Thursday, February 17, 2011 - Session Twenty

Alright. I know I write this a lot so it should be a given at this point, but Kendo was awesome! We had two new girls who had never done Kendo before and wanted to try it out. They were the quiet teenager type but they were smiling at the end. So I am hoping that they will come back. But also! Sensei's daughter came to practice at last. He had mentioned her a few times and talked about trying to get her back into the swing of things (Pun? Pun!) so it was pretty cool to see her return. Amaury Senpai and I ran through kiri-kaeshi several times and I feel as though my technique has begun to improve. My endurance has definitely seen an improvement thanks to practicing every day at the YMCA on my own. We also ran through a drill in which Amaury Senpai attempted to hit my kote while I attempted nuki-men, and then we switched. I liked that drill a lot. I found that I can keep my shinai in center without applying too much force as long as I keep my left hand firmly in place. I also found that watching the eyes is a good thing to do. I had a few moments where I saw him look away, but I was just not fast enough to capitalize and actually land the strike well.

Sensei's daughter (It takes me a few times before I can memorize names........) was teaching the two new girls for most of that time. But then she began suiting up in her bogu after the first hour was done and then Sensei had us begin keiko. It was perhaps an ominous experience. She was wearing solid black (of course the bogu was blue) with a red do and pretty much everything screamed: "Emily, this teenager is about to murder you. Yes, Emily, prepare to be murdered." Amaury Senpai and I had the first match and I think it went well enough. I was not running through often enough when I attacked. My attacks to men were also not big enough. But my spirit was up and I was feeling totally pumped! Theeeen Amaury Senpai rotated out and Sensei's daughter rotated in. Which actually fired me up more, even though she was much faster than I was, and I really had fun with the match. I was actually confident! I do not think I scored any good hits on her but she is also much more experienced. Though there was one moment when we both swung for men and our kote connected in the same place midswing while our shinai connected along their edge at the same moment, and we both rebounded. That was rad. Then I rotated out and Amaury Senpai rotated in and watching them was awesome. They had a simultaneous hit when Amaury went for men and she responded with a do strike, and both were good hits.

Second rounds were fun too! Afterward we ended class and everyone went off to change. Sensei said he was glad that I was practicing so much, and that he had seen a definite improvement. So it looks like my endurance building plan is going well. Gonna keep it up! Oh and I also met with an orthopedist this afternoon. Aside from the hypermobility syndrome, I was also diagnosed with iliotibial band syndrome. Should the diagnosis be correct, it seems like my knees can be corrected with something like six weeks of physical therapy, so that could be some very good news. We shall see! X-rays of my knees included just for kicks!

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