It was a while and boy (!!), by the end of training last night, did I know it.
It had been a while since I was at training. My wife had been suffering from post-natal depression and so, from my point of view, I had to circle the wagons until I felt that that particular situation was better. It now is and I can now return to regular training.
I was excited in getting back to training – amongst other things I had my very first set of bogu to use. Contrastly, was I ready for the slight change in a Wednesday night training regime?
In short, no. No, I wasn’t.
After a ladder session for aerobic warm-up, we moved to stretches and the like. We moved through some men waza, including hayasuburi and then proceeded to rei. This was followed by what amounts to a training session that sees a gradual push towards free jigeiko. This saw us working through a strucutred approach to kiri-kaeshi but also looking at other cuts, such as kote and do. The excerise that finished me for a good 20 minutes was one where we had to strike men with a particular rhythym. I went as well I could. My motodachi wanted me to go faster when it was his turn. I don’t think I met his standard. It was at that point that I had to disengage and rest.
While I was disappointed at not getting through the entire training session without sitting out for a chunk of time, I am glad that I did. One of the things that people talk about in kendo training is pushing yourself beyond your limit. This is fine. To an extent. I had not been at training for some months and I knew that if I pushed myself too hard, I would do myself an injury.
What am I going to do about this?
Well, the club runs a beginner’s course and they are starting tonight in bogu for the first time. To help acclimatise, I am going to attend training tonight and work hard to get back into the swing of it all. This is important to do. The intensity of the beginners course will not be the same, I am sure, as last night’s training so it will be a good session to attend as I put myself back into regular training. One friend last night agreed. He said it was a good idea to go as I would feel my progress increase steadily rather than in fits and starts (and with all the frustration that it brings).
I also apologise to my fellow kendoka last night for not being able to maintain the energy needed for good kendo and for good participation. I will be working hard to get back to where I was.