Sunday – Day off
We’ve decided to head to the Tsuruma Park, which, up until now, we’ve only passed on our way to, and from, the dojo. The park is really nice, distinctly Japanese, and big enough to give me the much needed feeling of space and quiet.
We’ve also watched the Japanese no.1 pastime, baseball. I’ll never be a great fan of the game, I’m sure about that.
The morning training wasn’t as I expected, the local kendo people seem to be having some issues (not going to comment on that, as it makes me angry enough not to be gentle and just stab them… or someone), so we mostly rehearsed the basics, with the focus on correct harai. We’ve also practiced basics in tankendo, this time in proper bogu (though without the kata I feel almost naked), so with actual stabbing. I won’t lie, it is far from being easy – after a month of training jukendo, which uses a kamae with left side of the body in front – switching to tankendo, which requires right foot and hand (with tanken) in front.
So as soon as I’ve learnt left foot fumikomi, I have to practice the right one too. And to find the balance and proper posture yet again… My muscle memory is working really hard. One thing that training weightlifting and gymnastics brought me is proprioception, so I’m aware of the position of my joints and muscles (and I’m aware that their position is faulty, huh), now I have to make them move in the way I want them to, which is quite often contrary to what my body would naturally do (does). Luckily, in jukendo it worked (with my front foot, elbow, and shoulders, which are now better than they were at the beginning), so it *should* work on the other side as well.
Plus we might need to move on to a new dojo.
The decision has been made and we won’t deal with the…ummmm… kendo people (I doubt I can post invectives in here), we’ll try to find a new and more hospitable place to train in. Those issues meant office/driveway jukendo once again! After an hour of discussing and calling various people, we’ve moved onto the driveway and practiced kata. Sensei has already prepared his famous puzzle mats for us – my shoes are still blue from the last time I did exercises on them, so I decided to go barefoot.
And got me some smurf feet, yay! We did kata, from 1-4, focusing on various aspects and both sides – uchikata and shikata (as they are called in jukendo, in contrast to kendo’s uchidachi and shidachi). I also had to escape from some flying insects, particularly intent to disrupt my kata spirit, and try to see my opponent through the waterfall of sweat falling into my eyes. Driveway jukendo is always fun!
*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.*