Saturday, January 27, 2007

Today's Practice

This morning, I finally decided to get off my lazy ass and start up the practicing. I had to miss this Thursday's practice because I wasn't feeling in tip top shape, unfortunately. This was something that I have wanted to do for a while, and the details are written below.

Right now, I'm living in a tiny apartment on Purdue's campus complete with low ceilings and cramped quarters. I could just sit in seiza and do suburi for a bit, but I felt that it wasn't enough. So I woke up this morning and went to breakfast and headed out to the corec for some Kendo fun.

I decided to do it in my uniform, sans bogu, since I just feel better about doing it that way. But I put the uniform on and did some stretches to start out. After feeling a bit more limber, I started out with the shinai for a set of 10 to get my body warmed up to moving. After that, I picked up my suburito (large bokken for weighted suburi practice) and did 50 each of zengou-sayumen, naname-suburi, zengou-shomen-uchi, suri-monogiri and haya-suburi. For the katate suburi, I just used the normal shinai. By the way, the shinai is a Bio one, which is noticably hevier than plain bamboo.

This is where the training got a little weird. I started off with footwork for a bit and moved on to various waza. The problem that I was having was that I wasn't focusing enough so I would do a few and move on to another one. That portion of the training was more of a waste of time since I didn't really get to focus on my mistakes.

After that, I went through the first 4 kata, doing my best to imagine an opponent in front of me. Sometimes, it worked out well and other times, it didn't work out the way I wanted it to. Sometimes, my mind moves around a bit and the focus gets lost yet again.

After that bit, I stretched out some more and left. I did talk to some people who were wondering what martial art I was doing which was nice. I doubt that they will be future members of the Kendo universe, but at least the knowledge of it existing is out there.

One thing that I would like to fix when I go out there the next time is to go with a plan. I was fine with the suburi and the kata since those are pretty much set in stone as to the accomplishments of that. But for the waza, I need to have a better plan as to what I feel I need to work on. That way, it becomes more productive. I really hope that I can make it out there tomorrow and the following weekends. If I can fill the rest of the week with just plain suburi in here, then I should be all set. I really need to increase my practice time so I can actually get better!

On an unrelated note, I finally got a Wii classic controller. I really wasn't looking for one though. I just went to the gaming section at walmart to look around like I always do and saw one there and just picked it up. I was mainly there to pick up my glasses and contacts though.

Well, later days!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Week in Review

Wow, it has already been a week since the semester started. There are several things that are going on in my life that I would like to report on over the past week.

After working for two years at Itap, I got a promotion to Senior Lab Assistant. There really isn't too much going for me as far as job experience goes, but it should at least look good on the resume for the job description and the fact that I got a promotion. Now that I am a Senior Lab Assistant, I finally have stuff to do while I am at work. I help out the Site Ops do their thing by handing out keys and clipboards to those that need them, check the classrooms to see if projectors are working and answer questions Lab Assistants may have. It's also a nice pay increase too. I'm working 12 hours instead of the normal 15 this semester, so I am essentially getting the same pay, but at least I work less to get the same amount of pay. My main gripe for now is the fact that I work for 4 hours on Tuesday and 8 hours on Wednesday.

My classes are going fine for now. The most interesting one has to be AAE 535 which is Propulsion: Design, Build, Test. It's a class that takes you through the designing process by designing something of your choice. Right now, I am working with some people to talk about making a plasma ignitor for a hypersonic (Mach greater than 5, I think) engine. I really don't know anything at all about this and I don't understand the papers the teacher gave, but things might come together as time goes on. Some of my other classes include Astronomy, Controls lab, Aerodynamics Lab and some class where I am learning the business side of the design world. These classes seem very interesting and I think I can expect a nice GPA boost provided I put a good amount of effort into class.

Kendo is also into full swing again. There was a practice on Thursday which really goes to show me that I got a little rusty over break and I still have stuff to work on. I am still able to last during Jigeiko (sparring) after reducing my movements a bit, but I still felt very slow with all of my hits. I shall one day beat someone in a match within the club, but I really need to work hard at it. One thing that really seems to be going against me is that a lot of the work I am doing this semester is based on group work. That means that there is no telling when we will meet outside of class, so my practice time could be extremely limited. With this in mind, I really need to just keep up with my practices so I don't falter too bad. I want to do better at the next tournament!

I've also been getting more into XBOX live. I still need to play at least one game of Rainbow Six: Vegas online, but I do enjoy the Burnout revenge online quite a bit. The people I have met are pretty nice and mature so far. I had a lot of fun cause it seemed more like several friends in a room having a good time instead of going for that all out competition to win. Of course, we all want to win but there was a bunch of nice discussions. I also got all the achievements in Ms. Pac Man which brings the total amount of games that I have all achievements for to two. Maybe I'll get into the games I already own some more and increase my score a bit. Well, if you want to get in contact with me to play some games, my gamertag is Black Kendoka.
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