Saturday, May 15, 2010

Upcoming Iaido Test

My application to attend the AUSKF Iaido seminar in San Antonio has been sent in.  Now I just need to do further preparations such as plane tickets and a possible stop in Houston before I leave.  There will be the general seminar, tournament and testing over four days of Iaido goodness.  This will be my first AUSKF Iaido seminar, so I honestly don't know what it will be like.  At this point, all I can assume is that it would be somewhat similar in structure to the Kendo seminars with the content learned in the Iaido seminars I went to in Cleveland.

I've been thinking about the whole testing process more than anything.  I'm pretty much guaranteed to get something since I'll be vying for one of the kyu ranks, but I would like to put up the best performance I can.  There's a slight learning curve since I've never tested in Iaido before.

All that is required of me is to perform five kata from the Seitei set in under six minutes.  One thing I need to do watch my perception of time.  While I made it through a sample kata set in well under the allotted time, it was still surprising how quickly five minutes can pass.  Of course, it won't do me any good to rush through them all.  One thing that's good about the nature of Iaido is that it's easier to prepare for the exams on your own time.  In Kendo, I'm really only able to get the full benefit of preparations when I have someone to fight against.  For Iaido, since everything is done by yourself, I only have me to rely on and me to blame for taking the time to train beforehand.

For now, I should try to get in the right mindset when doing the kata during practice.  At the same time, I need not worry about all the small details that tends to psych me out and makes me perform worse than I want to.  I should also throw in some home training to really up the concentration.


ConnyLo said...

All »the small details« are often essence of iaido.

But if you are disturbed and you are performing lower than you could, there are not many solutions. Forget the details and make your iai free, but worse? Check all details and get down in your performance?

I think, train as much as you can that you can »forget« about the details and be free at last to do your personal good iai!

Good luck!

Christopher George said...

Thanks for the advice!

I plan on using that method as it really helped me out for my latest Kendo exam. Going in there with an overall gameplan to show them what I want to show them served me better for my psyche than just worrying about all those really tiny details.

Besides, I'm only going for a kyu rank for Iaido, so it's not like they're going to be looking for all that much anyways. At this point, all I can do is practice what I can based on what I've been taught, then just leave the rest up to fate.

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