (Seiza, Mokuso, Rei to Shomen/Sensei), the proper Kendo stance, and the proper kamae. I wasn't able to help too much with this, as we had a demo to perform today. I was one of six people that performed in a demo at Otaku-Con, which is an anime convention here in Spokane. I'm not that into anime (I do like an episode of certain shows here and there), but I always welcome and enjoy the chance to do and show more Kendo.

We arrived, got ready, and waited for our introductions. I found out that we were going to be doing our demonstration on a carpeted floor, and looking back at it the carpet didn't bother me much at all. I was paired up with my friend Matt and we started with some Nihon Kata. Matt and I went through Sanbonme and Yonhonme (Kata 3 and 4). I was Uchidachi (teacher) and he was Shi…

Taking it Back

I arrived at practice last night not planning on doing intermediate practice. My foot was a bit tender from the last practice. Too much weight on my left foot, and I was afraid of getting another blister. I've had my fair share throughout my Kendo experience, and I'm sure I'll have more in the future, as well. After getting changed and ready, though, I saw that intermediate class still hadn't started...and my hunger for all things Kendo overruled my initial decision, so I lined up with the other students for intermediate class...

We kept it pretty simple, going over footwork and strikes for both Kihon Kata 2 and 3, then we put them into practice with our shinai (Kote-Men, and then Harai Men drills). We finished off that class with some kirikaeshi.

Advanced class started with an in-depth look at Nihon Kata 3 (Sanbonme). We lined up on the far side of the dojo and went over both the Uchidachi and Shidachi footwork, up and down the dojo. We then grabbed our bokken an…

The Edge. And Beyond.

Due to an interesting day on Saturday there was no blog post. I was able to jump into the intermediate class and go over some kihon kata, but that was it. Our advanced class was canceled last minute due to church plans for the gym that day. So we all packed up and ate popsicles outside!

Last night was one of the toughest nights for me. Sinclair Sensei talks about always pushing ourselves to the edge during practice. To give it our all and know our limits and be able to go up to the edge each time. I do believe I not only hit the edge last night (which I usually do), but I was dangling my feet out over it...

I came really early last night, to be sure I had enough time to get changed and ready for intermediate practice. Since there was no practice on Saturday I felt an urge to get in a little more, and to my surprise the intermediate class was very full. All of the Iaido people stayed to do intermediate training, which was nice. We went over kihon kata 1 (Men, Kote, Do, Tsuki) an…

Connections

This is the first week that the new valley dojo has been opened. I went by to see it the first day on Tuesday, and let me say that it is a huge dojo! I am going to thoroughly enjoy helping out there and getting a chance to go over basics a bit more than in our advanced classes. I can always learn more about my own basics, whether it's in my swing, my footwork, my spirit, or anywhere in between.

I showed up last night early, as is my custom, and was able to help out with the intermediate class a bit. Sinclair Sensei had me work with one of the new intermediate guys on kata one (Ipponme) to learn the teacher (Uchidachi) and student (Shidachi) sides. I tried not to confuse my student too much, and just go over the steps. I did want to point out two very important parts, at least to myself. One thing I told him is that there is no such thing as going too slow on a kata. The other thing I told him is to make each movement deliberate, on purpose. These are both especially true w…

Back in Black, and Blue

I have missed training so much these past couple weeks. We had the dojo shut down for repairs on the floor. While it was for a good reason, the absence of training in my schedule was definitely leading to some withdrawals. In the off-time we did organize some outdoor training in the park. It was definitely a lot of fun, and it sounds like everyone enjoyed the time together to go over suburi and kata, but it did feel really good to get back to the dojo again.

The repaired floor was a lot better, but they did miss quite a few spots. We took a few minutes before class to mark as many of them as we could. I'm wondering if we'll have another period of downtime while they go back and repair all the spots they missed...

We started with warm-up exercises and suburi, then donned our Men and Kote and went into Kirikaeshi. I really emphasized slow, deliberate movements since it had been so long since I had done that drill. Large swings, good tenouchi and pauses on every hit. I st…