I used to hate presenting kendo on the street in front of people who don't understand anything about kendo, never heard of kendo and lack the open-mindedness to appreciate it. Especially in a complete different cultural environment, like Europe, many people think kendo (as well as other martial arts) is an obscure hobby. I guess it's probably true to say that some of them look at us in the same way as we look at the so-called "backyard ninjas".
Perhaps because I understood now better kendo, perhaps I felt like making an effort to promote Dresden kendo and kendo in general, or perhaps just because I wanted to flex my muscles, I helped out to perform on stage in the Dresden Long Night of Sports (Germany: Lange Nacht des Sports). When I did some jigeiko in front of our stall, a few on-lookers laughed out at the moment when I kiai'ed. What went across my mind at that point? Not much. If you don't have the guts for it, then fine. It's not for everyone. But after a few minutes fighting in the cold. I was exhausted. Maybe also because of my cold.
Our performance on stage was successful, at least from our perspective. We had a good blast, for 6 mins or so. The music, a remix of some indie and rock, went really well with the action. Funny thing was, I usually hate watching kendo clips on YouTube with these kind of music, which I think are shallow. But I think if that's the way to catch people's attention, and the purpose of this event is to do so, then why not. Though not the best representative, it appeals to the younger audience.
Lilli, Stephan, me, and Conny
Yesterday, I went to my first training in two weeks (!!). I didn't try to exhaust myself that much as usual, instead, I wanted to make sure my body hasn't forgotten the basics. I felt good with my men-strikes, going fully forwards. It was of course due to that, I could push my hip forwards with my left leg. My kote-strikes have become weary.
After the kihon practice, we're split in a women's team and a men's team. I went up as senpo against Lilli. I was particularly careful with her nuki-waza, fortunately that didn't happen. But I got hit on the men when I missed the kote, a mistake I have made numerous times in the past, including the final in the Leipzig Championship, where I lost a point exactly because of that. A lesson to be learned. This of course should be attributed to Lillie's fine defense. After that I landed on do twice (one of them was hiki-do), but they weren't convincing enough. And the match ended with 1-0. I was happy with my men-strike, but unfortunately wasn't able to bring surprises. I lacked that one small stepping-in to break her posture, and when I struck I should keep a small distance so that I can change the target and strike again without always ending up in taiatari, which nullifies all the pressure I kept up to that point.
Here are a couple of clips from the presentations of other (dance) clubs. Unfortunately, no one video-taped us, but I'm sure ours would be as .. errh.. "exciting" as them.
About this blog..
This is a blog that I started in April 2006, just after I first put on my bogu (kendo armour). It collects the advices given by more experienced kendo practitioners as well as those from my own experiences. Both technical and the mental aspects of kendo are written in the blog. I hope someone will find them useful or interesting at least!