Thursday, August 4, 2011 - Session Thirty Six

I wonder where Amaury Senpai has been? I do not have a working phone otherwise I would be bugging him with text messages and telling him to get down to practice and hit me on the head. We had a new student tonight who I think has all the right motivation to keep on coming back. Sensei was running a few minutes late so I introduced her to some basics like how we hold the shinai and how we move our feet. Sensei then showed up and I feel like she had fun. It is always great to see how people respond to Kendo at first. What practices make them nervous, what practices they get into right away, and so on. For me it was the screaming which was the most difficult when I first began. I tried to get into Kendo several years ago before finally getting started because I was so afraid of all the screaming and all the noise. But then there I was after class was done, saying to watch competition videos to see how men scream and women scream. Kiai is a real pleasure for me now and I am glad it is something I can be comfortable with. I am looking forward to having her in class next week. She was fun to speak with and fun to practice with.

There were several small moments during class tonight in which I spontaneously realized that I had made progress in my own technique. My attacks still wobble from side to side somewhat but they are so much more fast and more strong than they were when I first began. My footwork has improved a great deal as well. I feel more and more as though different elements are beginning to work together more and that feeling has helped me become reinvigorated. It is so good. I think that - sometime - when we run through this or that over and over again I do not recognize that I have made progress because we are moving forward. But when we have a class like the class we had tonight - in which we focused only on simple men strikes and sliding backward and forward on our feet - I am given the chance to look backward and see just how many footsteps I have left behind me. Or something like that. Returning the core basics from time to time drives home the progress that one makes because it is the foundation rather than a repetition of that with which we might still be unfamiliar maybe? It was wonderful.


  1. I've also seen that most beginners have a big issue with kiai. They can learn to hit and move correctly, but the kiai seems to be one of hardest things for them. I always try to encourage with my own kiai, being loud and forward with it but (learning) not too forceful. A helpful kiai, not one that says "I'm here to destroy you" like I do in shiai.
    And I've always been a huge advocate and believer in basics. I love them, and I practice them whenever I get the chance. If you don't have a good foundation, your Kendo house will fall over!

  2. Agreed. :D
    And yeah. My own kiai has really morphed into two separate ones. One for keiko, which is slowly turning more and more shrill. And one for practice, which is just more like a good loud push. I think it would be fun sometimes just to have a kiai game where two people try to out-kiai each other but I imagine the money spent on chloraseptic spray would be a little much. ;)