a MMB! Kendo Blog: Kendo and Some Thoughts

MMB! Kendo Blog

Monday, September 12, 2005

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Kendo and Some Thoughts

I have kept up with my kendo training schedule last week, training every night from Monday to Thursday.

Gyokuryuki High School Kendo Tournament
Remember I bought the latest Kendo Nippon magazine which contain a DVD of the best footage in the Gyokuryuki High School Kendo Tournament. I have been watching this DVD a lot, and have been greatly inspired by the amount of energy and the intensity of the matches. Gyokuryuki is a team tournament with a very special match rule. Each team has 5 players as usual, but it is not necessary senpo vs senpo, jiho vs jiho, etc. In Gyokuryuki, the winner of the match stays on until he / she loses a match. So it is possible to have a senpo beating everyone in the other team, and that senpo's 4 teammates can just sit back and watch. This tournament really tests the kenshi's ability to the extreme by daring the shiai-sha to keep winning. And that's the beauty of this competition. There were actually a guy and a girl (both senpo) who did just that to the extreme. They each beat more than 15 players one after the other in one streak. That's 1 person vs 3 teams! That's Fighting Spirit!

Anyway, I have been paying particular attention to how these Japanese high school kids execute their beautiful debana-kote cuts, espcially the zanshin afterwards. I also observed how they approach each other in tsubazerai.

I love their quick and sharpness of their de-kote, and how they expresses their zanshin so beautifully after the cuts. I think learning how to cut requires one set of skills. Knowing how to display zanshin convincingly yet elegantly requires another set of skills. Zanshin is an area I would really like to improve. Convincing zanshin = Displaying self-confidence.

Last Week Training
I have been able to imitate the debana-kote I saw in the DVD in various jigeiko during last week's training, especially the one against Doug on Tuesday night at Hornsby.

Thursday training at UNSW was a killer. After some 6 rounds of jigeiko, 10 rounds of uchikomi-geiko and 10 rounds of ai-kakari-geiko, we went straight into jigeiko. Goodness. The continuous uchikomi-geiko and kakari-geiko really took toll on my body. It really showed how much I need to improve my stamina and endurance greatly before my Japan trip. Yesterday, I did about 300 haya-suburi at home in the hope to ramp up the haya-suburi in one go to 500 by the time I leave for Japan.

Athlete's Heart
On a different subject, I had my cardiologist appointment on Friday and did the echocardiogram. The echo test was an interesting process. It's so weird to look at my heart pumping on the screen.

After looking at the echo results, the cardiologist declared that my heart is clear of any problems. He said I have an 'Athlete's heart', just like what my friend who has extensive knowledge in the sports medicine area has suggested. The cardiologist said the low bpm is very normal for athletes, and would be more worrying if my bpm wasn't low after exercising so much for so many years. He used the term 'efficient' to describe the functioning of my heart, which was very nice to hear.

It's funny that when I told him I do Kendo, the cardiologist got really excited and even asked me where he can learn it. He said he has done Tai Chi, but want to find another martial arts that is more exciting. He asked me how I started Kendo, and I told him I got inspired by the cartoon Musashi No Ken when I was a kid. Anyway, it will be good if the cardiologist will actually start learning Kendo.

New Zealand Trip - On and Off
After my Saturday morning physio clinic observational training finished at 12noon, I drove to the Sydney Kendo Club to say hello to fellow kendoka. Yoshiki and Yoshiyuki were having this idea of going to New Zealand for the Rembuden Kendo Taikai to be held in October and asked me if I would like to go too. At first, I thought I wouldn't be able to go because, to me, October = Japan. I thought I would be in Japan and would not be able to go to New Zealand even if I want to. However, Yoshiki reminded me that I will still be in Oz in the first week of October, so after a few hours of consideration, I said I would go with them too.

Yoshiki and me even did a thorough research in the afternoon on that same Saturday, and gathered the flight details of the best-value tickets. I rang Yoshi on Sunday morning to inform him about the flight plans. It was looking really good and I was really excited to go to New Zealand for the first time.

Everything happened so quickly it's like a drama.

The drama kept unfolding in an interesting way. A few hours after I rang Yoshi on Sunday, Yoshi rang back and said he couldn't take leave off work on Friday and Monday around that Taikai weekend, so he couldn't go to New Zealand.

Yeah, it's a real pity that work prevented Yoshi from going to New Zealand. It would be so good if the plan went ahead.

The upside is, I can save at least $600 to contribute to my Japan trip. To travel to New Zealand, it will cost around $500 to get a return ticket.

Spider Bites
I had a birthday party at Brooklyn, which is near the Hawkesbury River yesterday. The weather was beautiful, the food was plenty and delicious. Everything was great. The problem for me with good food is that I tend to lose my self-control and almost over-eats everytime. No exception for yesterday. So I ended up gaining a whooping one kilo. I was on the cross-trainer this morning for 50mins trying my best to lose some of those weight. Luckily the Andre Agassi vs Roger Federer US Open Finals kept me going hard all the way.

Btw, I found my right hand and forearm were red and slightly swollen in a couple of spots during the home-bound trip from Brooklyn. I thought they might just be mosquito bites. However, those spots are getting worse and worse, and now I am typing with a very swollen right thumb and right forearm. Those swollen spots are not itchy and have little white dots in the biten areas, which makes me think that I might have been biten by a spider. My colleague said that the insect poison can spread and can get worse if not attended properly. So I think I may go to the RNS Hospital after work today and have a check just to be on the safe side.


  • Vivian
    Too bad those Kendo Nippon magazine sold out so fast. I was thinking of ordering some more from Kinokuniya, do you think it's worth it? ^^;;...

    You're not wrong about the training on Thursday -__-;. I think I'll skip this week's training and get some rest.

    You have scarily low heartrate ^^;;... but at least you're very healthy.

    By Blogger Quoth the raven, at Monday, September 12, 2005 2:32:00 PM  

  • Hey Sussan,

    haha, forgot to write about how Kirby called you at last Thursday training. bwahaha, that was funny.

    I highly recommend the DVD. Ask Kinokuniya if they can order some more.

    Yeah, last Thursday training was crazy, but I think I will need to embrace those training from now on if I want to become better. What's the term again? Sadism.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Monday, September 12, 2005 4:06:00 PM  

  • Hmmm...more hayasuburi for Vivian!

    You could always do a quick 500 before warmup on Tuesday and Wednesdays :-)

    By Blogger Mick, at Monday, September 12, 2005 4:11:00 PM  

  • vivian is going to become spider woman.... see if you can shoot a web out of your wrist it will be handy for jigeiko!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, September 12, 2005 4:28:00 PM  

  • Mick, I don't think so. Others would think that I am loopey.

    I think I will do the hayasuburi in my backyard out of anyone's sight. Hmmm... how do I fit those hayasuburi workout in my daily schedule. Hmm... probably in the morning before I catch the train to the City.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Monday, September 12, 2005 4:34:00 PM  

  • Eddie, I wish I had some special skills like that. I don't think I can be a spider woman because I can't handle the spider venom myself.

    Oh... I can see a red line extending from the bitten area up my arm. Gosh, no choice, but to go to the hospital after work.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Monday, September 12, 2005 4:36:00 PM  

  • Didn't spiderman start out that way? With red lines shooting up his arm! Bahahaha

    By Blogger Mick, at Monday, September 12, 2005 5:23:00 PM  

  • In that case you should stop stalling and see a doctor :O

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 12:23:00 AM  

  • I went to the Royal North Shore Hospital Emergency ward after work last night to check out my swollen right hand and forearm.

    After a one hour wait, my name was finally called. I told Kelly, the doctor who looked after my case, about the insect bites. Then the doctor did some tests to check my hand reactions to touch. All seemed fine.

    Kelly then took some blood out of my good left arm for further blood test, and gave me 2 Nerofen tablets to reduce inflammation in the underlying tissues and 2 antihistamine tablets to soften the allergic reactions around the insect bites.

    Kelly said I would need to raise my right arm above the heart as much as possible to reduce the effect of swelling.

    Then it was another hour wait to see if the tablets would help. And they did work. The swelling was not as severe as before.

    Kelly then gave me a packet of antibiotics - Flucloxacillin (Staphylex 500) 500mg capsules 30 to take home and prescribed me Phenergan Tablets 10mg which contains Antihistamine for the relief of allergic reactions due to insect bites and stings.

    My bites are slightly itchy today, but I am trying to best not to scratch them as I know that could result in a vicious scratching cycle.

    I think the Pharmaceutical Companies must love me in the past 3 months or so.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 9:55:00 AM  

  • haha so what bit you?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:19:00 AM  

  • Thats was a nasty bite! better to be safe then srry, peopel can die from allergic reactions, I have heard of cases were poepel who are allergic to penuts accidently eat something with a slight trace of peanut oil or something and they end up in hospital or die from it even

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:21:00 AM  

  • Terrible - I hope your feeling better now.

    By Blogger Mick, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:23:00 AM  

  • Hi mick, so do you live here too? lol

    I have never met any non-kendoka who gave a shat about Kendo they all dont care about it when I tell them about it haha. Which is why I have my blog online hehe.

    I should get a physical to see if I have a strong pumping heart...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:27:00 AM  

  • Yup - i'm a SKC member...

    By Blogger Mick, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:46:00 AM  

  • Hi Bibian I hope you're feeling better!

    That kote you did on me last Wed was most excellent!

    By Blogger Andoru, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 11:01:00 AM  

  • It's good that there are not much work to do this week, so I can sit back and relax, plus rest of hand.

    The only problem with no work is that I had to look like I am working hard. It's bloody difficult to pretend to be working when my manager sits differently behind me, facing my way.

    Learning how to 'look busy' is another set of skills. I tell you, I am not very good at it.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 3:33:00 PM  

  • Andoru, trust you had a wonderful time in Melbourne.

    Our jigeiko last week was great fun. We must do it again next training. Thanks for denying my 1st kote and give me an opportunity to cut a 2nd and better de-kote. :D

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 3:35:00 PM  

  • Hye,

    Hows your arm now? Still itchy? My guess is itchiness is a sign of recovery so be glad! hehe. Anyways, just wanted to know how much is the DVD? I do want to buy some kendo DVD but have yet to locate kinokuniya (I'm not an anime fan so..heh..go figure~). But anyways, hope u get well soon!


    By Blogger hawQ, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 4:02:00 PM  

  • Hey Nurlin,

    Great to hear from you.

    Thanks for your concern. My hand is not itching anymore, most of the swelling is gone now. Only the redness remains. It's pretty good now, I even had a squash game during lunch with my colleagues.

    The DVD comes with the Nippon Kendo magazine. It's not sold individually. The magazine was around $28 - more expensive than other issues because of the extra DVD.

    Kinokuniya is located in Galaries Victoria (opp. QVB) in Town Hall.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 4:34:00 PM  

  • I didn't see you at training tonite!

    Now that was quite some experience....

    By Blogger Mick, at Tuesday, September 13, 2005 11:44:00 PM  

  • Hey Mick,

    As much as i want to come to training last night, the antihistamine tablets made me really drowsy and I slept at 9:30pm last night.

    However, you will definitely see me tonight.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Wednesday, September 14, 2005 6:15:00 AM  

  • Well, maybe....

    I think its gunna be quite a struggle to get to Kendo tonite - i'm bruised, battered and stiff :-)

    By Blogger Mick, at Wednesday, September 14, 2005 6:20:00 AM  

  • Come on, Mick. That should keep your adrenalin running high. I am sure it's not as bad as some of the bruises others have been posting on their blogs.

    Train more often, and you will improve at the speed of light. And you will forget all the bruises.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Wednesday, September 14, 2005 9:18:00 AM  

  • I shall endeavour to be there - add some more bruises to my collection :-)

    By Blogger Mick, at Wednesday, September 14, 2005 12:02:00 PM  

  • Lovely. See you tonight!

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Wednesday, September 14, 2005 2:34:00 PM  

  • Looks like you won't see me there tonite - got to hate being oncall...


    By Blogger Mick, at Wednesday, September 14, 2005 7:25:00 PM  

  • Glad to hear your arm is better! So kinokuniya is near town hall? No wonder I couldn't find it at chinatown. Sooo busting that idiot who told me that..grrr..Coming tonite?

    By Blogger hawQ, at Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:44:00 AM  

  • Mick, I was looking for you last night.

    I guess it's hard to come when you are oncall.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Thursday, September 15, 2005 5:12:00 PM  

  • Hey Nurlin,

    Yeah, Kinokuniya is directly above Town Hall station. Good luck in ordering the recent Kendo Nippon magazine.

    I have been taking those Antihistamine tablets which 'may cause drowsiness and may increase the effects of alcohol. If affected do not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery.'

    I think I have been severely affected, so I am going to have a 9pm sleep tonight. Training again next week.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Thursday, September 15, 2005 5:14:00 PM  

  • Tell me about it - I am oncall every 2nd week :-(

    By Blogger Mick, at Thursday, September 15, 2005 8:07:00 PM  

  • vivian whens your next blog update? :P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, September 22, 2005 3:15:00 PM  

  • Yes - your fans want more!


    By Blogger Mick, at Thursday, September 22, 2005 6:54:00 PM  

  • Thank you for your messages. I am so glad I have so many fans for my blog.

    Work has been busy, as I am trying to finish a lot of things before I leave for Japan. So I haven't had the luxury of writing my blog lately. I miss writing.

    I will definitely post one very soon about the training this week at various dojo. Maybe tomorrow night.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Friday, September 23, 2005 1:06:00 PM  

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