Thursday, June 16, 2011 - Session Thirty Two

A poster on the Kendo World forums asked a question tonight. I figured I would put up my respone here: Mmm. I first attempted to start because I was fascinated with Japanese swords in general (nihonto, nodachi, et al) and some anime inspired me to go and try it out. I sat down to observe a class at the San Fernando Valley Kendo Dojo and fled after a few minutes due to all the screaming and intensity in the practice. Being that loud was a very scary prospect at the time. Six or seven years later and I wound up actually starting because I valued the discipline and the focus that Kendo offers, because I never stopped feeling embarrassed about ducking out from that first dojo and never going back, and because being loud no longer frightened me. (It kinda took a few years for me to really get comfortable with the fact that most people see me and think I am a young man ... and that most people hear me and think I am a young man ... and trust me, it is a pain in the ass when you work in a call center and only hear "Sir" and "what a nice young man you must be" all shift long ... ehherchm ...) As to sticking around? I suppose I just want to be good at Kendo. So never being quite strong enough or quite enduring enough or quite fast enough only ever encourages me to try harder at being a little more strong, a little more enduring, or a little more quick. So I guess that any drill which gets me closer to that goal is a drill that keeps me coming back again and again. Even when I feel like I am going to throw up and die. I love them all.

Practice tonight was solid. Maestas Sensei had Amaury Senpai and I start out with our bokuto and had us go through the kihon. I always enjoy the kihon and I always feel like I learn a little something new whenever we run through them. Men, kote, do, tski. Kote men. Men hiki do. Harai men. And so forth and onward. The mood tonight was even more relaxed than normal. Which wound up being deceptive! Because Sensei had us put on our bogu and run through the kihon again once we had finished running through them with our bokuto. Complete with running through after each strike and such. After that we put down our shinai and worked on fumikomi for awhile. Unfortunately my ear had become pinched inside my men and so I had to suck it up and deal until we were given a break. Fumikomi was hard! Sensei really emphasized landing our feet at the same time and I found it very difficult. My back leg is too slow and not snapping forward quickly enough. Anyway, once we were done with fumikomi practice we moved on and practiced some waza. Harai men, o-kote, and ko-kote were on the menu tonight. Harai men was a little difficult for me tonight and it became especially so when he had us practice it by reversing the positions of our shinai, dropping the shinai and bringing it up on the left side to knock the opposing shinai to the right before striking men.

Finally, we moved on to keiko. Keiko was so good! Although my body did start to give out as it usually does, my mind was much more in the game and I think I was able to keep up a good spirit throughout. I even managed what I think was a good do attack followed by a good attack to the men. I was even able to rebound after I started to get exhausted. Rebound in spirit at least. Although by the end I did feel like I was going to throw up and - naturally - Sensei had us finish with some kiri-kaeshi. My performance in the kiri-kaeshi was a bit wobbly, and my performance as motodachi was also wobbly even though I normally do alright at blocking each attack. One or two made it through. But yeah! Timing really seemed to be lesson for tonight and I still need to work on proper timing overall. Waiting to act until my opponent commits to their attack is a big area for me to work on. Great practice! Great night!

No comments:

Post a Comment