more cutting

Met Presley at Akabane Station just before 9am. Big turn out for cutting, and damn it was hot. Hoshina-san hadn't cut in a while and needed serious help with basic form, but was having fun. Orita-san cut her finger, again. She's just dangerous. Presley had never cut before, but did just fine since his basic form is pretty good. I cut alright; wasn't really into it but nail a couple of good cuts just to make sure yesterday wasn't a fluke. Spent most of the time helping everyone else cut, though, as Tanaka-sensei was busy teaching the beginners who weren't cutting.
Got home about 1 and had lunch with Hiroko before going to Fras to pick up the pictures we framed. Hiroko went out with her junior high friends and I wasted the evening watching bad Japanese tv and eating leftovers.


Met Kiyokawa at about 11 in front of Wendy's and got some ramen before hitting Naniwa-ya for shaved ice. All the good coolness of dessert was gone by the time we got home, so we cranked the air-conditioner and carried in the stinky cutting targets.
We had a bunch of 3/4 rolls and a couple of full rolls. We both cut pretty well; thank the lord for modern technology like air-conditioning and refrigerators to cool the Orangina.
After cutting we took the subway up to Nihonbashi and Niina-gosoke showed us the Konishi-ha Mugairyu kata. Totally different, and if I may say so completely lame. First off, they don't cut, so the moves are exaggerated and totally impractical and just plain silly. But it's good to know, so I took notes and practiced some of the subtler differences.
After practice Gosoke, Kiyokawa, Ohtsuka, and I got some dinner at Kandazushi. It's cheap, but the Chinese waitresses don't share a language with the customers so they always screw up orders, and the wasabi is Russian Roulette; sometimes there's none, and sometimes there's so much it's like taking a bullet in the head.


Ran through the kenjutsu kata with Kiyokawa -- we "know" all the kata in Shitsuhatsu -- and then we started in on all the tanjo kata; both Uchidaryu and Toseiryu. Too much to remember!
Came home before going to Iidabashi in the evening and was surprised to have 5 people in class. It's still a crummy place though; too many bugs and the floor is always way too dirty.

red baron

What I learned this moring: scooter repair shops don't open until 10am. I limped the Mightier Steed up to the Nasty Old Man Repair Shop in Azabujyuban, but it was closed. So I drove down to Gotanda to go to Red Baron, but it was also closed. So I came home, had some more coffee, tried to wake up Masa (who crashed in the loft), and went back to Red Baron.
The mechanic was very cool; they only work on bikes bought at Red Baron, but I managed to keep the spring that fell of the kickstand, and he took pity on me so he went ahead and fixed it for 15 bucks. Seems the axle bolt that holds the kickstand onto the frame was gone, so he replaced that and stuck the spring back on. It's a hack job, but it works. Sometimes in Japan you find a Very Cool Person. The Mightier Steed thanks you!
Made it to the dojo by noon and cranked with Kiyokawa for an hour before he went to school, then worked out by myself. Yamada-sensei went home and Niina-gosoke was beat from training so hard for 2 days, so he was napping in the office to avoid the heat.
In the evening we had a meeting about the September tournament, and then kusarigama practice. Fear not; anyone attacking me with a sword simply has to wait for me to knock my own head off with my 3 meter chain. There is very little chance I could effectively launch the iron weight on the end of the chain in a threatening manner at anyone but myself.

mightier steed down!

Practiced kumitachi with Kiyokawa in the morning as Niina-gosoke and Yamada-sensei continued to practice. Kiyokawa had to go to school in the afternoon, so I practiced on my own for a while and tried to survive the heat. John showed up about 5 so we hung out with Niina-gosoke and Yamada-sensei for a bit and then started training. We ran through kata for the tournament in September, and then Shiozaki-san came in so the three of us practiced various kata and tournament techniques, like how to psyche out the other dude, how start and end in exactly the same spot, etc.
John finally got his shodan in aikido after how many years, and no he'll hopefully spend more time focusing on iai as well. And if his various money-making schemes go well he might actually have the time and money to practice more. Hopefully he can stay in Japan for several more years and at least get an instructor's license so that when he goes back to Japan he can teach.
But for now, he just dumped his girlfriend of four years, and a buddy of his who runs an bilinugal 'escort' service asked him to go to a club with him to help 'recruit' -- tough life!
And just as I was leaving the dojo, the kick stand on the Mightier Steed broke! Unlike a race horse, even with a broken leg we can rebuild it! So I strapped up the kickstand with the luggage strap I had and limped the Mightier Steed home.


Yamada-sensei came up for a couple of days to practice with Niina-gosoke. Kiyokawa and I were on one side while they were on the other. Yamada-sensei has some...interesting theories about sword use, that don't always jibe with the way I've been taught. But I'm young and stupid and he's old and wisened, so I gave his way a try. On the kumitachi kata uchikaeshi, instead of flowing the first parry and counter, he said it's a full on block stop. I tried it once and the shock went straight into my right thumb. Figuring I must have done something wrong, I tried it again, and Yamada-sensei nodded in approval as I took the full force of Kiyokawa's cut and channelled all the energy along my blade and straight into the base of my right thumb. Transformed into a purple stub of pain, I decided I had done enough practice for a day. Kiyokawa and I went to Starbucks for some beverage and smack talk before going to teach at Shibuya.
15 students at Shibuya and growing! If we don't get a new place soon we'll be out of room.
And goddamn my thumb hurts.

24 season 2

Had a quick meeting at Honbu and practiced for a little bit, then come how amid rain smatterings and Hiroko and I met Ben at Starbucks to talk about swords, WiFi, and hotspots. Then Hiroko and I bought some fish and dinner supplies and went home to cook.
A traditional grill fish dinner accompanied several episodes of 24 season 2. I am now a strong member of the Kimi Is a Complete Moron Fanclub. She is, without a doubt, the most deserving of death of any of the main characters. EVERYTHING she does is patently, unerringly assinine. Every choice she makes is wrong. Every street she turns down is an alley. Every friend she trusts turns on her. Every secret she tells gets blown. Mom was cool and got shot, so Kimi deserves some serious torturing before dying horribly. But, at least she gets to run around alot and show off her