It's all about distance. Someone came to check out iai last night, so Yasuda-san had three of us run through all 20 of the forms. Man, lemme tell I suck!
Afterwards, Ando-sensei gave us some drilling, mostly on distance. Visualizing the opponent, picking the target, and hitting it. Extending is all well and good, but not when you go blasting past your opponent! Also gotta keep working on my horizontal cuts; the timing's all wrong.


Went to Dr. Suzuki, my belov'd dentist today. Had my teeth cleaned, and the one molar on the upper left turns out to be a receding gumline exposing a wee bit of tooth root. Not fun, but not too painful. It's tooth #26: the top right teeth are 10s (10-17), top left are 20s, bottom left 30s, and bottom right 40s.

Also went to Zennittoko (Zen Nihon Toko) to buy a new scabbard and had a lovely chat with the crazy old man who runs the place. Got me thinking about changing all the fittings on my sword...

Taught the student's practice for the first, official time. Worked hard on the basics; slow and careful, focusing on where the opponent is, hands and hips, and only two kata. I ended up talking too much (as I always do) and it was COLD. Everyone was shivering, so next week, less talk, more movement; will try to run through basics in less than an hour, and then get through at least 10 kata.

the ends justify the means

That's what I was told when I finally successfully cut jinrai. My first 2 attempts where pretty sad, as I was really nervous. But Naganuma-sensei told me to take a deep breath, keep my hands where they should go, and then I finally nailed it.
The day was spent practicing and then in the afternoon a bunch of testing, including 4th and 5th dan testing.
Then everyone went to a local bar/restaurant and got rallyingly tanked; Tanaka-sensei and Naganuma-sensei having a grand time, and everyone having fun with Andrew, trying to set him up with the various drunk females.