Practiced again with Martijn tonight and I learned two things. Or actually, I knew them as a matter-of-course, but their importance was impressed upon me once more.
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As I said before: I'm becoming lazy. Instead of chomping at the bit for more kendo practice I was actually trying to find excuses to cancel last night's practice. I'm glad that Marli didn't let me and that Martijn was showing such enthusiasm :) If anything, last night's exhaustion tells me that I still love kendo and that I really do need to keep up my practice (both in running and in kendo).
So that's one lesson learned, but what else was there?
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Last night, despite muscle aches* and tiredness, Martijn and I got together for another training session. After stretching and a little suburi I followed Menno's advice and decided to forego any real focus on the small/fast men strike.
First off, Martijn was interesting in practicing jodan no kamae, which is a completely different stance than is normally used and taught. Whereas chudan no kamae is both safe and stable, jodan has both drawbacks and positive sides. For example, while extending the kendoka's reach considerably (at least half a pace), the raised shinai leaves both the do and the left kote open for attack.
With Martijn having practiced some men strikes from jodan we then proceeded with something that I could use more of: jigeiko. With Martijn wearing his bogu it was up to me to practice seme and to create an opening for myself. As I already know (and as Martijn remarked yesterday) I'm about as threatening as an arctic rabbit, so this is good practice for me!
Stuff we practiced:
*: I helped lay laminate flooring at Kaijuu's new house last weekend. I love doing that as it's part puzzle, part physical and all manual labour ^_^
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I really should make myself do more kendo practice at home. I don't know why I started slacking, but it's dumb. ಠ_ಠ
So thank $DEITY that Martijn SMSed me, asking if I was up for practice! No excuse to slack off anymore! We took a lot of time trying to get me to understand the movements for fast men, but I still don't get the right movements. I can do the thrust just fine, but for now I cannot manage to work in the required smack! to make a hit. We did manage to make a few nice potholes in the lawn, practicing fumikomi and hayasuburi ^_^;
Martijn also let me try on his bogu. The tare, kote and do are just fine and wearing them was actually quite comfortable. Putting on the men it was soon clear that, while my glasses do fit under there, the helmet really doesn't fit well doing so. This means that I need sports glasses, contacts or laser surgery, just like I was foretold. Meh... :/
Getting struck on the do doesn't hurt at all, unless it misses :p The kote strikes were a bit sharp and the men hits were pretty... interesting, that's the word.
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