Participants (15 = 8 youths + 7)
- Begay sensei
- reiho emphasized in all drills; sonkyo on every kootai during mawari geiko
- ashi sabaki
- kakegoe, hassei / kukan datotsu men while holding kiai
- bogu no chakuso
- mawari geiko (kihon uchi, (yakusoku) jigeiko)
J1 continues to demonstrate good posture and form; she habitually has her feet too close together during suriashi
J2 was unusually conforming to the rest of the group today, with the loudest kiai; I think all of the other members starting to wear bogu had an emotional impact on him. He was much more focused than ever before. Not sure how long this will continue, but it’s an obvious motivating factor for him, albeit a slight discouragement.
J, the top student, continues to do well, but with more time given to bogu no chakuso for others, it’s become harder to give more dedicated 1-to-1 time for him. With others moving unto bogu, it’s a natural progression, and with the increasing number of students the amount of dedicated time on each one will only decrease. I’ll need to focus more on developing the leaders of the group, and develop them as better motodachi for delegation.
B, being somewhat small in stature, seems to be more hesitant to be wearing men. (His grasp of fundamentals are very good.) He’s wearing the one my daughter had used when she was little, and it fits okay, however, it may be that his overall muscle groups are still too weak to handle the weight of bogu. To accommodate for him, I’ve had the group only wear dou and kote in the beginning, and had him retire earlier (younger students have option of leaving early after an hour of keiko) when we moved unto bogu. He was able to play with two newcomers who joined today. Will need to make parts of drills more enjoyable for likes of him.
S continues to show his strength, but I’m thinking he may need more aerobics to improve on his agility. Nevertheless, he has been showing improvement during faster parts of ashi sabaki, so no need for concern.
I continues on well as usual. Cyclic kihon drills to make them more disciplined in general, but overall, he’ll probably be a good candidate as a level aite with J soon.
A & V brothers joined anew today. They were fascinated with their peers wearing bogu, and kept on asking when they can start wearing them. I had them join warm-ups with no shinai, but told them to clasp their hands together and just try to imitate others. They seem to have been endowed with better than average motor reflexes, because they seemed to pick up things very quickly. Need to go through formal reiho, shizentai, ashi kamae, and so on. It was good to have Donovan and Kayleigh available to help out w/ shobo ashi sabaki while I was able to focus on the rest of the group. Thank you, Donovan Heimer & Kayleigh Norman
In jigeiko, I’ve been emphasizing the following: big motion (raising the shinai above the eyebrows); going straight forward; not being afraid to receive strikes; not blocking, but responding with a big kihon uchi with less concern on yukodatotsu. Once they get better into habit of responding or taking initiative that way, oji waza drills such as suriage or kaeshi men, and shikake waza drills such as osaerarete men could be incorporated. However, I’m somewhat hesitant to actively have them execute those on a regular basis before they take their first shinsa… which at this point may be summer of next year at the least, and six hours away in Denver at that. I’d have to inform the parents early this time to reserve those dates and prepare in advance. It’s probably not a good idea to hold them back for another 6 months, so maybe I should go ahead and have them drill on those, and then as date approaches for shinsa, I could have them to refocus only on doing the kihon for shinsa.
With more members in bogu, two things come to mind. A playful event using balloons on men, and a kai-level competition with all of the formalities of a taikai, since almost no one except for yudanshas of our kendo kai have ever been exposed to kendo outside of Albuquerque.
During the weekend, I read about an abstract aspect of seme where it encompasses the aura of presence, which affects your aite. It seemed to be a too broad of a definition. The alertness of mind is what’s generally expected from a kendoka, and a more dedicated one ought to have such mind even outside of the dojo. Whether or not this type of mind is merged with someone’s expanded understanding of seme seems little too scholastic. Nevertheless, it was a good reminder on the aspect of the presence of the mind.