"Survival of the fittest", he said...

2012-03-21 20:27:00

The day before yesterday, Heeren-sensei taunted me on Facebook warning that class was going to be "survival of the fittest". I had no idea what that meant, but was sure it was going to be hard work. Well, he didn't lie! Because last night's class was really something else!

After warming up we were told to form pairs with someone of comparable height and fitness. Naturally, Martijn and I teamed up: we're just as tall and out-of-shape and we're bonded through our Almere dojo. What followed was 45 minutes of "interval training", as Jouke called it. We would be taking turns in various exercises meant to completely exhaust our arms and shoulders.

I'm really quite hazy about last night's details, so I might've missed a step here or there. I went to bed immediately when coming home, so I didn't even make notes!

As I mentioned, the whole point of this gruelling exercise was to exhaust us up to a point that we couldn't do anything but efficient kendo. With our arms so tired we just have to be relaxed and we have to do proper striking. Jouke repeatedly asked us to memorize the feeling of all of this, so we could try and emulate it later. 

For the last half hour of class we did jigeiko. I faced three people, including mr vd Velde and Raoul-sempai. I'm very sorry to say that I've probably forgotten some of the important points.

Raoul-sempai took his time with me. Instead of full-on geiko, he told me to strike and that he'd let me through if it looked like a good strike. He primarily coached me on my small strikes and fumikomi

By the end of class and in the shower I was feeling completely drained. In the dressing room I sat there, slunk a bit. While I was having a chat with Heeren-sensei I got faint and got a panic attack. Luckily I manage to nip that in the bud, by using breathing exercises. Thank $DEITY Martijn was with me, so he could drive us both home. 

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