Nathan – the American guy – brought with him some infection that makes everyone ill, one by one. Yuck. Luckily, I got knocked out by it yesterday’s afternoon, so today I felt quite all right, even despite the raging heat.
Today was also the day that I felt that everything I’ve learnt somehow got lost and I’m back to square one. My hands weren’t cooperating, my feet were late, and my hips totally elsewhere. Fortunately, we’ve worked on basics and kata again, so I’ve managed to get away with many ‘ok, but-s’ and ‘almost-all-right-s’.
What more there is to say? The weather is back to being ‘awful’ (as we all agreed upon, the weather here ranges from ‘not that awful’ to ‘I am dying’), hence I was devoid of energy during the warm up (fun fact, I don’t really need warming up, I’m overheating here:)) More and more basics with a focus on posture and distance, correcting the problems we had, but they were not as important at the start – now they are in the centre of attention.
I definitely need more footwork exercises, as I tend to move my front AND my back foot wrong at times. When we were doing kata, the owner of the dojo came by, so we had to show off before him. It didn’t go as wrong as I thought it might, so I’m rather happy. Yet, the feeling of regression pervades my training experience, though from what I know from other sports, I’m sure that there is but one thing to do – to train more and do not despair. The better moments will come. The only bad practice is the one that never happened, they say.
Today I discovered that moving backwards while thrusting is totally impossible for me to do. While in kendo it came kinda naturally, here my feet do not agree with my arms. I can do it without anyone in front of me, and yet, when it comes to performing it in a fast and efficient manner, I’m totally lost and doing something ridiculously funny. Ah, the joys of training. Apart from that, we still focus on the absolute basics, on getting the distance and the posture right. My kiai still sounds like a half-dead cat has been struck by lightning…
Plus, more kata. This is the first time we’ve performed 1-8 without pausing in-between to correct some elements in a dire need of correction. I realized I was so focused that my whole body trembled and I couldn’t stop myself from smiling when it came to the 8th form, the last one. Uff.
You might notice that the blog posts are getting shorter and more similar to one another. Another day – another training. This is due to the fact that nothing brand new is being introduced and we’re just honing the basics from both sides – the attacker and the receiver. I still aim to find that perfect striking posture, that drives power from the lower/middle body (hips and legs) not from the upper one.
All of this might sound tedious and boring, but for me it is truly fascinating, to fix these little things and feel the difference. Plus, I think I got the feet movements in kata about right – at least I can keep the front foot straight and moving in a straight line (I admit, I rely on feeling the lines on the floor through my skin), and the right one nicely spaced, not tucked behind the left one.
*This is part of an ongoing series of posts by Jukendo World translator and guest author, Klara, who has only recently started jukendo and is undertaking a 3 month visit to Japan to further her training with her partner, Lukasz.*