Friday, October 27, 2006

The Big Day is Almost Here!

Today's Kendo practice was the last practice before we all head out to Chicago for the tournament. It just happened that today was the most brutal one yet as it tested our stamina more than anything.

The practice started out very differently as we were able to select the things we wanted to work on for the moment we were with our partners. This was a nice change of pace as I got to do things like dou, hiki-men and harai waza which definately need work. There are some problems with what I was doing, but there really isn't much I can do about it in a mere 2 days. For now, I just take what I have with me and do my best to win.

Now onto the most horrible part. The attacker had to constantly hit men while the receiver counted how many we did. I was definately tired after about 15 or so because I lost breath. But I did make it to 69 if I remember correctly. Of course, I was winded after that round. The practice definately wasn't over yet either since there was more waza practice and jigeiko after that. Trust me, I was totally winded at this point so I had to gather the little remaining strength I had left in me to move that shinai where I wanted to for an effective hit. After that, there was more of the constant attacking except it was with kote-men hits. I felt only slightly better before starting that up, but I was still very tired. My stubborn side did kick in and I did a total of 60 passes before having to catch my breath. After that, practice was over and I finally had time to breathe, lol.

As far as personal reflection, I definately need to take up running or something cause I didn't last as long as I wanted to out there. Sure, I did survive giving and receiving all of those hits, but it would be nice if I could last like the Kendo masters that can last 15 minute fights without showing signs of getting tired (look it up on Youtube, you will see what I mean). I also realize that I can't give up when I am tired. If my body is tired, I need to tell my body to still make those hits as crisp as if I had just started. After all, the judges don't (or shouldn't) give sympathy points. Hopefully, I can work these things out before the next tournament that occurs next semester with some diligent practice. I have decided to at least try 20 minutes of practice alone a day. If I can't do anything Kendo related, then I need to train my mind by watching videos and reading Kendo literature (w00t Musashi no Ken!) and training my body by strengthening up things like my wrist, legs, shoulders and heart. I really hope I can stick with this though cause I really want to kick ass someday.

Before I go, I have something non-Kendo related that I would like to announce. A few days ago, I got a call from Rhino Videogames asking if I wanted to work with them over the summer. I had planned on calling myself within the next few days, but actually getting a call from them has me flattered. While it's no engineering internship, it means more money in my pocket to help avoid the money troubles that I have had over the past few months.

Well, wish me luck for the tournament! I will be wishing the same for all Kendoka who will be attending this tournament or any others in the near future.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Last Night's Practice

Yesterday was another practice in a series of practices before the big MWKF tournament on Saturday.  Because I have been skipping practices due to homework and such for the past few weeks, I thought that it would be very important for me to get whatever extra practice I can get.  Of course, there are many extra things I need to work on, but I don't think I will be able to get the kinks worked out before Saturday.  If I work really hard, then I might be able to improve on them for the next tournament in the Spring, provided I can go to that one.  All I can really do now is work on stuff a bit more to prepare for the exciting day.
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