Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kendo Frustration

In searching for different ways to procrastinate from my homework, I have decided to put in a new entry in my blog.

It's been over a week, but the Cleveland Kendo Tournament is over and I leave disappointed in my progress. I lost in the first match in the mudansha division just like at the previous tournament. This time, it wasn't because I got tired, it was because my hits were weak so I wasn't getting any points from my hits. There are other factors to my performance, including driving for a few hours and having little time to warm up as so many things were going on at once when I got there. The latter reasons feel like petty excuses to me as I sometimes feel like I was trying to run away from the real reasons of my loss. Either way, I feel that I didn't give my all to the match and that needs to change.

I faired a bit better in the team match, but there are still some improvements. I noticed in the video for my match that I had a bit too much movement with my shinai. The funny thing is that I didn't notice I was moving so much. It really gives my movements away and it does sap energy faster than just moving when necessary. That seems to be a problem that I need to get over as well. I need to pay more attention to my movements.

I really feel that my Kendo hasn't really progressed much since the summer. While I don't expect to be a Kendo master or anything after only three years, I would expect to be better at Kendo than I currently am. It's really frustrating that it seems like people are advancing faster than I am. While some others are full of energy and fast, I'm still slow and weak. Trust me, I have no plans on quitting Kendo. While I am frustrated, I see this as another hurdle to go through. This is an experience that I can tell others years down the road when they are saying the same thing. But for the here and now, there are some things that do need to change.

The semester is over and now the summer is fast approaching. More time will open up for me to spend more time practicing Kendo and doing any sort of supplemental training. Last year, my goal was to be able to last longer during my matches. While my endurance can always be higer, I think that I am at the point where only time will improve that. Now, there are other things that I can focus on during these long summer months.

- Improve speed
- Improve strength

These are the new goals that I have. While these are two different goals, I feel that they supplement each other as you need speed to have strength and strength for speed. But I guess that it's not enough to just do them, I need a method of approaching that goal.

In order to achieve these goals, I need a refined way of approaching things. At first, I was just doing suburi to do the first goal, but more needs to be done. While doing suburi is necessary for becoming better, a new thought process needs to be implemented. Instead of just doing the swings and practicing the waza, I need to think about what I am doing. Why am I doing this move? How can it be refined to achieve these goals? What EXACTLY is my body doing to move and how do I fix any problems? Basically, I should be asking questions of myself and my sensei/sempai to get a deeper perspective of my kendo. Also, I should be updating this blog more to chart my progress.

One thing is for certain, I plan on visiting a few dojos over the summer. Which ones I visit depends on one thing, and that is if I get an internship over the summer. I got a call a few days ago about an internship with United Launch Alliance in the Denver area. If I go there, I know of a few dojos that are in the area that I can attend depending on the work schedule and stuff. If I don't, I can always practice with the Georgia Kendo Alliance. There are also a few other Kendo dojos that opened up in the area, closer to home, so I can go there for the time being depending on how long I will remain at home. We'll see how things go as I'll find out my situation tomorrow.

Well, it's getting late and I should get to bed for class tomorrow morning. As for the match video, I'll add a link to my youtube page on the sidebar so you can see my Kendo videos and videos of my friends. Of course, comments and questions are always welcome.
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