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Showing posts from January, 2012

Spirit and Intensity

Exhaustion is what I felt last night.  But it was good.  So good.  I felt like I had accomplished something.  Taken another step in my Kendo journey.  While I can't say exactly what I did (maybe I didn't do anything in particular) I can say with certainty that I gave my absolute all last night to each one of my partners and I came out better because of it.

We started the night with kata practice, as we have been doing the past couple of months.  I paired up with my friend Billy Joe and we went over 1-4 and I led him through the steps for 5.  We've received a lot of good info on the revisions from the AUSKF on the various Nihon Kata so I've been doing my best to incorporate them into my training.  I've been working, in particular, on making a smaller strike in Nihonme, Shidachi side (as Ando Sensei tells me, my strike is too big).  I've also been focusing on Yonhonme, Shidachi side, and holding a proper Wakigamae by not letting my body turn while stepping in and…

Always Forward

Our sensei and his wife attended a Kendo kata seminar last weekend and brought back loads of information for us.  Some of it was new information, or new ways of doing the moves and techniques that we already know.  Some emphasized certain aspects of the kata that, as a whole, we might have been stepping over before.  And some of it was a refresher for what we already knew (refreshers are always good, in my opinion.)  Below are some of the ideas and pieces of advice that I took, and I know that as we continue on with our kata study we will be getting much more information. 

  -The main focus here was to make a cut that keeps the kensen moving forward.  This is achieved by moving the hands up at about 45-degrees from the head and then swinging forward and down, so that the kensen ends up low to the ground (lower than Gedan is how it was described to us).  The initial movement should be soft, but then the cut is swift, with commitment.  It is still done as one movement, a…

Slow And Steady

Last night wasn't a super-notable night as far as training went, but there was one great thing that happened - Ando Sensei returned!  He had been in Japan over the holidays with his family and last night was his first practice back.  I definitely appreciate his instruction and spirit in our dojo so I was glad to see his return.  I didn't get to do jigeiko with him, unfortunately, but I did get in a few drills with him.

Last week we had our new pre-bogu students join us, and we have a couple of them that have been showing up pretty regularly.  I'm hoping that the rest of the pre-bogu students are able to come and join us, as well.  I always enjoy new students.  The potential that they bring and the added spirit is always interesting and encouraging.  They've had their own group that they rotate around in, but Sensei has a couple of the experienced members in bogu rotate in so that they can be receivers on each drill, which has been working out pretty well.  They get a …

Spokane Kendo 2012 - Beginning Of A Good Year

We've had a couple of practices since the beginning of the year.  Actually this year we didn't take any days off for the New Year holiday, instead sticking to our normal training schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Saturday.  For me this doesn't feel like the start of a new year of Kendo so much, but just a continuation of what we have been working on and where we have been going.  That's not to say that I didn't try to start out with on a high note.  I definitely have been pushing myself hard these past couple of practices.

Monday night I felt a bit funny with my movements.  I've been working on moving more with my center, getting rid of the lean in my strikes, and also getting rid of my "tell" when I strike.  It's a bumpy road thus far but I'm starting to feel slight improvements here and there.  Last night I have to say that I felt a lot more comfortable, a lot more relaxed, and a lot faster.  I was absolutely exhausted at the end of class, but …