Saturday's kendo class was a great one, though it was pretty out of the ordinary.
For starters, aside from Ton-sensei there were only four of us in bogu. Martijn, Jeroen, Felix and Aaron were all out of armor due to minor injuries, so that left us with a rather small group of folks actively fighting. While my small group was doing more advanced practice, Martijn and Jeroen took charge of the large group of newbies. There were three folks who'd never been with us before, to check it out. And there's one or two guys who've been tagging along for a few weeks.
So, what did we do? No footwork practice! After warmup we went straight into kirikaeshi, followed by kihon and waza practice. Most notably: men uchi, fast men uchi, fast kote, fast kote-men, harai men, harai kote, harai kote-men and maki waza. Each of these we did for 4x3 repetitions. The last fifteen to twenty minutes of class were spent on jigeiko, where I definitely felt that I was too tense in my arms. How? Because I couldn't stand through more than two geiko and had to be dragged through the third.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm very grateful for guys as Nick, Charel and Hudaifa who egg me on in a fight. When I pussy out, they tell me to keep going. "Attack just once more! Keep going! I'll let you go once you've scored a point!" Things like that ( ^_^)
The most important thing I'm taking away from this class is something I also realized after taking part in the NK: kendo is a dialogue. I should not just rush in and try to whack at targets. Wait it out. "Talk" to my opponent, so we can decide who gets to score which point. Ton-sensei specifically berated me for rushing in. And Charel-sempai suggested that I simply work towards the ikkyu grading: "It doesn't matter who attacks more, or even who wins! As long as you make good strikes and show good technique, then you'll make progress.".
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