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Showing posts from September, 2010

Pushing the Limit...Over and Over...

Sometimes I wonder why I do Kendo.  I mean, I've never questioned whether I should quit or not, that thought hasn't even crossed my mind.  I just wonder sometimes.  From a neutral standpoint, it seems that I push and push and push to the edge of exhaustion, and then come back and do it again.  Over and over.  Multiple times a week.  I end up tired, sore, sometimes injured, but still I come back to do it again.  This can probably explain a lot of sports and martial arts that people decide to take up.  But then I remember the feeling I get from hitting a really good Men-uchi, or pushing just that little more beyond what I think I can do and getting that much more satisfaction from training.  Or the fact that it helps to make me a better person by applying lessons I learn in Kendo to other areas of my life.  So many good points to think about.  What was the point of this?  Not sure, just some good ol' fashioned pearls of wisdom from a very humble person.

Last night was one of …

Improving, One Step at a Time

I wrote a poem for an English class in junior high. The main point I relayed in it, in so many words, was that the mind is a powerful thing, and can drastically influence are physical body and limitations. This was demonstrated last night, during practice. Just by changing my own mindset, I felt that I was practicing on a higher level, and I wanted more. Techniques that I had been practicing finally started to "click," to make sense to me, and I felt like the higher Kyu that I am instead of a complete beginner, which is how I feel a lot of times. I felt like I vaulted completely over the wall that I've been running into at practice lately, and it was all due to a new perspective and a different way of thinking.

Just a few remarks about the intermediate class last night. Wendy pulled me to teach the intermediates, and I worked to the best of my teaching ability to help them go over some finer points of Kihon Kata, and hopefully not confuse them too much. Everyone sa…

Hiki Waza

Last night was a great practice. Not that I did all that well, there are still tons of things I can work on. But I pushed myself pretty hard. I had to step out just a couple of times, but I jumped back in and gave it my all, and by the end I was ready to fall over and very, very satisfied with myself.

The past few practices we've really been concentrating on eliminating wasted movement and time from our strikes, and having faster footwork. We continued this focus last night, but the meat of the training was centered around Hiki Waza. And tasty meat, it was! After going through a few Hiki Men drills, first just doing the strike, and then trying to move our partner so we created an opening, Ando Sensei showed us a very effective technique to use to throw our partner's/opponent's shinai out of center, so I tried to incorporate that technique into the rest of my training last night. I felt pretty good with some of my strikes, not so much with others, but I can start to …

Faster Shinai Speed, Better Zanshin

Well, after a short break I'm back. Back to Kendo (I didn't really leave that, just missed a couple of practices), and back to writing. I find this blog to be an extremely valuable tool to myself, not only to go back and look at what I've done, what I've improved on, and what I need to keep working on, but also as an outlet for my overflowing desire for all things Kendo, and my creative juices that have re-awakened recently. To me, Kendo is not only the physical aspect, the training and practicing footwork and techniques, but also the mental aspect, and this is a good exercise to stretch my mental Kendo muscles. Here I can take a thought or an idea or theory that I learned and expand upon it, look at it in my own way, shape it to something that I can use, and then review it later to see how I did. Where was I going with this? Not sure, other than there is so much more to Kendo than just what people see and what we do at practice. I really want to be the best th…

A Note to the Readers

Hello to anyone that reads my blog:

I'm taking a short hiatus, to regain some focus, get back in a good mindset, and get some much needed rest! I'll probably be cutting down to twice a week postings at the most for a bit. If you'd like feel free to browse through my older entries (there's a lot to read!). Even though this is a personal blog, I do appreciate anyone that stops by to take a look, and I hope you can all learn even a little bit from my experiences.

Look forward to new posts starting next week!

Focus on the Center

With Sinclair Sensei gone and McNally Sensei out for a while Wendy and Ando Sensei took over teaching for tonight. Our main focus of the night was on our center. Moving from the center and not letting our bodies lean forward or back.

After warm-ups we made one big line (which was pretty big, there were about twenty of us there last night), and worked on some footwork, with the emphasis on pushing our bodies forward with our hips and thighs while pulling with the center, so that we have the feeling of moving our center forward first with everything else following. The first drill just involved taking one step forward, keeping our toes down, and pushing our right foot out. Afterward we built up to fumikomi and one step, and then two fumikomi with a couple follow-up steps. Again, we were instructed to focus on our thigh, hip, and core muscles and try to use those as we moved. We also worked on snapping our left foot back into place after our steps, so that we didn't let it trai…