Beginning of a new kendo season: false start

2011-09-04 10:13:00

My loaner bogu

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 2011-12 kendo season at Renshinjuku Almere (錬心塾剣道 アルメレ). Everybody was rearing to go, excited to try out our new training room at the new Nautilus College building. But sadly it wasn't to be. Sensei had all the keys and everything had been arranged, but sadly he had been given the wrong PIN for the alarm system. So we had to cancel our first day of the new season. 

On a nice note: from now on I am allowed to train in bogu! I recently had an email discussion with sensei Ton, about the fact that Martijn and I had been doing some jigeiko, but that we would put it off for now at the fear of bodily harm. Sensei then replied that I could borrow one of the dojo's loaner bogu to get me started, before ordering my own set. So yesterday, in the parking lot, we picked out a set of armor, which I then tried on at home. 

The tare (waist armor) and do (belly and chest) are fine, though the himo (ties) of the tare are -very- worn out. The kote look quite akin to boxing gloves, but are comfortable. Sadly, the men (helmet) is not a perfect match: it's too tall (which can be fixed with padding) and also so narrow that I cannot fit my glasses at all. Martijn's men allowed me to keep my glasses on, so I guess it's a matter of finding the right helmet. 

Having a short go at jigeiko again I now fully understand what people mean when they say that one would need to relearn all the basics once you start wearing bogu. Your posture needs to change completely and I found the experience of wearing armor so disorienting that I even forgot all basic footwork and strikes. Viewing through the mengane without my glasses is also very confusing: I keep using one eye only for focusing :(

I will put on the armor a few times this week, to grow more accustomed to it all. tags: , ,

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