Monday, October 30, 2006

Have a Break

No, I am still going to kendo once a week. Was fun and relaxing. Nothing special to report.

Just that this Sun I joined a small photography club. It's so much better to pick up my other interest again. The club was started by some foreigners, and now with about 15 members, (with 4 local Chinese on this trip) they go around the city every month for a photography outing. Some of them are semi-pro with cool DSLRs and a bag of lenses.

Equipped with a Konica Minota Dimage Z2 - We went on the 1-hour ferry tour and I thought it'll be nice to share some touristy places from where I am.

>> Clock tower from the Central Pier, with the 88-storey International Finance Centre behind.

>> Yup, the infamous Victoria Harbour. The day has been nice but it's been rather smoggy lately - pollution from Mainland China. I'll consider to relocate in a few years time if this situation doesn't improve.

>> Clock Tower from the opposite side of Central - Tsim Sha Tsui or TST for short. The slope-like archtecture piece behind it is the Cultural Centre, and the grey one, the classy Peninsula Hotel.

>> Yet another view of the Wanchai commercial district on the island side.

>> Back at Central Pier. I am starting to like archtecture photography more than I used to. The Central Pier is going to be torn down in Nov. Hence apart from my group, a lot of people are taking pics that day - for example... spot the girl on the 2nd floor.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Iizuka Sensei + Friends

One of my non-kendo friends asked the same question that everyone reading this blog wanted to ask,

"Jenny, you're lazy. When's the last time you train?"

I did go last Thurs. Though with work piling up in recent weeks I could barely fit a keiko once a week. But usually I still managed a swim and a jog in my neighbourhood during the week, so my body still moves alright (I think).

On Sat morning I went picking up some banners I printed for my client, dropped them to his office, got home and had a 1/2 hour nap, then I picked up my bogu and headed off to QEII.

I only realized that there're Iizuka sensei (8th Dan, Shizuoka ken), 3 fresh 8th Dan, plus 4 more higher Dan visiting this weekend. Hence there isn't much of a "practice" but just queuing to keiko with sensei...

We did have some simple warmup and suburi. Then we were told that "The first 1/2 hour will be practice for 4Dan & above and squad members"... Fair enough. We the lower ranking ones will get the sensei when they were all a bit tired (especially they came straight from the airport?)

I did my keiko with Kawaki, 5Dan woman, and Suzuki, fresh 8Dan older male, during the remaining 30 mins.

A couple of differences that I found without a lot of practice:-

1) I actually wanted to initial attack more. I'm taking more on the offensive, despite the level of opponent.
2) My keikogi became soaking wet within 30 mins. I can keep my stamina up by doing some exercises, but I cannot re-create the pressure in a kendo environment.
3) Stopped worrying and enjoy the bash!

The friendly practice with Tony from Seattle when "last keiko" was shouted, added in much fun out of all the 8Dan seriousness around us.

There's practice Sun morning 9-11am. But obviously I love my bed very much and did not intend to get out of it at 730 this morning.

My Sandan is due this weekend too, but I don't have any intention to get it anytime this year. I really want my other aspects of life to settle first before getting serious in my leisure training. Like, my 3kyu Nihongo class will finish in a month, and I need revision for the 2 exams in Dec.