There isn't a chance for longish jikeiko in these 2 months. Most of the time in the dojo it is mainly paired basic practice, with minimal amount of waza and mawari-keiko. As a result I feel slightly lost in touch with the "competition mindset" which everyone says that's the kind of kendo I am having. Next week there will be a shiai keiko at the squad, so maybe I am going to test out how my progress is, when for the past 2 months all that I am doing is simply kihon.
In today's practice I took a lot of time telling myself to breath properly. Hold it as long as I could while doing a series of cuts, etc. And in between when people rotate around, I used that few seconds to take deep breaths. It helps, I reckon. I actually feel like the first person to jump out and have a go again when sensei said "free practice for the last 10 minutes".
In addition to that, I got the demo request for hiki-waza. This is the first time here I did hiki-waza in kihon. Long time ago in Brighton Ota-senpai told me that the only way to learn hiki-waza is to steal it from other people. So I am glad that something I stole from the UK is working here!
When I got home tonight at around 9pm and had a few bites of my late-dinner, my father called from the hospital. A few minutes later, my grandmother there told us how grandfather took his last big breath of his life. In the 2 months I am back here, I have visited the hospital more than I visit the dojo. Eariler in the week seeing grandpa half-sitted in bed catching his breath (as he is 81 and is having major heart+lung failure), when he was spending his entire time doing nothing but lying in bed, I kind of connect this "breath-catching" scene to what happen when I don't control my breathing properly during practice. Somehow I can feel how painful it is not being able to get air into the lungs.
Breathing is one of the most basic human activity, and we learnt it when we were born. If we lost control of it, we suffer. Perhaps being able to breathing properly will lead to a more enjoyable life?