Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kendo, School, Website

Kendo has finally started up again. I missed the first two practices though due to communication errors. Usually, we are sent an email for when the classes start, but didn't get them. I looked at the website and saw the schedule so I knew that I already missed a class. The second one I missed was because I was not feeling too well. I have no idea what it was, but I just felt like crap for 2 days.

The practice that I went to wasn't really a practice at all. It was the callout and I just went to go help out. I did have the task of showing suburi along with all the members of the club, doing a match, and talking about the tournament aspect of Kendo. It was kind of a sudden thing, so I didn't really perform as well as I should have. The explanation for the tournaments was horribly short, though I did do the job. There really isn't much to be expected of me if I have to come up with something on the fly like that. I should read more Kendo literature about tournaments just to make sure that I know EVERYTHING that is going on when I am there and what the signals the judges are giving mean.

I am not sure if this is a problem for most people, but I seemed to gravitate towards my opponent in jigeiko to get into constant taiatari. It seemed like watching a bad movie at the theater. You want to stop watching it, but you paid the money to see it so you stay and weather the repeated tourment. I was a little more agressive, but not to the point that I want to be.

I do need to go do some cross training ASAP so I can survive training and be able to perform well in the matches for the upcoming tournament. We'll see how my studies go and such, and my roomate and I have plans (yeah, right) about going to the co-rec together as motivation for getting some exercise. For now, I am riding my bike more so at least I am not just sitting around doing nothing.

On the academic side of things, I am doing a better job at keeping up with my schoolwork this time around. I am doing homework early and making sure that I don't have to do any horrible all-nighters and understanding the material by reading the book. It's a lot tougher than I thought to do this since I am taking 17 credit hours and 13 of them are all engineering/math courses.

I am also working on my website which I invite you to visit on the sidebar. It isn't much...at all. My limited CSS and HTML knowledge prevents me from making a stellar page, but I am working on that too. Maybe if I have time around summer, I can get a professional-looking page up. For now, everyone will have to deal with the yellow background/black text thing unless I decide to change it for fun.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

New Happenings

Just posting several updates to my life situation.

-My mom was laid off from work last week. She has been trying really hard to find a job years ago after she didn't like the place and felt that she was going to be laid off, yet no offers have come by. I really hope that something comes through in the next few weeks or there will be some big strains.

-Kendo hasn't started up yet, but I did set the dye. I plan on trying it on again since it should be dry after sitting in air for several days. I can't wait for practice to start up again. I really want to earn the fact that I got this new equipment!

-I just got back from a fighting game party today. There was Capcom vs. SNK 2, Guilty Gear XX, Tekken 5, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and some Street Fighter Anneversary Collection going on there. At about 11:30 some of us left to go to the bars. I got wasted yet again, but I kept my limits since I want to remember the previous night the next morning.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Back to the grind

Tomorrow, I leave the great weather of Georgia to go back to the cold weather of Indiana. More homework, more studying but most of all, more Kendo!

I do have an idea on things I can do to improve. I want to make sure that I am competetive for the next tournament in Cleveland (if I can go) and totally ready for the test.

First of all, I need to make more frequent visits to the co-rec. I am pretty sure if I run for 15 minutes or so (might just make it a mile to a mile and a half) and lift weights, I should be able to actually last in jigeiko and kakarigeiko no problem by the end of the semester. I do have plans on building a little muscle mass. I am 5'7" and 125 lbs and I would like to add a little muscle mass to it. I don't want to do too much or my kendo might suffer per what the nice folks at Kendo World has said.

There are some things technique wise that I would like to work more on. There is the hikiwaza that I want to work on. It's really hard because you have to stomp hit and kiai at the same time while moving away. The footwork is pretty hard to deal with but it's something that is extrememly necessary. I also need to work more on the do strikes. For some reason, we haven't worked too much on that particular strike and that is the one I need the most work on, clearly. But after the last tournament, we should have some more varied practices that might improve on the quality of instruction. I also need to work on keeping my back straight. It's especially the case when I go to do a hit or go backwards as a result of a hiki-waza. It's really hard to break a bad habit, but the only way that I can solve this problem is to keep that in mind as I am practicing waza. I can do it with jigeiko as well, but it would be hard.

On the kata side of things, I need to just keep doing them. For now, I can memorize the movements but I need a plan beyond that. The only way to do that is to research the meaning of each kata and clean up some technical problems along the way. I also need to learn to loosen up. Even I can feel the stiffness in my body as I carry out each kata. It might be just the fear of losing control so I stay stiff to keep my bokken from making extra movements, but it just impedes it more than it should help.

For the informational side of things, I would like to do some research on Kendo history, names, techniques, and shiai rules so I know exactly what is going on in Kendo and will be able to spout out the information to whoever wants to know it.

I got my #8000 hakama and whicking layer keikogi and suburito in the mail and it's sitting in my dorm now. I can't wait to try them on to see if they fit and use them in hard practice. For my other set, I might just sell them on ebay or to a fellow Kendo World member since I only need one set really.

For some reason, buying the new equipment makes me feel non-worthy since I don't think that my abilities don't fit with the quality of the stuff I have. The bujin bogu bag plus the equipment that I have now seems like something that someone of a more advanced or better nature would have. All I can do now is earn them by improving a great deal by improving on the things stated above as well as some smaller things that might have not popped in my head just yet.
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