忍耐 + 掌握人生
Giving All I Have Got
Tonight there were two dan players in Master Kim's dojo, whom I haven't met before. Song-Ying Kim, the comedy master as Jimmy called him, was a 3rd Dan player who had given me valuable comments throughout the training. Another dan player was Chu-Hee who was a nidan. He was so full of energy in his kendo. Apparently, he trained at the same university as the one Master Kim used to go to. Chu-Hee is now studying English in a private college in the city.
Tonight's training was by far the toughest of all trainings at Master Kim's dojo. It was both stamina and technical intensive.
We started off with 4 rotations of kirikaeshi, then moved on to 4 bouts of long kakari geiko. The kakari geiko was an absolute killer. I was really puffing and grasping for air at the end of it.
We then moved on to several rotations of each set of kihon men, shiai-styled seme men, kihon kote, shiai-styled kote, kote-men, and men taitari hiki-men men. I was again puffing really hard to catch my breath, but I felt I could do more because it felt great to work hard like this.
The Kyu graders were then told to take off their men and go into seiza, while the rest of us dan graders continued on. We then practiced numerous men cut, kote (cutting from both outside and inside), kote-kaeshi-kote, and kote-uchiotoshi-men.
Afterwards, we had shiai-geiko. Master Kim and Song-Ying Kim were motodachi and I fought both of them with a break in between the geiko.
There were several things I need to watch out for:
- Push out the left hand in men cut.
- Strong zanshin - don't leave yourself vunerable to opponent's attack after you execute a cut. Be ready to go and cut again.
- Check the cutting distance.
- More power for snappy cut.
- Push from the hip when lunging into a men cut.
- Be alert and focused at all time - In shiai geiko, the opened attacking opportunity may only flash in front of your eyes for a really short period of them. I should be prepared all time so that I can cut as soon as the opportunity is opened.
- To do a quick men cut, there is no need to lift the shinai up and then swing it down. If the body is pushing with enough power, a shinai travelling directly to the men, even without lifting the shinai up, is enough to create adequate forward momentum to execute a powerful men cut.
- More power in knocking the shinai in uchiotoshi.
- In uchiotoshi, the wrist movement should be small but powerful. Make sure the shinai is always pointing to the centre.
Master Kim likes to have a final conclusion session after each training session. While we were in seiza, he told us that we should 'throw all your thoughts behind when you come to training'. I guess he was telling us to be focused purely on training and throw everything you got into training.
I really like tonight's training. Even though it was an exhausting workout, there was still opportunity to work on and improve my kendo techniques from listening to my sempai and sensei's comments. I really learnt a lot at each training session and it made me very happy.
Master Of Destiny
The past few months have been a very unusual time for me. I have been doing a lot of thinking, questioning myself about what things are taking me to now, and what I really want to become.
It has been a very difficult time for me. I think people would call this a soul-searching time. Pardon the cliches, I was trying to find the meaning of life in MY life. As I think about it more, I was more willing to take the risk of doing things that I was otherwise too worried to even comtemplate in the past.
There were a couple of big decisions I have made in the past months. Some of them had or will have life-changing consequences to relationship and my future career; others are the ones that I will be glad to have taken when I look back in the future.
I admire those people who have the guts to go out of their comfort zone, fight hard, make tough decisions, and live up to their dreams.
Life can be easy or it can be tough. It depends on how you want to live your life. You can be in the tide and let the tide takes you to whichever way it flows, or you can take control of your life and make things happen the way you want. The latter option is tougher, but life is meant to be tough. Which successful person has not gone through a tough decision-making phase?
We only live our life once. There is nothing worse than regretting things that we did not do. So while I am still young and have the energy, I am going to do everything I can to make my dreams come true.
My motto for now: "Be the master of my destiny".