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Showing posts from January, 2011

1st Annual Spokane Winter Training/Taikai

Hello to everyone out there reading this!  I have just enjoyed a weekend full of fun, camping, friends, and some very concentrated Kendo!  I feel so...inspired and like I was able to improve a bit with my own technique and style, and I love sitting here, re-living the moments so I can, figuratively, put pen to paper and record the great times I had.  I should warn you all now, I will try to keep it concise, but this might end up being a lengthy post (but there will be lots of pictures to make up for it).  Here we go!

The camp began Friday evening, and we a little over a dozen people that showed up that day and camped out the entire weekend.  It was a fun-filled weekend, with many, many foam noodle fights!  After setting up in our cabin we headed to training that night...

We did some modified warm-ups and then moved straight into our full bogu and a LOT of kirikaeshi and jigeiko.  Since we only had an hour that night most of the time was taken with jigeiko, I'm guessing to let every…

Through the Roof!

Last night I had a very intense, very exhausting, and very rewarding practice.  I believe that everyone stepped their spirit and energy level up a notch.  I could feel the abundance of energy coming from each of my partners last night.  What made it even better was that Sensei and Wendy were both gone, so it's very cool to see my fellow kenshi are so focused and so into the practice that we were able to do that without our normal leaders being present.  That doesn't mean that we had no leadership, as we were in the very capable hands of Ando Sensei.  I believe that intensity and Ando Sensei go hand-in-hand, especially after training last night!

The night for me started in intermediate training, as in I was teaching.  With Sensei and Wendy gone, Billy and I took over teaching the beginning and intermediate class.  We had one student show up for intermediate, and I was able to go in depth with Kihon Kata 1-5 with him, as well as directly relate it to shinai practice by going ove…

Mini-Post

It's Saturday. I have practice this afternoon, last night, and on Wednesday and wanted to jot down a few thoughts and things to work on so that I can refer to them later and check out my progress.  Of course anyone reading is more than welcome to sort through my thoughts and notes, as well!

Fumikomi:  I am currently working on snapping my left leg up as fast as I can, and I've found some creative opportunities to work on this, not only in class but outside of class.  I began snapping the foot up during hayasuburi and other drills that we do, at times that I usually don't even think about it.  I think that this kind of mindset is also helping me in other places, and I'm beginning to notice things that I didn't before.  I've also taken to doing this at work, when I walk down hallways.  I'll fumikomi forward a bit, and then snap the left foot up as fast as I can.  You'd be surprised at how many times I can do this walking down the halls of my building!

Wrist…

Kata? Yes Please!

In continuing with our focus on Nihon Kata for this month and next month we went over some more of the finer details of Ipponme and Nihonme last night.  We have yet to actually go through any of the kata, but despite that I am thoroughly enjoying the focus and attention to detail, especially the detail of movements that seem insignificant.  Things like bowing in, bowing out, placement of the feet, placement of the hands, etc, etc.  A lot of it is review, but I'm always able to find new info that I didn't know before.

For example, before we started this I didn't know that when you draw the sword while coming into kamae at the beginning that it's done one handed, with a slight angled cut forward as you draw before you bring the sword to the left hand for kamae (did that make sense?).  Also I dd not know that after the third step, when pulling the left leg into position that you should already start sinking your center down into the sonkyo position.  Details like this are…

The Need for Speed

...And I'm not referring to the racing games, although they are fun.  I'm referring to that scene in Top Gun, where Goose and Maverick are talking.  "I feel the need.  The need for speed!"  Now, jets and Kendo usually don't have much, if anything, in common, but last night I think I know how they felt.  I, too, felt the need for speed.  Speed in my strikes, speed in my legs with my follow-through, and I think I found it.

Before I get into the meat of the night, at least for myself, I'd like to talk a little more about kata.  We started our semi-annual study of kata, and last night I was able to go over Kihon Kata six and seven with the pre-bogu people, as well as learn 7 for myself.  If you don't know, Kihon Kata 7 is Debana Kote, and these kata are fairly new and are designed to be directly applicable to your shinai Kendo.  From what I've seen so far they are an invaluable teaching and training tool to have.  Anyway, back to Nihon Kata.

Billy led us …

New Year, Fresh Beginning

The new year is upon us!  I hope that anyone reading this had a wonderful new year and holiday season, and I hope that this year treats you even better than the last. 

I haven't ever really had the habit of making resolutions, but last year I made a couple that I was able to follow-through with.  They were to 1) Do more Kendo than the year before, and 2) acquire my bogu.  I accomplished both so I decided to make another one this year.  My resolution, my goal this year is to achieve Nikyu (2 Kyu) rank by the end of the year.  If I work hard and push myself I know I can do it. 

I set out with a goal for this first practice of the year.  I wanted to do the best I could, put my all into it and set a high standard, and then to see if I can break that standard, push my limits, little by little each practice (or possibly each week?).  I will try to have this focus in the back of my mind throughout this year.  I know that even last night, during practice when it seemed that I needed to …