Sunday, September 21, 2008


Holy crap, there are just some times when all you can say is "I love my life." I just spent 19 hours in three days practicing naginata. My knees are shattered, my ear started bleeding a little bit, my feet are raw, and my legs are sore beyond belief, but I am pretty damn satisfied right now.

Day 1: Three hours of Tendo Ryu training. The most time I've ever been allowed to train in Tendo Ryu in a single sitting, and damn was it awesome. I can't even figure out why I like it so much. You'd think that doing the same whatever-number of kata over and over would get boring, but it's like each time I practice it feels like a different situation, almost like every time I do it I'm living a different story. I dunno, I might just be weird. But there was one time I was practicing Kazaguruma No Midare that just connected. The techniques, the spirit, the intent to really attack the just felt...right.

Day 2: Bleh...seminar day. Lots of training and lots of insights, but I'm too lazy to write it all down. Oh, but I did get to fool around with a kata naginata from the 60s. That was interesting...

Day 3: Taikai day. Engi was alright for the most part. Taylor was a strong partner; we matched up pretty well timing-wise and all that. I almost cost us the first place spot when I caught my toe on my hakama doing yonhonme...landed right on my knee, bounced back up, and tried to do my best to finish the damn kata. Interestingly, we still managed to get two flags after my epic failure.
But that's a different story. My first match went well. Two sune-ari in I think around the first 30 seconds. The points went in pretty clean, and my opponent was extremely gracious about losing. My second match went well, but not quite as much as my first one. My first point was...questionable in my opinion. I personally didn't like it all that much. Now, my second cut I knew went in. A good, clean sokumen. I kinda like just launching an attack and trying to punch it through. Makes me smile on the inside. But then, the whole "punching it through" thing fell short in my last match. Well, I'm not that surprised considering who I went up against, but I wish I at least could have put up a more interesting fight. The match was clean, minimal, and the point that were scored on me could've been seen by a blind man. They were that solid. Just goes to show that he's still sensei and I'm still clueless student.

Oh, and medals are utterly pointless. They just collect dust in some drawer wrapped up in socks. It's funny...the people who wanna show em off tend to be the people who hang on to little victories. The people who are really good tend to care shit about their medals, but they probably have the most of them to begin with. Ha.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

In Over My Head

Gedatsu1, originally uploaded by andhong09.

Should've blogged this a while back, but better late than never...

So at Gedatsu Kendo Dojo's 1st anniversary, they were gracious (and classy) enough to invite Inouye-sensei, who just happens to be one of the last Kyudans around. I got to see Amemiya-sensei perform his strongest kendo for probably my first and last time, and I must say that I was blown away. If only I could've seen Mori-sensei too...I'm curious how the two influenced each other. Well at the open keiko I got to go at it with Inouye-sensei, which I must say was a bit ballsy on my part. Maybe I overstepped my boundaries a little, considering that most of the people in line were either high-ranked sensei or hotshot shiai players. Then there was me and my shitty kendo. Well all I can say is that I was completely floored by Inouye-sensei's timing and seme, but I regret that I probably missed a good 90% of the intricacies of his technique. I wasn't quite prepared to go against someone of his caliber, but screw it. It was a great opportunity to keiko with a legend and I even got a few pointers out of it. I only wish that I could've learned a bit more. But hey, them's the breaks.

Oh, and I got a commemorative tenugui from the keiko. Preeettyyy spiffy.