Oops. Forgot to blog - but I did go to the Xmas Eve keiko last Sat. We got a relatively good turn-up (12 in bogu plus a few newbies), which made it look less like a "Lonely Hearts Club". Us girls got another group on rotation (Noroi, Takase, Jane, Lisa, Jacquna (sp?). Even though they were all my junior, I got quite excited winning all the yakusoku keiko rounds (be it ai-men or ippon-shobu). In turn, that did give me the thought of showing up for the squad-training...
But then, I missed the Tuesday night one doing something stupid (playing with cats underneath the dining table - and injured the muscles along my back... argh)
So this is now Thurs, the last keiko of the year 2005.
As usual, I missed the first 15 mins, but I joined in when they started picking up the shinai.
A few rounds of suri-ashi men up and down the dojo, then some men-uchi and kote-men against empty air. The leading senpai said something funny about Tenouchi towards the end of the cut: "when some sensei said 'squeeze like a towel', that's actually a handkechef and not a bath towel, so you don't have to try too hard!" Indeed. Since I got this comment about over-twisting my forearms, I am working on squeezing with the fingers/ hands instead... Do feel relaxing around the elbows now.
Eda-sensei came in at 8pm, who tell us "men-tsuke".
Now using the full-length of the dojo, we did a few more suri-ashi men men men men men men men. Wong-san dropped by the gym and watched us for a bit. For some reason we all try to look good and serious.
Then for a change we all found a line on the floor and did fumikomi-men-with-no-running-through (i.e. Sumi style). Eda-sensei told us to just stop where we stomp on and measure how far we jumped. Something like this:-
To my surprise, my couple of fumikomi that came in with men-uchi straight and stable, were as far as my shinai+ one kote fist... (4 feet!!!) So, really, no more excuses of fighting any closer, and I should be more aware of how far I can actually reach.
Another exercise we did was to band against the wall... Well uhmm "one-step taiatari"... and it was actually against the spongy ones. This was to let us feel the force to give+receive in correct taiatari (by ourselves!), and with the right footwork (since you can't possibly end up with your left foot in front). So the 12 of us all lined up against the wall and start running into it like mental patients...
At paired practice I was with the "women and children group" (Jane, Lo, Takumi, Aka - Ng's son). The time was short, and with just a few rounds of kirikaeshi and men-uchi, we quickly got into jikeiko.
It was after class that Ng (kohai at squad) told me that this is his son's first keiko in bogu. Well, I wasn't that hard. Not being a kid's motodachi for a while, I only remembered to kiai louder when there is no kiai, and keep walking forward when he's all backing up not hitting... It's probably quite hard for Aka as he wasn't showing too much interest when I saw him on a Tues before the squad. Ng hopes he can have more fun with some kids over this dojo.
Takumi (Utsunomiya) was always the hard one, as he was most of the time the only 9-year-old on a Thurs, and with his mom watching from the side. He also won 2005's HK individuals at his age group... Anyway, I really like to forget cutting men to take his kote and do as he thought no one could!
Against Lo, I guess she's improving as well, that we struggled quite a while until I got the first de-gote. But that waza isn't working too well now as she's learning kote-nuki-men... So the lesson is to really work on one waza against a certain type of person, because "tokui-waza" doesn't always work!!
After that we can queue for anyone, so I got to wait for Kwok, a visitor from Silicon Valley who was here on holiday and was only practising today. Strange thing happened - he and a senpai were fighting and then backing to my side, which ran me to the wooden bars at this wall of the dojo... Suddenly blood was on the floor... I twisted my right foot around, and saw some splinters from the wooden bars piked in there. Just when I thought I should last this keiko without sitting down, I just had to. Mrs Utsunomiya offered me a wound plaster, and I just took off my men and kote and pressured my foot for ...until when Yame was shouted. Funny enough I just found out yesterday that I passed my first-aid certificate from St. John, and today I find it being "very useful"
Here's a semi-gross picture - end-of-year shock!! ...Well the wound was not big but it gets a bit swollen now (and sorry that's a copy of Communication Arts on my bed...):-
I hope that doesn't affect my plan going to the New Year's keiko/ squad the coming Sunday. We already got a special invite from Eda-sensei:-
"Dear squad members,
Please note we may plan our last overseas training trip (financial year before 31st march 2006) to Chinese Taipei. [snip]
We have talked to government officials recently in a general meeting once a year to review on our performance. It is very important all squad members to participate in the overseas trip and to achieve good results in the shiai...[snip] Our performance may affect the amount of fundings for the next financial year.
It is every squad member's responsibility to practice hard and to achieve good results, as you are no longer treated as one of the ordinary members.
See you all on the New Year day keiko!
P.S. the 2009 WKC will be held in Brazil. "
She's thinking so far ahead... Argh.