Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Some thoughts on my Kendo and Iaido

In my latest attempt to get more self-practice in for Kendo and Iaido on those no practice days, I've been having some thoughts about my progress in Kendo and Iaido.

For those not in the know, I participated in the AUSKF tournament in Las Vegas last month. I was knocked out of the first round, unfortunately, but it allowed me to really think about Kendo in a different kind of light.

One of the major problems that I have been having with Kendo is the fact that I'm most definitely not the strongest person out there. Sizing up at 5'7" and 125 lbs (170.18 cm, 56.7 kg for those that don't follow our system), I tend to get pushed around quite easily by a good number of people out there that I face. Due to this, I am trying to find a way around it by using my size and go the more agile and tactical route. This means taking advantage of moving around swiftly and taking command of various waza, such as hiki, nuki and kaeshi. In some ways, that sort of thing seems to be working, but there is still a LOT to do before I can really say that this kind of tactic is working.

On an somewhat related note, since this is August now, it marks the 5th anniversary of me starting Kendo. Can't believe it's already been that long. I'm very proud of myself that I started something and able to keep up with it for that amount of time, given the large amount of distractions in college. This is something that I really want to keep going with for the next 50+ years, provided my body is able to keep up with it. Maybe I'll do another entry about the future of Kendo in my own personal life and my thoughts on the growth of it in the western world.

BTW, for those that are interested, here's my match video from the torunament.

On the iaido front, I've only started in February so I'm still very green about the art. Lately, I've been doing things to get myself more familiar with the art by looking up information and making sure I actually remember the names of the seitei kata (the ones I'm working on right now). To help out with that, I'm looking at youtube videos for reference of the necessary movements and intent. I also bought a book called Iaido Sword: Kamimoto-Ha Techniques for Musou Shinden Ryu. According to reviews, it's supposed to be a pretty complete guide book for Musou Shinden Ryu. I haven't gotten it yet so I really can't say much about it.

Oh yeah, I ordered my Iaito from Aoi Budogu back in April...and I'm still looking for it. I emailed the people and they told me that the swordsmith was backed up so it might take another 6-8 weeks for my iaito to come in. I'm glad to know that at least it's able to come in. The way I see it, it gives me a bit more time to be "ready" for the iaito when it comes in. I have my bokken and saya right now, so that will have to do until it finally comes in. But I still come up to my door, anticipating the view of the slip of paper saying I can grab it from the main office of my apartment complex.

That's it for now!


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