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Showing posts from November, 2010

Back to the Dojo

Last night was our first practice downtown in over a week.  The Thanksgiving holiday plus a food drive at the gym we use kept us away from the downtown dojo since last Saturday, and even then a lot of us were off at the Kent Taikai.  We had a practice in the valley last week on Tuesday, which was great because a lot of downtown people showed up for that, but other than that there's been nothing Kendo-related going on.  It felt good getting back in the dojo, kinda like returning home and seeing all the familiar faces and getting that warm, comforting feeling all over.  That's the good side.  The bad side is that I was really busy last week and hardly got a chance to practice at home so I was definitely feeling my week off last night.  I felt really slow and really sloppy with my training, but in the back of my mind I know that it's just my body dusting itself off.  Give me another practice or two and I'll be back in gear and ready to improve.

We had a smaller group last…

Kent Taikai 2010

The annual Kent Taikai took place this past weekend, and I have so much that I could write about.  For the sake of space and not boring anyone that might read this I'll try to keep it as concise as I can while still painting a picture of the events that took place on our trip.

We left Friday from Spokane to make the trip to Seattle for training in Federal Way that night.  Of course along the way we busted into random games of tag, as is tradition.  Training in Federal Way was enlightening, in that it showed me that I have a long, long road ahead of me.  I knew this, and it's something I always consider in the back of my mind, but every once in a while I have a training session that reiterates that truth to me.  Also, Marsten Sensei is pretty cool (Curtis, although I'm sure Jeff is just as cool).  He's a great teacher, and I was grateful to be his punching bag during jigeiko.  The night ended with everyone in the hotel sharing dinner and a few laughs.

Saturday was the d…

Raindrops

By the time class ended last night I was broken and exhausted.  Not only did I train hard the night before in the valley, but I trained with the Yudansha last night, which is always a good lesson in endurance.  I also injured myself, a couple days before the next taikai.  We were performing Men-Nuki Men and when I went to hit my partner I brought my left hand right down on the tip of his shinai.  Let me tell you, at full speed that does NOT feel good!  I had to step out and let my hand recover a bit because every time I would strike after that incident the fingers on my left hand would start to throb and hurt bad.  That would have been bad enough if that were the only issue I ran into last night, but about the time we started jigeiko I got a bad ache in my side.  I had to basically remain stationary for the first couple rounds because anytime I moved too much the pain shot up my side.  I'm glad that only lasted a little while, but it sure didn't help me last night when I was a…

Aggression

You would think that after having a weekend full of Kendo I would be tired of it and want a break.  I don't.  I thoroughly enjoyed our practice last night, even though I had to step out a few times due to coughing.  It appears that my throat is not 100% healthy yet, and I forgot my water bottle, so each time I stepped out I had to take my Men off to get some water to try and calm down my coughing fits.  Still I did all I could and knew when to push and when to back off a bit.

I actually started my night by teaching the intermediate class.  Not only that, but my brother is now in the intermediate class so he was able to participate in one of my classes.  I kept things simple, going over kihon drills, kirikaeshi, and then getting into a bit of hiki waza at the end, which was new for him and the other new intermediate student.  I tried to break it down and explain as best I could, and I think I did a decent job since everyone was looking really good with their footwork and form.  Wit…

PNKF 2010 - Patience

It's Monday, and I'm reflecting on this weekend's events.  What a great weekend!  It was full of training and good friends and bonding with the team and lots and lots of Kendo!  Not much happened during our training in Bellevue on Friday since it was open floor training.  A group of us were selected to be receivers for the beginning class, which was fun.  They have a lot of kids that practice with them, so it was interesting to see some young people up and coming in their training.  During open floor I was able to get in a few jigeiko matches with some of the Bellevue locals, but I think the highlight was when Takado Sensei showed up and I was able to jigeiko with her.  She hit me, a lot, but I still enjoyed myself and enjoyed the time to practice with her.  Afterward we went back to the hotel to have dinner, clean up, and rest up for Saturday's taikai.

Saturday came pretty quickly, and I felt like I had no sleep at all.  But sleep or no sleep I was determined to do my…

Body and Mind

So life blessed me with sickness at the beginning of this week, proving once again that Murphy's Laws do exist.  One of these days that Murphy guy is going to get what's coming to him.  I am, however, recovering smoothly, and should be back to 100% by Saturday, just in time for the PNKF taikai.  I've been looking forward to this one for a while, and I'm am going to relish the opportunity to demonstrate good quality Kendo (hopefully, in my opinion it is) with others from around our region.  I'll be sure to keep notes so I can give a good playback of what went on when I return.  But for now, onward!

During our warmups Sensei talked about how we should be performing suburi.  The way I understand is that we shouldn't go full force, 100% with each strike.  But we should definitely not be lazy about it, either.  He demonstrated the difference to us.  He was able to strike at the same time as his son, even though he started later. We should have quick, crisp strikes, …