I actually attended a seminar. I did.
Since last week was pretty uneventful apart from shelling out £200 on the Pequitomobile I decided to write about my weekend. Well… the Kendo seminar I attended yesterday basically.
I have taken up Kendo back in September as both a release from work and something that made me move around a bit. The fact that it served as a connection to Japan did weigh on the decision.
First time I went to see the fellas (& gals) training made me unsure if that was for me. Specially as I really don’t like violence. Playing with swords never appealed to me.
But after going through the beginners training and being able to yell as loud as I can. That did it for me. I like it. Even if my feet don’t. At all.
Oh yeah, the yelling. Kiai. Spirit. Fascinating to feel it. Both mine and the opponent’s. I find it stress relieving. Davide didn’t. He came to watch. Never returned.
Right, yesterday’s seminar. We had Honda Sensei coming over from Fukuoka to Cardiff. Let’s just say that he rocks. He brought a handful of his students with him. They rock too. Pretty hard.
I was feeling a bit nervous before the seminar. Didn’t really knew what to expect. Plus… my kendo isn’t very good.
So, I taped my feet as much as I could. It was a 6 hour training session. Taped a bit more at half time. Amazed that I still have feet. Not sure I would have been able to endure the two other Keiko on Friday & Sunday that I missed out on.
There were around 60 people on the sports hall. It was pretty cool. Seeing so many kendokas. Sounds weird. Kendoka. It is still a very manly sport but it’s great to see that a 1/3 of the attendees were girls/women.
Really enjoyed the experience. Learned a lot. Specially how to move my arms. But didn’t get to challenge Honda Sensei. Not too bothered with it. Would have been nice but with so many talented sensei there I was happy to take on as many as I could.
The jigeiko, or duel, side of the seminar was unfortunately pretty poorly organised. No one knew which sensei to queue for. Or how to do it. These things happen.
This will sound bad. I didn’t like how some sensei didn’t find me worthy of their effort. What I mean is, I don’t wear a Zekken (a sort of a name plate) and I wonder if that made me look more like someone who has just started Kendo? I’m not amazing. I’m learning. I believe that you learn through experience. I was looking to duel higher level people so that I could learn from them. All I had were very pedantic duels. With only the two being pretty cool. One of those was with someone of my own dojo. I am going to get a Zekken.
Now that I got that off my chest. I really had a good time.
All I wonder now is how I will be able to train on Tuesday.