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Showing posts from October, 2011

A Little Something Extra

Oh how I love new ideas.  Or going over old ideas again in a new light.  Or applying those ideas to techniques that I already know to give them a bit of a different focus.  Know what I mean?  Last night was all about spirit.  Spirit in our kiai.  Spirit in our strikes.  Spirit in our follow-through and zanshin.  Billy led the group and wanted us to focus on this sometimes overlooked but VERY important part of Kendo training.

After warm-ups and Kirikaeshi we jumped into Men strikes, which we focused on for most of the night.  Not only just the basic strikes (Hit and go through, repeat), but also on Ai-Men and on Debana Men.  Billy brought up a couple of terms that he says are often used when talking about someone's technique (please excuse me if these are misspelled).  The terms were Umae and Tsuyo.  Umae, as I understood it, was used to refer to someone with a lot of technical prowess; someone who knows lot of different techniques and is very skilled with them.  Tsuyo, on the othe…

Student And Teacher

I believe that I will always be a Kendo student.  There's always going to be someone that can teach me more about my chosen art.  But lately I've also been fulfilling the role of teacher to the newer members that we have.  Not that I haven't ever done this before, but it's been more frequent lately.  If I'm not helping out with the beginning or intermediate classes I'm filling in for Sensei or Wendy while they attend to other responsibilities that they have.  I am always willing to help in this way as I enjoy exploring the teaching side of Kendo, and it's a great way for me to see how much I know and don't know.  How much I understand and how many questions I still have.  And also how effective I am at relaying what I have learned to others in a way that makes sense.  I'm definitely at that stage where I teach what I know and how I was taught.  I don't try to put my own spin on things, I just try to remember how I was taught and the general feel…

Spokane Kendo and SWAT?!

Sometimes the members of Spokane Kendo Club enjoy things other than hitting each other in the head with large bamboo swords.  We get together for barbecues and outings and parties and all kinds of other things that are not Kendo-related.  Including, yesterday, an awesome opportunity to "play" with the Spokane SWAT team!

About a dozen members of our club, including myself, volunteered to be "suspects" so that the new SWAT members could have some real training.  They split us up into two groups and used two different buildings, one of them being our new dojo.  Our group had seven people in it and they hid us in various places throughout different areas of the building and then let the SWAT team come and clear the areas and find all of us.  It was great fun, and when they found us they would detain us (usually with actual handcuffs), possibly interrogate us a bit for information and then escort us out of the building.  We did a few different rounds with them, each tim…

Working Through Sickness

This week I've been sick.  It's been a rollercoaster for the last few days; better at times, worse at others, but I've been able to make practice on Monday and Wednesday night and I'm glad I was able to do it.  It definitely helped me feel better and also accomplished as I was still able to give everything I had at the time.  I had to cut down on some drills, do a little less than I normally do, and take a couple of breaks for water due to my dry/sore throat, but I made it.  One of the good things about practicing while under the weather, though, is that I felt relaxed.  Really relaxed, so even though I had less energy than normal I was able to keep up with everything going on because of it.  I have a bad habit of tensing up but this has helped me to relax and just let me body flow with the drills.

Last night was a good night.  Even though I was tired I felt like I could have gone for another practice.  Or at least half of one.  We started with Kirikaeshi, as we normal…