Sunday, July 31, 2005


Nope, I didn't go to the Sunday Squad today. Reason: having a fever and too heavy rain. Stayed home all day.

Below is the review schedule for the past 2 months. Had only been in the dojo 16 times out of 2 months, fitting only 1-2 times of kendo a week... Obviously not as bright as I should have been, due to various matters in life. I really need to sort myself out.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Back in there

Thursday afternoon I went to an interview for an overqualifying (not to mention, underpaying) job. It came like a joke to myself, but in the end I felt I did something meaningful. At least I found out I shouldn't be going to ANY place for a design job... Anyway, I went to kendo at my dojo in the evening.

I came in late and as was Eda-sensei. The first things she said in the changing room was about her upcoming weekend business trip to LONDON next month (!)... So I spent sometime explaining where she should go to. Unfortunately that's the same week as the Sumi-sensei's seminar (a.k.a. SSS), so she will miss out the high-grades. Oh well never mind...

When we got into the dojo, people were doing the 3-step men-ute (up, cut, back) exercise with Tanaka-sensei. After that we had a few rounds of kirikaeshi, katate-men, and "kirikaeshi + katate-men + do-kirikaeshi + kirikaeshi" kind of uchikomi without men ... ending with 20+20 hayasuburi. It really feels like nothing (apart from the heat) when Eda-sensei called for a 3-min break.

Putting on our Men on we were then asked to do "one side attack, the other side keep blocking" kind of thing. I thought it was kakari-keiko, but my performance was completely awful (like, messy distance, accuracy and ki-ken-tai-icchi). It has been aaaaages since I did (or see) kakari-keiko so maybe that's one of the problem. Also I got to blame part of my motodachi not really doing their job... uhm

Then Eda-sensei said something like, go for an Ippon. Everything you do should be an Ippon. If you get an Ippon, you don't need the rest, so just finish there.

So for the next 2 rounds I had (against Lo and Amy) I just finished mine with my tokui tobikomi-kote waza.

...That's a bit too boring so I thought I should change to something else. So the other 2 rounds I did Nuki-do and kote-do... Which worked equally well, as I just stood there and wait for the other pairs to finish...

That's not too enjoyable to be honest. Besides popping Ippon straight away on Shodachi, I did't really get enough kakari-keiko...

Over to some Ai-men rounds, I felt I was having some improvement too, after those Shuttle Run rounds the day before. One problem I had with Amy was that, she is faster - but she turned right after the cut without running through (like when people go for hiki-waza...)... Though I wasn't too sure if I am correct, I did tell her to go further.

That come 5 rounds of mawari-keiko. Were all good. Osae-men worked brilliantly.

After that I queued for Tanaka-sensei. It felt like I haven't had him for an enitre month (it probably is!!). He's an Ai-men-maniac, but recently I managed to land my men on him too (previously my shinai didn't even touch his men)... And I actually had him TWICE on kote-men - only that he touched his head in a swiping motion afterwards... My men cuts at kote-men is definitely not solid enough!! Uhmm, I need to work on my grip after the kote cut (quote T-sensei).

It was finally raining today so I can't go for a run. (Also I have a bit of sore throat...symtoms of having a flu... not again, please!) I stayed home and watch some kendo DVDs - actually these are the videos from Last month's UK competition. Only half-way through at the moment but some of the things are quite exciting. It's nice to see the familiar faces in the UK in action again.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Squad #17

Struggling to drag my bogu out at 7.45pm last night, I went to the squad after a week's break. I sent out some letters and told myself, "Yosh! Time to show up!"

On the way I was thinking what excuse I should make for my absence last Sunday... But upon arrival chatting with Chu and Ng (fellow training kohai at the squad) - I found out that no one actually went!! One word, "Lazy". Agnes our captain complained about the low atendance for the men's team - having only one of them last Sunday, as comparing to the 5 at the Ladies' team (but I wasn't there either...).

We were expecting that 250 suburi with 2 shinai and 200 non-stop hayasuburi last night. But maybe because Kishikawa-sensei wasn't the one counting, we all managed to cheat...!!! We did this round in pairs, and I had Agnes facing me, but she shouted "last 20" when it was at 150, and we finished the earliest at 170! I heard last Sunday when K-sensei did the counting, it was like, "...70...80...80...80..."!!

No more cramping this time, apart from the tiredness and heavy breathing, we moved onto waza-keiko with men on. I got Agnes as partner again. Ladies are usually at the far end of the dojo, making me standing right next to K-sensei, and I can't slack off any second...

We did a few rounds of Ai-men from To-maai (from the walls and run into the centre, cutting Ai-men). I began to translate the movement of turn-around into the shuttle-run I did in the previous week. It is *definitely* the case of how sharp I can turn 180-degree - how stable I was, and ready to run to the centre again. I did cut Agnes quite a number of times really spot-on.

After that it was the usual pattern of men/de-kote, kote/de-kote-men (and then moved from issoku-itto to to-ma, etc.) I was still having this problem of not going forward after kote-men, but overall I think I saw more opportunity and was able to cut at the same time, which is a good improvement (and not feel like passing out).

The happiest moment on Earth came with "Yame" being called at 9.45pm!! Then went the unexpected shiai-keiko (ippon shobu). The guys had a few matches, and also I had 2, one against Agnes and the other against Eda-sensei (only 3 of us at the Ladies side this night...) Both fight last quite long (at least 3 mins... I think). I SCORED at debana-men against Agnes's kote, but lost to Eda's hiki-kote. It has been 2 months since I find myself in shiai, and I was quite happy about my performance even after the warm-up suburi at the beginning of the practice.

Afterwards K-sensei said something about how we had improved by attenting the squad over the days. Training pays off. I am not sure tho, especially I lost count of how many times I missed in this few months...

As usual the ending 30mins was for jikeiko. Agnes grabbed me for a long, good one. Sometimes it did feel like we were still at waza-keiko (as we had been partners earlier)... Her advice was that I was cutting from too far (again!?)... I was too used to the ai-men maai, and expecting my opponent moving in while I am cutting (hmm excuses...)

After that I queued for Yu-sensei, who was in a not-too-sharp Jodan fighting Angus... Then Yamada-sensei jumped my queue(!)... It was already the last keiko when I got my chance. Applying the "Get the man while he is down" strategy, I bloody got my Shodachi (tobikomi-men!!! on someone that tall!!!!) Obviously when a sensei is tired, I got my share of uchikomi kinda cut. Comment was that I was still using my right hand to cut (!) - but the men-uchi were quite nice. Ha..

Walked out of the stadium with K-sensei and Yip (a senpai who probably has the highest attendance in the squad). I was about to escape from him (I thought he wanted to scold me..) but ended up having a nice chat about the shiai.

K-sensei: "So what do you think about your shiai today?"
Mingshi: "Err... I wasn't quite sure about the Ippon I made. Agnes hits my kote but it didn't pop on the futon. I cut her men-gane but her head is a bit up... So when I hit the Men I didn't really go through. I don't know why it got scored."
K: "You shouldn't worry about your Ippon. Every cut should be made with full intention. It is shinpan's job to judge whether that is an Ippon or not. You are the player - your job is to play your game!!"
M: ".... hai..."
K: "You made some good attempts before that Ippon. Do you remember that?"
M: "...Yeah. I think my fumikomi was really strong at those, and also the opportunity is good. But the shinai kinda slided off..."
K: "You still practice at Eda's dojo?"
M: "Yeah. Thursdays.."
K: "You should do a lot of kihon. Work on the Men and kote. Get more explosion, and stronger cuts."
M: "Hai."


Today's Shuttle Run records (now with the Mizuno trainers. Mizuno is the official sponsor of the Japanese Volleyball Ladies Team. :D)

10x 10-metres:
Trial #1: 28.52
Trial #2: 28.62
Trial #3: 28.55
Trial #4: 28.33
Trial #5: 28.77

[Note: Police Inspector Standard - Women: 29sec/ Men: 26s; Police Constable - Women: 28.1s/ Men: 24.8s]

So I am still half a second beind... although that's a good improvement.

I did keep in mind about the turning (which helps my ai-men). Also I am getting more used to when to accelerate (explosion) and deccelerate (touching the 10-metre line and turning 180-degree).

Why is it every time I thought I am at the edge of the "quit kendo" abyss, the next keiko was so much more enjoyable...??????

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I Wanna Run Away...

After packing up nicely my bogu bag last night, this morning I woke up at 6am, 7am and 8.30am (probably due to some stages of insomina)... I washed my face, came back to my room and decided not going to the squad today. For a simple reason: I don't want to go.

The moment I walked out from my bed I can feel the muscle pain from my left leg. It's still hurting, and only this afternoon I can walk with a less limping movement. If that's what kendo is doing to me, without the feeling of improvement or success, why is it my responsibility to do the suffering? More importantly, the tiring feeling is very discouraging for my normal life. Say, I can't even walk properly for days, and constantly feeling tired without doing much work.

So I am considering dropping out of the squad. In fact I have been doing that for the last couple of Sundays. I used to think that I'll enjoy the challenge - but when the training is turning to be a chore, drag and torture to my normal life, I can't enjoy any minute of it.

Two more weeks and there will be some visitors from Hokkaido - including Eiga Naoki's Sensei, Furukawa sensei. Maybe I'll just go and watch, take a few snaps... and practice with the high-school students...

I seem to have lost my passion - but where is it?

BTW Today I have been back from London for exactly half a year...


The b-day "funding" I got from my grandma was used to buy a decent pair of Mizuno trainers and a pair of Reebok sport shorts. Here's what I made out of 800-metre run this evening:-

1st trial= 3'25"03
2nd trial= 3'36" 83


I can't believe the equipments had made such a difference...! Even though I admit I went too fast at the starting 100m on the first trial (the shoes are too good and hard to control...) Still, that's more than 30 seconds faster than my previous records...!!!

3'25" is the standard for Men's fitness test for Police Inspector, and I am starting to touch it. Since there are 7 testing subjects (Vertical-jump, Pull-up, Shuttle-run (10x10M), Sit-up, Burpee, Threading, 800m Run) on the same day, I'd have to make sure I can last every single one of them... Even though the minimal standard for some of the subjects are pretty easy. (like sit-up 12 times in 30 sec, WTH?!)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Not Today... Or Now...

I am not talking about I skipped kendo tonight for a birthday dinner (mine!)...

Just that the first thing I know after stepping into my flat - London is exploding here and there!!!

8 hours before walking into the Police HQ - there's always incidents that aid my insomnia.

Is this what is called as "life as an 23-year-old adult"???


With the noise from the overnight thunderstorm, I managed about 3 hours of sleep, and arrived the Police HQ at 8.00am.

I filled out another form which allows me to apply for Police Constable if in case I failed the Inspector application. And then in the "Other Skills" section, I ticked the boxes for "Fluent Mandarin" and "Computer Skills", while adding "Kendo 2nd Dan" to the provided blank space.

All went smoothly when the recruitment officer checked my online application form - until when he asked for my academic records...

Officer Soo: "We will need the original transcript from your university."
Mingshi: "... These are all I got from them." (showing off my undergrad and postgrad certs)
Soo: "You need to get the transcript from your UK uni. I'll give you 6 weeks. Just pop in and tell the officer on duty that you've filled in the forms but just have to show the transcripts."
Mingshi: "Okay.."
Soo: "You can leave now."

Maybe I shouldn't have worried about the eyesight test too much, because... I didn't even managed to get into the rooms....!!!! When people say no employer will ask for university records, they obviously lied!!!

I'll have to make IDD calls now. God knows how fast the British works... Argh...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Shuttle Run

In preparation for the physical test for Police Inspector, today's training was "Shuttle Run" - 10 times 10-meter run (forward then turn around and run forward again). I actually brought along a roll of measuring tape to get an exact 10-metre running track...

Here's my records:-
trial #1= 29.96 sec
trial #2= 29.39 s
trial #3= 29.33 s
trial #4= 28.89 s
trial #5= 29.05 s

The standard is to make it under 29 seconds for female (for guys its under 26 sec) - so I only merely made it ONCE!! Aarrrh!!

It definitely shows my weakness in turning my hips - which was pointed out by Eda-sensei yesterday when I was trying to do hiki-waza after missing kote-men... While one can say kendo is not a sport or whatever, many of the principles about body movements are the same. It explains why I suck at a lot of things in kendo, like endurance (in 200 hayasuburi or 800m run), explosion (in ai-men from to-maai or 10x10m shuttle run), etc. etc.

I am going to break my pair of Converse in any minute, so I'll hunt for a pair of nice trainers tomorrow!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Today: Squad #16 Mingshi's Series of Unfortunate Events

Email I got after lunch:-
We have received your application for the post of Police Inspector.

Please attend our Recruitment Reception Office between 08:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on 2005-07-22, for measurement of height, weight and eyesight test. Please bring along the following documents for verification:

(a) Hong Kong Identity Card; and
(b) Original official documentary proof of academic qualifications.

[blah blah blah]

Probably the first disappointment I'll get at 23 years old.

...And its' very very hard to practice the eyesight test using one eye at a time (yes I have been doing some homework obviously - and that's not really helping!!!!)

But then I'll go to the squad today...

Mingshi's Series of Unfortunate Events:-

1) Got out late. Missed the bus and stood at the bus stop for aaaaaaages , sweating like hell.

2) At the changing room, Agnes the Captain asked about "haven't seen you for a lot of Sundays.."

3) Start off with 50 oki-suburi + 50 naname-buri + 50 swing-like-kaeshi-do + 50 swing-like-suriage-men + 50 swing-like-kote-kaeshi-kote... These are pretty okay, even with 2 shinai in hand....

4) 200 hayasuburi (downward cut to the floor) - done in one go. "If any of you stop or mess up - we'll all do it all over again!" Ah man... There MUST BE something to do with my lack of exercise lately (kendo or not), as I felt out of breath at 100, and struggle to keep up after 120... Kishigawa-sensei was using a shinai weight thingy (what's the name of it..?) and he stopped at 150.... At this last 50 I was really going to just stop or drop dead, but subconsciously I was thinking that if I cannot finish this while everyone (even kohai!) was at it - how the hell can I manage the Police?

So I just kept going (paused twice to re-adjust my ki-ken-tai-icchi) and counting with the rest of the team, even tho I am swinging twice as slow as some of them did - I kept my feet moving a bit as well. K-sensei's warning about "doing it all over again" obviously has some effect...

5) My left leg cramped a little when we fetched for our men... Also at sonkyu I thought I was going to pass out (it flashes a few times of darkness...uhmm)... But I managed to stand back up. With Jay, probably the most encouraging senpai around, I told myself to last the class as much as I can.

6) Got told to JUMP and GO FORWARD at ai-men from toi-maai, because K-sensei watched me slacking off after cut... Argh... But at men/de-kote I actually scored a few in which he said "nice men" (note: this is not the usual men-de-kote, but both side should have the intention to get Ippon, meaning I am fighting for my Men-uchi as motodachi)

7) After rounds of the "usual" de-kote-men and "make ippon"-waza keiko, with 45 mins left we moved to Ai-men x10 and then the uchikomi (M-hiki-M, M-hiki-K, M-hiki-D, M-kirikaeshi, M-D-kirikaeshi, M-MMDD-MMDDMM, M)

8) When Yame was said and it's jikeiko time, I had to go out and wash my face... tape my foot and hand. Having a nice blister in my palm (due to excessive suburi with 2 shinai - I can't grip 2!!) made me feel like a beginner.

9) Only keiko-ed with Eda-sensei. Got a BRILLIANT tobikomi-men.... But I was told to watch the opportunity of hiki-waza, especially when I missed a men, I should turn sharply and follow with a stronger cut...

10) Lost my new-38 reserved for shiai purposes and suburi.....!! And I came back with a 39 with one shaft broken..!

11) Coming home at 12.15am and finish my "dinner" at 1am... O_O

Saturday, July 16, 2005


So I went today - which is a Saturday. I am skipping the squad for the 3rd week running... To attend B-day lunch / family gathering for my Grandma. (nice excuse)

We had an "above average" amount of kirikaeshi recently... Like today after doing it against empty air, we put our men on and went through the entire rotation (about 16 people today..!!)...

And then Eda-sensei called for the gender grouping again. So I was stuck with the girls (8 of us today). Not a big problem as after the hard rounds we had really slow kihon with Tanaka-sensei. But I wasn't sure about that other girl who kept dropping out from our round after every few cuts (like, it was just shomen or kote x2...??!?!)

Apart from the (ir)regulars there was this girl whom I haven't seen before - Tam. Actually her kendo is really straight, and better than some of those who came regularly. I hope she carries on despite the busy work hours...

Usually I choose the new faces to practice with at jikeiko time. So I went into a really good fight with Tam. I was quite happy with a lot of the cuts I made (because I got most of what I intented to do). Also I was in a teaching mode suddenly - and have the confidence to commend in Cantonese. She seems to be the type who listens, and thats probably why I bother.

After Tam I had Amy which is also quite a nice fight. Recently I was working on my explosive-ness for my Men. So my kendo has really minimal waza. But it was a good feeling to take someone down with just toikomi-men passing straight through (and not falling over), for more than a couple of times. Yeah of couse my kote snaps, but it's a boring thing to mention (and do).

Oda-san who was watching from the side (because he is having an operation later next week...) came up to me after keiko. He said a couple of my men on Tam was really good. I just say my concentrated training on just straight men is working. Actually I am not sure if it is me who just keep on improving my men during kihon and jikeiko worked, or what Kishigawa-sensei told me about koshi and stuff... Was it from my 750 rope-jumping sessions, or that twice killer 800-metre I ran last Weds made my lower body stronger? (right now the muscles on my SHINS still hurt - why did I run with a pair of Converse??)

Maybe it's the combination of everything. I don't know.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Lost & Found

Yesterday I went for a run before going out... That was around my neighbourhood - I want to know how fast I can go for 800 metres.

First try - 4 mins 5.96 sec
Second Try - 4 mins 6.12 sec

It was really really tough at the last 100 metres... (think about kakari keiko...) I had trouble walking properly with the muscle pain coming up within an hour... And it bloody hurts today.

The standard for Police Inspector is 4 mins 12 sec for women, 3 mins 25 sec for men. What a big gap... But it is nice to have some sort of goal in mind - despite my defected eye sight...

[edit] The standard for Custom Officer/ Inspector is 3 mins 45 sec, for both male and female... Gee thats getting tougher than I thought...

That was before going out for a farewell dinner + partying. I bought the latest issue of Kendo Nippon at Mitsukoshi, and spotted the photo I took for Eda-sensei.

Supposedly I should comment more but at 6am I found out I forgot about my bag at a bar.........!!! Apart from the mag, I had my design notebook and a Muji pen in the bag too...!!!

Scheissen---!!! Too much vodka in my vein is no good :'(

Found the bag. Phew... Gimme some sleep time first before tonight's keiko and I came up with a scan.

Here we go:-

This is the same gym for my dojo and also the squad training.

Alright. Today's keiko was... pretty much normal. After 30 mins of warm-up stuff, we were having 45 mins of (in rotation) kirikaeshi, men-uchi, kote-men, kote-nuki-men, men-taiatari-hiki waza... That's really training through repetition. I won't say it's "boring" because A) I was with this massive hangover and B) it let me focus on very specific points I need to keep re-working on.

God... Let me sleep, please..!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Yet Another Sorry Excuse...

What happened last week in London did give me some kind of drive - sending out more letters. I didn't feel like going last Sunday - but I thought, for up to 1 hour ago, that I should go today.

It was quite an exciting experience sending out the electronic application form for the post of Police Inspector yesterday, something I wanted to do for quite "a while" but only yesterday I really "clicked". Today I was busy digging out my graduation certficates and have to post them separately (because I had overseas qualifications need to be proven).

But then within last hour (I should leave home now for tonight's squad if I am going...) that I found out about something... I was reading this local online forum about work and career, and one of the threads being Applying for the Police. Seems to me that the first letter people got will be a weight/height check-up at the Police HQ PLUS eye sight check.

Although glasses is allowed, during the test they have to be removed... The requirement is to read 5 out of 10 alphabets (4.4 cm^2) at about 1-metre distance. I am not sure what font it is - but people are saying that they have difficulties at -3.5 or below.

Yesterday I went to get a new pair of glasses (mainly for this purpose - obviously unnecessary now) and I am getting worse by L -0.25/ R -0.5

So my current readings are L -6.00/ R -6.50....!!!

I printed the forementioned eye test at home and I can't tell the difference between a C and an O standing 1/2 metre away... (to read every thing sharp and clear it has to be at kissing distance)

Argh. What am I doing...?

Friday, July 08, 2005


The first thing Eda-sensei said to me last night when I was gearing up in the changing room was: "You know about the bombings in London right?"

Yeah. Bad news 20 minutes before going off to keiko. I watched London through BBC live. On the bus I just think that things are so not real in this part of the world. Life still goes on. People going home after a day of work. In a small city (comparatively) much independent from a big nation, people seem to care much less about the world. Ordinary lives we had here.

In fact I was rather focused for Thursday's usual kihon keiko. Warm-ups, rounds of katate-men across the dojo, and then in armour went kirikaeshi. However I did not particularly like the recent arrangement for girls vs girls and men vs men... It's like we were going in rotation with half of the class only. I have been with the guys for my first 3.5 years in kendo - why the sudden change?

Though I must admit the level present yesterday was only average, especially at the girl's end (6 of us) I am really going slower than normal. Got adviced about my kiai again - E-sensei said it was not strong enough... Uhmmm And I notice I kept locking my elbows after the shomen-uchi in kirikaeshi.

The last 30 mins of the day was for jikeiko. When Tanaka-sensei fought against Wong-san (the bully 6 Dan...) I dragged Cheung, a kohai from the men's side, for a 5-min keiko. Not that I am complaining, but when I practice with the girls in my dojo, after a few cuts it always turns into "going slower and no waza", that or it becomes a teaching-learning situation. Contrary with the guys it's really getting me into shiai mode after a minute or so in the game - no matter which level is he at.

I can only FIGHT the girls at around or above my level. If there is no challenge, I can't enjoy my keiko much.

After Cheung I had Wong-san. In previous week I get to know how I should deal with him finally - just act as if my kamae is good and reduce unnecessary cuts. So at the end I got quite a number of pops on him. I also noticed that if the first thing I move is my right foot, I can feel my explosion coming from my back more, and as a result my cut are much faster and stronger.

Wong-san likes finishing jikeiko with around 10 ai-men and a set of kirikaeshi. Exhausted is one thing, but keeping stable and balanced is another. If I turn back super-sharp, I can take a split more second to adjust my balance and go again. So even though Wong-san is much taller, my ai-men ain't that bad.

Last short keiko was with Mrs. Tanaka. We fought for Ippon straight away but for minutes it was hikiwake... Towards the end it went back into the Men-uchi into brick wall thing again (hoooow can she stand so solid?!). My problem is that I need to keep my chin in AFTER cutting too (before my head went up BEFORE I cut - which gets corrected now).

After class I shoved my gears in my bag and rushed home for more news from London. Eda-sensei walked pass and told me my men-uchi are going much sharper now. "I didn't watch but I heard at the side. Your footwork, shinai and kiai are coming together quite well at jikeiko." For most of the time today I was telling myself using more of my elbow elbow elbow. If I want to, I can improve much more. All I need is to have no worries about other things...

But the disappointing news over this end which I got today is - I only managed the "possibility" of getting freelance work in the next season. Though I am not sure how positive this possibility is.

Well sometimes even if I spent a lot of time, patient and effort into a certain thing I don't get anything in the end. But it's the 10th time already, so that must say something about me.

Life is so full of insecurity. I just started mailing out more letters today - to avoid certain people thinking that I am doing absolutely nothing in my room.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Squad #15: heat

After weeks of the rainy season, it's July and we are getting a lot of the Sun... Maybe a little bit too much. Although recently the work-out style warm-ups were dropped, things are not any second easier then before, as the same amount of time is spent doing rounds of katate-hayasuburi. Like today, we got 50 joge-buri (2 shinai), then 150 katate haya-suburi (men/waist/floor height, 50 each) , and a final 50 regular hayasuburi with both hands...

Last week I only attended Thursday's keiko so I am trying to make up the Sunday today. They had monthly-shiai day but I just don't feel like going (I didn't even sign up the week before)...

One of the other entertainment (or should I say torturing method) includes motodachi squatting down initially, with shinai holding horizontally, and when he/she pops up, from issoku-itto-no-maai, attack men... (*think* rubber hammer!!) It's really hard and I only got 4/10 :(

I was pairing up with Agnes (height consideration) for this without-men session lasting 30 mins. But when we finally got our Men on, Kishikawa-sensei said "same pair" so I was stuck with her... The worst thing is, there is an odd-person out so Eda-sensei joined our group too. Generally if you are in a 3-person group, you can relax a little bit more. But with these 2 (one 6Dan, one to-be-5Dan...) things just get to do double because no one wants to rest..!! In return, of course, the quality of training is much higher, and I have to focus more to keep up with them.

Today's kihon and waza keiko was rather "short" (but intense) as they happened to pull up a few more shinsa keiko for some (Yip, Jay, Agnes)...

At jikeiko time I had Yu-sensei first. Not particularly enjoys it - He seems to "not like it" when I block his men cuts and counter, or when he misses kote-uchi and I went nuki-men... Anyway...

A week without squad made me think about a lot of things at the side. I still feel "not-entertained" when Kishikawa practiced with Yamada-sensei... Things went better watching Agnes and Angus against K-sensei though. Somehow all I can think of is to cut kote, or kote-combos. Just at kihon session, K-sensei is still nagging me about the "body stable" thing. So my stategy is to avoid going tobikomi-Men, which is the cause of my unstable-ness.

Yeah, I know. I am only avoiding my problem without dealing with it.

...But gotta think about it. I rarely need to cut men in jikeiko. And my kote-uchi is smashing good today.

In the end I don't know how many times K-sensei hit on me. But I did block an abnormal amount of men-uchi, AND popped 3 Ippon (kote, men, do!)... He'd probably wasn't 80% concentrating though. He's got this piece of injury underneath his left elbow I can spot - so I think he must have a hard time in Japan in the previous week.

K-sensei is not an idiot so by the time we move onto the last Ippon, he's also picking on my kote kote kote too...! Gosh.

I rushed home and on the bus I wonder why I felt that I had a slight improvement today, but in fact I have been slacking off for weeks (only trained 1-2 times a week, etc.) I still go for rope-jumping (now increase to 750+ in a single session), but its also about twice a week...

Been to *that* interview already last week. Will follow up later this week... (since I haven't heard from them since - I am not feeling too positive about it)