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Showing posts from February, 2011

PNKF Winter Shinsa 2011

We had our semi-annual PNKF shinsa this past weekend, and for me it was my first time to test in front of the PNKF panel of judges.  Up until now I've had two tests, and both were local tests.  Once when I tested for 7 Kyu, and once for 4 Kyu.  Last weekend I was testing for 2 Kyu.  I was a bit nervous, but felt that my technique was solid enough for the promotion.  As long as I didn't curl up into a ball on the floor during my test.  Sensei also had full confidence in me, and if he says I'm good enough than who am I to argue?

Our trip started out on Friday, with our Kendo van (I should get a picture sometime) and two other cars making up our caravan across the state.  Normal trip hijinx ensued, and we had many good conversations to fill the 5+ hour drive.  After unloading our bags at the hotel we headed to the Bellevue dojo for training.  Yes, we train the night before we do anything in Seattle!  Jeff Marsten Sensei and Yotsuuye Sensei were very accommodating of us, as al…

Beauty and Excellence

Beautiful.  Sensei was talking about that word last night and how it pertains to Kendo.  He made a good point, that it doesn't seem to be a word that should fit with Kendo, with Kendo, outwardly, looking like such a violent martial art. However, "Beautiful Kendo" is something that I, and a lot of others, strive for.  It not only applies to our techniques, but also extends out to everything else we do.  The way we carry ourselves and interact with others.  The way we wear our uniforms and bogu.  In a sense you could say that those things extend to our Kendo.  Sensei pointed out that if we are conscious of these things that we'll be as equally conscious of details in Kendo and in our partners/opponents.  This is a belief that I fully subscribe to, and personally I always try to do my best in every aspect of my Kendo.  We should strive to have beautiful Kendo, in all aspects of Kendo.

Last night was our last training session here in town before the PNKF shinsa.  We will…

Turn Up The Heat!

I suffered yesterday.  I still do.  I have a pain in my neck and it won't go away, and it made last night a terrible night of sleep.  I think it happened at my mom's house, before I left for Kendo practice last night.  Must've moved it just the right way, or wrong way I should say.  But despite that I went to practice and gave it my all.  Billy said that he wanted to "turn up the heat" last night, and I was going to do my best to help!

We are starting to come to a close with our bi-annual kata review.  Twice a year, in the summer and winter, we take two months and go over kata.  Learning new ones, and finding out details about old ones that we might have not known.  Adding layers to our kata and refining it.  I thoroughly enjoy the kata practice that I get with my fellow kenshi, so I'm kinda sad to see this kata time winding down, but for this next week or so I'll be squeezing out every last little bit of goodness that I can get.  I spend last night going…

Kihon Kata pt. 2

I've been meaning to do this post for a little while, since my first post on the subject only covered the first five Kihon Kata (there are 9 of them).  This one will go over what I have learned about Kihon Kata six through eight.  Please remember that these are my own thoughts on the subject and shouldn't be taken as "Kata Law."  Also, if you'd like to see my previous post on Kihon Kata, it can be found here.Here we go!

6 - Suriage Waza.  Kote-Suriage Men.  Motodachi steps in for Kote, and Kakarite responds with Suriage Men.  Suriage is an upward, arc-shaped movement of the blade that is used to deflect an opponent's incoming strike.  During this kata, Kakarite takes a slight step back for the suriage movement and then forward for the Men strike.  It should all be done as one movement, with no pauses in between.  Motodachi and Kakarite both take one step back to their starting positions while coming to kamae simultaneously.
7 - Debana Waza.  Debana Kote.  Motod…

The Other Sinclair Sensei

We had a special "guest" with us at last night's practice.  Mick Sinclair, Sensei's oldest son, came over to hang out with all of us lucky Spokane people for the week!  He is Sandan, and like all of the others I know, is not only good at what he does but he has good advice.  It was a real pleasure being able to see him again and to do keiko, and I hope that I get to hang out with him a bit before he leaves us.

Ando Sensei led the group again last night, and he put us through our paces, as is his custom.  I definitely appreciate the hard work he drives everyone to, especially with the breathing drills.  Lately I've been trying to learn to love the drills that I honestly don't care for that much (kakarigeiko), so this was a good exercise in that.  We started off the night with kata, and I was able to get a few more pointers on Sanbonme from Billy.  I will share what I learned:
After Uchidachi strikes Tsuki, Shidachi is, in a way, granted control for the next two…