After two missed trainings (illness and our Copenhagen trip) I finally went back to class yesterday. The effects of three weeks without proper training were very clear, because I was quite lost in my timing. I had to relearn all manner of things.
On the positive side of things, my striking motion has in fact improved since last time. About two weeks ago it finally "clicked" in my head. The reason why my strike was moving in an arc instead of a straighter line was because I was flicking my left wrist right from the start. Instead, what I have to do is first pull my left hand in a straight line, with the flick and the swing coming in much later.
So... Stuff to focus on:
The stupid thing is that I keep getting the various suburi mixed up in regards on when to raise and when to strike, in relation to my footwork. Of course it's simply a matter of repetition to ensure that I memorize it. I think I'd better clean up the back yard a bit to provide the required space for my practice. There's only so much I can do in my study.
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Earlier I wrote a little about my shopping experience with Kendo 24. I'd like to take a little bit of time to write an actual endorsement, because their customer service is absolutely great.
When i placed my first order I dillydallied a little bit about the size of my uniform. In the end I picked a size which I knew was slightly too big, assuming that it'd be easy to fix if it was -way- too big. Bernd was friendly and patient with me and promptly sent out my order. And when it did turn out that the uniform was waaay too big he had no problems at all with sending me a new uniform (with free shipping!) even before I'd returned my original order. At their prices, the cost-quality ratio is just perfect for a beginner. My next order will definitely be with them again.
kilala.nl tags: kendo,
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Last week's training at was great and I enjoyed it a lot. The day after I realized that I might have enjoyed it just a little bit too much, because apparently I'd pulled a muscle in my left leg. Something running from my loin down the inside of my thigh. Either way, dumb me disregarded the problems and proceeded to attempt jogging to and from the office every day. Dumb :) Today it was still bothering me, to the point that I had to bow out twice, after sharp pains during practice. So, mental note to self: take it easy next week!
Both sensei Loyer and sempai Chris pointed out a few structural flaws in my technique, which I really need to work on. One has been obvious from the start, one was noticed only now.
Another important point is that, when landing a point, I should properly stamp my right foot. However, today I avoided doing that because of my pulled muscle.
So! Practice, practice! Renshuu, renshuu!
Today I also asked the teacher if I could enroll as a student. I was originally told that everyone could have five free introductory weeks, after which one'd join the dojo. Instead I was told that he would, for now, not accept my enrollment and that I should simply proceed as we are right now. Sensei wanted to impress upon me that "kendo is not something you do for a year", so first he'd like to see me get through the first few months. Based on our short discussion I assume this is to our mutual benefit: for me so I am not forced to make social and monetary commitments and for the dojo so they first get to know me better before truly accepting me. It's certainly not what I expected, but I can agree with all the benefits involved with this approach.
Finally, as I remarked last week: I really like the people in the group. At least one of them lives very close to me, so I gave him and his friend a ride back to Almere Buiten station. Given our proximity I see some definite opportunities for backyard training in spring and summer :)
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All content, with exception of "borrowed" blogpost images, or unless otherwise indicated, is copyright of Thomas Sluyter. The character Kilala the cat-demon is copyright of Rumiko Takahashi and used here without permission.