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Info on the knee injury

2013-10-19 19:37:00

Good news about my sports injury: I went to see a physio therapist and he agrees with the previous assessment that nothing's actually damaged in my knee. The theory remains as before: I twisted my knee "in a bad way" during kendo and something got pinched. That something is probably my meniscus, a cartilege-like layer that's in between the knee joint. 

In knee injuries you'll often see tearing of the meniscus, which will result in permanent pain and will need to be operated on. That's not the case with me and the doctors think it merely got pinched or hurt. Now, whenever I get pains, that's because the meniscus is being stressed in that same spot. Doc says the pain could go away completely with a few months, or that it could be permanent. It's not dangerous, just annoying. The best way to avoid the pains is to take a good, hard look at my technique in kendo. tags: , , , ,

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Mitori geiko at Renshinjuku Almere

2012-05-05 16:48:00

Today Marli and I decided against me joining kendo practice: I'm still aching from my wisdom tooth extraction and the medicine they prescribed me is doing me in (diziness, messed up stomach). So today was an ideal moment for mitori geiko: "learning by watching". I've got to admit that, from the sidelines, it's a whole different view! Now that I'm not actively fighting, I have all the time in the world to drink in all manner of small details. 

For starters, because I was the third one to enter the dojo, I got to watch Ton-sensei take Ramon through some of the precise details of kata #2 and kata #3. I have to say that I've always been mightily impressed with Ramon's control of the bokken: he strikes precisely and very fast and of course he stops on target :)

After that I invited kouhai Sven to learn the first kata, after Ton-sensei suggested he ask someone to show him. He learned the shidachi-side of the kata pretty quickly and I hope to take him through #1 and #2 next week. Very impressive: Sven got the eye contact thing down from the get-go! Many starters focus on feet, hands or bokken, but he kept looking me in the eye! Very good!

Once class started I relegated myself to the sidelines. It's funny, the things you notice from there.

There's just so much :)

Tuesday I'll do mitori geiko once more in Amstelveen and by next Saturday I hope to be back in armor again. I'm also planning a social night for some of the guys from Almere, to talk but mostly to do maintenance to our equipment. I'm sad to say that many people never take their shinai apart and only do rough checks along the edges once every while. It's for our friends' safety that we have to check our swords very regularly. tags: , , ,

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Feeling extremely frustrated

2012-01-06 21:10:00

*sigh* I'm feeling very, very awkward. I'm conflicted, I'm annoyed, I'm pissed off and I just don't know what to do. 

My eyesight is awful, that's no secret. I am also a complete pansy, that's no secret either. I cannot force myself to wear contacts, so it's just glasses for me. Sadly, the kendo glasses I ordered recently just don't seem to be working with the standard helmets I've encoutered so far. Meaning that for the first time in my life my eyesight is going to prevent me from doing something I love: without good eyesight and without proper protection I'll never be able to take part in kendo

This has made me rethink churgery. (EDIT: "churgery"?! Really! I must've been out of it yesterday!)

Laser correction however is not performed under general anasthesia meaning that it's not going to happen. If I can't put contacts in or even touch my own eyeball, then no way in hell is anybody going to put clamps on my eyeball and prod my eyes. No. I need to be out cold. Which leaves us with lens implants. Sounds good to me.

Only, it'll cost roughly 2000 euros per eyeball. And it requires that my eyes are stable, which they aren't. So I'm probably not a viable patient and it'll cost us quite some money out of our own pockets. 

So many unanswered questions. So few options. But I do know this: I really, really want better eyes. And I really, really want to do kendo. I'll need to have a chat with my GP so she can refer me to an optometrist or eye doctor for a good talk. 

Honestly. If there ever was anything I could magically change about my body, it'd be my eyesight. Muscles I can take care of myself and I don't care about the stereotypical male "Oooh, I wish I could change that!". My eyes. Come on, magic genie! Come on, Celestia!

In the mean time I'll just keep on looking for a way to fit glasses inside my kendo helmet. That's gonna cost a penny too :|


It might be "wrong" thinking, a broken thought process perhaps, but I feel it's ironic, despiriting and humbling that I'm letting me stop myself from practicing a martial art that is as much about spirit and mental force as it's about physical strength simply because "I can't do something". To the point that I feel unworthy even trying to be part of it. If I can't overcome my own fears and reflexes over touching my eyeballs, how the heck am I going to overcome my adversaries?! 

Plenty of people have assured me that "it's easy to learn" and "you'll definitely get used to it". But then the frustrated voice in me yells, "Really?! Really? How are you going to teach an adult to overcome a reflex that's been burned into his mind twenty years ago? The same adult who gets violent to anybody going near his eyes?". It's not about getting me to physically touch my eye, it's about overcoming childhood traumas that have become deeply ingrained. 

Maybe I have it the wrong way around. Maybe years of kendo will help me overcome this crap. Maybe I'll be able to try contacts in a few years -because- of kendo. And to think that I was this --> <-- close to saying "I'm not worthy of studying kendo". tags: , , , , ,

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New (kendo) glasses ordered

2011-12-24 11:26:00

kendo glasses

This morning I walked into the local SpecSavers to get measured for new glasses. My current glasses have never really worked out properly for me, so now it's within two years instead of three. I have to say that today's measurement was worrisome for me. I'll soon make an appointment with an optometrist, because I wonder if there's something rather wrong with my eyes. Time to get over my fear of eye doctors :(

Left: Sp = -10.25, was -9.50 in december 2009 and -9.00 in december 2006.

Right: Sp = -10.25, was -9.75 in december 2009 and -9.50 in december 2006.

Today I ordered lenses for my kendo glasses, which have priority as my first tournament is up in february. In January I'll go back to the shop with Marli, so we can pick out frames for new day-to-day pairs. At least the price is right at SpecSavers! I'm getting lenses with an RI of 1.6 and they come at 95 euro for the pair. Not a-piece, but for the pair! The SpecSavers will charge me 50 bob to cut them and install them in my frame. That's -still- half of what we used to pay at Pearl! 

Kris, if you're reading this: with some luck you'll get to really knock me around, come January! ^_^ tags: , , , ,

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