It's saturday afternoon, middle of a typhoon. And I'm at work. And everyting's broken.

typhoon #10


more whining

I really thought I'd stop whining about the heat and humidity during practice, honest. But this was just brutal. Niina-gosoke's practice in the small gym of the elementary school in Nihonbashi is usually hot, but damn the mosquitoes we just open up all the windows and side-doors and at least get some airflow. However the inner courtyard has recently been repaved, so we had to keep all the door closed. Stuffy does not begin to describe it. Besides the fact that typhoon #10 was pummelling southern Japan, and pushing up tons of moisture so that the humid was around %90, it was hot. Hot like stop every 20 minutes hot. Hot like someone almost passed out and had to sit out half of practice hot. Hot like so drenched in sweat it looks like we practiced outside in the middle of the typhoon's pouring rain hot.
Gosoke took pity on us, giving us frequent breaks. Also as a few people are testing on Sunday, we spent most of the time going over the four "Shiho" kata: Mugairyu, Zenkenren, and Zeniren (Suio-ryu's.) Note that we don't do 'real' seitei; we learn just enough to know the moves, and how they differentiate from Mugairyu. Plus we study the forms as they were done back in the 1960's by Shiokawa-gosoke, so I'm sure they're totally different than what everyone does now.
After practice we were all dying to so we went to get some refreshments and talked about how cool it would be to have a permanent dojo. Nothing fancy, just a place we could practice 24/7. Of course, half the college students would drop out of school, bring sleeping bags, and live there!

good tunes

recently purchased:
Jason Mraz
michelle branch


Joel in town for the week to do some consulting, and JETAA had a get together, so after chatting with Ollie about some DVD stuff for iai, headed over to 911 in Roppongi to see the gang. Ed was in fine form as usual. Beck showed up a bit later looking good with his Tiffany cufflinks. By 10pm, Nanshii and Z -- well on their way to drunk anyway -- took full advantage of the free champagne lady's night and all were having a good time. The place started to get crowded just as I was getting hungry, so I stepped out about 10:30 to get home and eat the left over pizza.


People get really creative doing skits on the stupendously entertaining Japanese TV Show Kin-chan's Kaso Taisho.

back to the future

Michael Valdez Moses writes about the The nostalgic yet progressive appeal of wizards, hobbits, and Jedi knights on reasononline.

humidity and a tweaked neck

I know I should stop whining about how hot and humid it is. I choose to stand in an un-air-conditioned gym for three hours, swinging a kilogram of steel. It's hot. It's humid. I get sweaty.
Spent the first couple hours working with one of the beginners; she was picking up the basics fairly quickly so I could steal a couple of minutes now and then to do my own thing. My neck was really killing me, though. I tweaked it on Sunday during cutting practice and it's still bugging me, so I'm switching to a big, fluffy pillow. Last hour Tanaka-sensei gave us pointers as we ran through our individual kata for the national tournament. Wow, I suck.


I thought the rainy season ended last week! Just as I was about to leave work for practice, the skies turned gray and dumped rain by the bucketful. I had to grab a cab and ended up being late for practice. Nakatani-kun and Chihara-kun were waiting for me when I arrived. We quickly started practice, running through the basics (watching the left-hand grip) and then doing a few kata, being careful of the points Niina-gosoke made over the weekend. Namely: moving the body as one (keeping the upper- and lower-body coordinated), blade angle, and targeting/distance.

After practice I cabbed home in time to get on the conference call with NY and London, and Hiroko made a bowl of Thai noodles for me to slurp while on the call.


Shibuya practice and it was surprisingly cool down in the kendo practice room in the basement of Hachiyama Junior High. There was a machine-like hum and the vents in the ceiling seemed to be putting out cool air...
There were only five of us, so Kanai-bashocho took the two beginners and I got Shirata-kun and Matsuo-kun. We ran through the basics and halfway through Niina-gosoke showed up to watch practice. Took our time on basics so only did three forms after that; shin, ren, and munazukushi. Kind of stressful teaching with Niina-gosoke watching (not really watching, but you know he is!)
When I was teaching the second kata 'ren', Niina-gosoke suddenly goes "Freeze!", gets up, and pushes over Shirata-kun and Matsuo-kun: "Watch that right foot!" Have to make sure that when you turn around to cut down the opponent behind you, turn on the ball of the left foot and kick that right foot over so that you clear the centerline and are balanced on both feet and the right knee. If you leave the right foot where it is, the right leg is bent behind you too much, making you unable to cut deeply and unstable.


So first I was trying to go to the instructors' seminar, and got to Toritsudai before I realized that I was the only person around. The receptionist at the gym said "No iai this afternoon. Footsal." So I called Sekido-san and he said "Where are you? Toritsudai? Nihonbashi, dude, Nihonbashi!"
Other side of Tokyo. Oops. So I went to Nihonbashi. I should have actually gone to Kanda station, not Nihonbashi station, and I got totally lost coming out the wrong side of the station, finally showing up half an hour late. Gosoke was running through all the kata; 20 basic and 8 advanced, pointing out all the critical parts to pay attention to when teaching and/or practicing ourselves.
When the seminar was over I got on the Hanzomon subway and jammed down to Sangenjaya, called Hiroko to get direction's to Todd's house, and got totally, completely, stupendously lost. Ended up wandering for an hour and finding my way back to the station. Finally Todd just came out to meet me and it turns out I was so close, but when the building was right in front of me, for some inexplicable reason I turned left and ended up taking a 5 kilometer detour.
Anyway finally made it to his place and scared Amy a little bit before eating the left over BBQ burger, sausage, and other food scraps. Hiroko was busy showing Narumi and Etsuko what she learns at Fighting Fitness while I blinded Will with my surefire light, and bitched about work with Todd and Bull.