Ruminations Over Sunday’s Kendo

It’s been two years this month since I began doing kendo. Wow! Happy anniversary to me! How far I’ve gone indeed, yet how little I have improved. I must admit that within those two years I have been practicing on and off, and this year alone I had about a 4-month kendo-less holiday which of course took a toll on my physical fitness. When I returned and resumed lessons, I was in so much pain and the shinai (bamboo sword) felt heavy just after a an hour of training. I was also completely exhausted! But amazingly, my body was able to retain its memory of basic footwork and cuts (although it needed a bit of reviewing at the beginning). There were also many terminologies I have forgotten and needing some brushing up. Well, I am back and I intend to get better at it.

Today after practice, my coach asked me for confirmation if I am an Art teacher. I told him that I am, then he asked me if I deal with brushes. I told him that I do. He then thoughtfully made a comparison which I thought was wonderful. He told me that shodo (calligraphy) is just like kendo

From the collection of Ross Walker.

From the collection of Ross Walker.

“Once you start,” he began while demonstrating the movement of a brushstroke, “you can’t stop!”

My sunbae (senior [Korean]) had been telling me this before. “Don’t stop! Keep attacking!” he kept reminding me. Somehow this mind-frame has yet to sink in and break itself down into one, fluid, automatic action. ~I have a long way to go.~ So I told my coach I’ll keep working on that.

Interestingly, a colleague of mine (or batch mate) and I did keiko together and spent about 5 minutes just blocking each other. We could not manage making an ippon (point) at all. Afterwards, Coach did a one-minute keiko again with us, and this time I was pretty shocked as he began charging onto me like we were in a real shiai (tournament). I would like to think that coach saw a potential in me that he needed prodding out, since he taught me many waza (techniques) today, which I was able to use during keiko. But then he managed to make me fall back off my feet as he charged on me as if I was just his size. I wonder if he had forgotten that I am not only petite, but puny compared to his strength, but if he did know and wanted to see how far he could push me, well, I am clearly not a brick wall, that’s for sure! My first time to fall on my back. Shocking!

Keiko with batchmate earlier this year

Keiko with batchmate earlier this year

So to rate my morning, I had a really good practice. I also owe it to the fact that I had sufficient sleep, a fulfilling breakfast, and was properly hydrated before the onslaught at the dojo. I think these are the keys to being better prepared for a rigorous training (especially for someone not as physical active such as myself). I am saying this because before, during keiko, I would start getting headaches and feel nauseous and would be bed-ridden for the whole day. This has happened several times before and I got worried.

I checked the web about it and they call it “exercise headaches.” According to most articles, they don’t know what causes it, while some explained that this is due to a neck injury, a brain problem, or muscle tension. They do sound serious, but I don’t think those are the causes of mine.

Therefore, I decided to get more sleep, drink plenty of water, and at least keep my belly from being empty (but not full). And what do you know? Problem solved! No more headaches!


2 Responses to “Ruminations Over Sunday’s Kendo

  • Really? Pinabagsak ka pala ng coach mo? You didn’t mention this yesterday. Ok lang…nothing hurts I hope! 😀

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