Monday, 9 November 2009
3 Days in Already... (initial catch up wall of text)
So I've begun this blog already with some things to think about hanging in the air from the 3 lessons I've done already. This post is a bit wall-o-text because I've got 3 initial sessions to recap. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is physical fitness. You can't improve any kendo if your whole mind is taken by the one thought of perserverance. Granted this is a better thought than 'I can't do this!' but it's still front and centre in the mind at the moment. This is something I believe will have to simply fade over time as the body becomes acustomed to the rigours of the dojo. Also along these lines, I've hit the initial "barrier of exhaustion" very early in these practices, and the result is of course very relaxed kendo (in addition to plenty of healthy feedback from the body), due to muscles 'inability' to tense if they don't absolutely need to. Largest thing to be improved by physical fitness will be more proactive kendo. Not being completely burned out after a few moments of fighting will be the first step to better things like seme and shikake techniques, and I expect/hope later will give me the confidence to deal with looking at a solid chudan. Following on fron this is a theme of big correct, patient cuts. This is a time to be paying attention to what's making it into the muscle memory I'll be working with in the long haul so it feels crucial not to screw myself by doing rushed 'non cuts' for fear of appearing slow. It's been two years, I'm not going to be fast anyway, no sense in doing bad cuts as well. Speaking of bad cuts makes me think of footwork. I'm heavier than when I did kendo last, a lot heavier. This combined with essentially two years of lack of exercise, this means I've got atrocious footwork. There are two things to pay attention to here. The first is keeping the mind on the footwork while doing cuts (always too easy to think of only arms when cutting), and the other is managing proper footwork in terms of my legs ability to carry it out, which I'd say is pretty low at the moment. Like the physical fitness, this will be an exercise in patient diligence, and not getting flustered by not being able to move the way my mind envisions when I cut. The largest part of the footwork for me at the moment is following through. It seems the overall focus is patience paired with persistence, while remaining vigilant/mentally present enough to prevent the sometimes horrible kendo that's inevitabley coming out of me from becoming habit.