Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu!
Hatsukeiko on the first day of 2006 - also the first squad training I headed for after having a 4-month break.
Arrived a lot earlier to stretch because I woke up 8.15am sharp, and I forgot whether the squad starts from 10 or 10.30am... (better be early than late). So I was watching a little bit outside the dojo. There were 2 of the Furuse kids from my dojo who went into the 9.30am keiko, probably because their parents (who were also watching from the outside) had no better plans for the New Year..!!
At 10.30am we got a relatively good show of 10 people, only that it's a bit lonely for me as I was the only girl, and got paired up with one of the twins from Yu-sensei's dojo, who's actually quite tall.
We started in a circle with various suburi and the well-expected 200 hayasuburi. My footwork went completely crap after 120 and then I was only counting even numbers at the last 30... Luckily no one got picked on and we didn't have to repeat that again..!
With men on we then used the full length of the dojo (just a little bit longer than the length of a
shiaijo) to do various kihon and waza. A lot of the previous teachings of Sumi and Furukawa sensei was applied here. It was just slightly advanced practice that I've seen in my own dojo, only that the rest of the fellow squad were following much better. We also did various renzoku waza that required a lot of footwork and flexible wrists.
Towards the end of the waza keiko, we've ai-uchi waza running which noised up the dojo a little bit more, and also a string of yakusoku uchikomi.
There weren't too many sensei staying... so the queuing format was dropped, and we got mawari-keiko against 4 sensei instead! It's quite interesting that I could give all I had in that 2 mins of keiko, took some good breath in another line for 2mins, and go back in again for 2 mins. Apart from being quite out of breath, I also found myself going back from tsubazeriai to issoku-itto... while I should be at Toi-maai to keep away from the danger of being hit!!
After fighting all 4 sensei, the squad training finished with everyone doing the ending kirikaeshi and stuff.
Kishikawa-sensei was having a flu (him?!) so he was watching everyone from the side and giving advice with no bogu on. According to him, I am still having a bad grip (not twisting in and not flexible enough...), tooo tense, not enough lower body power, etc. etc. etc.... yeah the same old story I have been hearing in the recent months. Is that a sign of having no improvement...?
But when being asked how was today's keiko... I said I was surprised I can still follow ok (not saying that being out of squad training for so long. Some said it's either me not being serious enough (?!) or my physical condition hasn't gone bad, which is weird since I've also cut down on the exercise at home... Anyhow - at gathering lunch when people got asked about their goal this year, I expressed the unstable work condition I am having now - and it'll be more than satisfying if I can keep showing up at the squad every now and then, until the end of the year for the WKC.
... Those sensei spent quite a lot of their lunchtime calling Japan, saying happy new year to all the Japanese sensei who have visited the city before (must have heard "Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu!" more than 10 times in a roll sitting just next to Eda-sensei...!). Sounds like there's gonna be 8th Dan sensei visiting us in Feb, Mar, Apr and May... With the competitions and everything else running, this is definately going to be a very busy kendo year.