Thursday, June 2, 2011 - Session Thirty One

It is good to back at the home dojo. I think that must be a fundamental experience. One visits another and learns something while seeing how other people pursue the same goal. It broadens your appreciation. It also makes returning home much more sweet. You get to ease back into the familiar and approach it with fresh eyes that prevent you from taking it for granted. The way your floor feels beneath your feet. The way your senpai crushes you in keiko the way only your senpai can. The way your sensei totally mocks you for it. Good humor abounds! New friends and old friends! Silver and gold! The really good garlic gyoza I left in the freezer and can now eat! Coming home after a wonderful trip is always good. Anyways! On to practice!

So Amaury Senpai just purchased his own brand new bogu. Which means we got to see how the himo are tied on and all that. It also meant that he was motodachi for our first drills. You know, so we could help him break in the new bogu. Mweh heh heh. Sensei also started us in bogu tonight and I think it made a pretty good difference in my energy levels. I hit my wall earlier on in the practice and pushed through it with more time left to practice. Though I did still hit a second wall toward the end. I really realize now just how much altitude can make a difference in endurance. So now I am even more determined to build up my endurance here so that the altitude is no problem! In doing so I should see significant endurance improvements whenever I go elsewhere. But yes! Sensei had us practice some oji-waza tonight and that was fun. I was able to apply some of what I learned in Chicago during practice (like allowing the momentum in my swing to pull me into fumikomi rather than losing balance when I stutter step and attempt to launch) though I did so imperfectly, but that just means there is room for improvement! Sensei brought his son to practice tonight and I was very impressed. Apparently he has been practicing against adults ever since he was five years old. Not that I was told this until he and I were in keiko. Of course. I was a little disappointed in myself for dropping a lot of what I picked up in Chicago when it comes to running through and drawing out my kiai from start to end. I had shortened my kiai again for only the actual strike (which is how we do at Yamakage Dojo pretty much) and was stopping in taiatari (more like foolishly relaxing into taiatari) once a strike landed. Familiar environments bring back familiar habits. Just more to work through!

After some round robin keiko we removed our men and kote and went over some waza that I had never seen before. Maki waza and also otoshi waza. I had a hard time with some of the maki waza. Mostly when attempting maki from the left side. I even impaled my face on his shinai when we practice the maki waza with our men bogu on. Just bam! Face! Dead. But the otoshi waza was soooo cool! Sensei showed us Harai Otoshi Men and had us practice it for awhile before bringing class to an end. Sensei also said that some people think otoshi waza - especially harai otoshi men - is rude. But he also pointed out that it usually works. It seems so powerful and it felt really good (at this point I should probably bring my dark aura to the drycleaners) but I am still covering too much distance with my steps for that kind of waza. I end up much too close and it impedes my follow through. But it really raised my spirit and felt super good. No need fr me to get too excited about it though because I still need to focus on my basics. Basics! Basics! Basics! I really feel that I should not even try the more advanced waza until I can score one good clean men ippon, and one good clean do ippon after that, and one good clean kote ippon even then. Although it is still nice to look ahead. I love Kendo so much.

Oh! I forgot to add that my tenegui slipped down over my eyes during my last keiko with Amaury Senpai. It made fighting very difficult but at least I could watch his feet. Oh man. I definitely need to tie it tighter next time!

1 comment:

  1. I've been trying to work Harai Waza into my list of "comfortable" techniques recently. It really is a powerful tool, especially when your partner is not expecting it, or holds a really soft kamae. You can knock their shinai out of center and hit them before they even realize what happened! Good luck with it :-)