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Showing posts from February, 2012

PNKF Winter Shinsa 2012 - Shodan

What an amazing, long, Kendo-filled weekend!  After a much-appreciated day of rest and relaxation yesterday I'm ready to get back to it and log my experience at the shinsa this weekend.  It will definitely be a weekend to remember.

We started out with our usual van ride across the state and over the pass on Friday and attended the training at the Bellevue dojo that night.  It was kind of a special night there.  Not only were we there visiting but the UW guys and girls were there, too.  They are getting ready for the Harvard collegiate tournament and wanted to set up some team matches to practice.  I was picked to be part of that experience and was grateful for the chance to help...and for the chance to change rooms because the main dojo felt like it was about two hundred degrees!

We were split into teams, five on five, with a mix of people from different dojos banding together to face various sets of UW kenshi.  Honestly they did well all throughout, only losing out on a few matc…

The End Of An Era

Last night's practice was awesome.  A high point.  And, as I realized, the last practice I will have as an Ikkyu (pending everything going well this weekend at the shinsa).  Not only as an Ikkyu, though, but as a Mudansha.  Period.  So it was fulfilling that I was able to go out on a high note.  Realistically I've been preparing for this for for the last six months (or longer), but technically my journey as a Yudansha starts in a couple of days.  Let me share a bit of what went on last night.

My buddy Matt and I partnered up for kata at the beginning of class, as we've been going over it in depth for the past couple of months.  I've received a lot of good information about kata 1-5, which I'll be tested on this Saturday, and I feel confident in my kata.  I know the steps, I know the smaller details and now I just need to concentrate on letting it flow naturally.  Sensei had a few last-minute pieces of advice for us.  Nothing radical or game-changing, but he just re…

Encouraging Spirit

Last night felt good.  Real good.  I would even go so far to say that it's one of the best practices I've had in a while.  Granted, I haven't really had a "bad" practice for a while, but this one definitely stands out among the rest.  I can't put my finger on any one reason it was good, other than things felt like they were all working together last night.  I felt pretty quick with my strikes and movement.  I didn't feel like I was leaning this way or that too much and I was keeping my center underneath me.  And I was told there was less hesitation in my movements.  Here's a bit of a rundown of last night's practice.

We started out with kata, as we have been doing for the past couple of months.  I paired up with Andy, my fellow Ikkyu buddy, and we went over Nihon Kata 1-5.  We are both testing for Shodan next weekend at the PNKF Shinsa so we were both just getting everything "dialed in."  I felt really relaxed during each kata.  Usually …

2nd Annual Spokane Winter Taikai!

This last weekend we held our 2nd intra-dojo taikai here at our dojo.  Last year we opted to have a winter camp/taikai up at Deer Lake Resort, but this year we just had the taikai here in town.  The good thing, though, is that we had a lot more people that came to watch and to participate.  We had about 10-12 people in each category (Beginners, Mudansha, Yudansha) and overall things went smoothly and we were all able to see and participate in some great Kendo!

The beginners started first, which included anyone that was in the intermediate or pre-bogu class, and they had three categories that they were competing in:  Kata, Kirikaeshi, and Uchikomi.  Each pair would go together, and three judges would decide to outcome using hantei-like rules (each would raise the flag of whomever they thought did the best job out of the pair).  I was very impressed with everyone and the effort that they put into each category.  Each person showed strong basics and grasp of the teaching that had been g…