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Benjamin in JP Dojo follow up

A little more, I'll keep it short this time:

I feel that perhaps this opportunity is a little wasted on me. When I goto practice I end up constantly hitting teachers until I almost fallover from exhaustion, take a short breathing break and do it again. Theytell me to change little things here and there, but I could do thispractice with someone else without wasting the time of these very goodkendo teachers. That's why I feel someone who is far better than meshould be here in my place. I would love to see Jeffrey practice with them.

I went to the second dojo I mentioned. There were fewer people there,and there was also a lot more room for practice. The head teacher is farmore practical, and gauged my skill by having me practice with anotherperson going through all the cuts for what seemed like half an hour.Then he started to practice with me and we did kakari-geiko for 1 min, ashort rest, and again, every time saying "faster faster".

One guy showed up who was also at the other dojo. He is always smilingand bowing, and talks to me a lot. I was told that he is 7th dan andthat I should pay very careful attention to what he says. So far I knowthat at least two people are 7th dan at the first dojo. I think manyothers are 6th dan.

I was then told to practice with him and he emphasised, among manythings, that it is vital that all motions in kendo are done as onemotion. He said my men and kote cuts were ok, but that my do cut wasstill split up into 2 different parts.

Some other things I have been told to do: feet always together at theheels and apart 45 degrees when bowing to someone, the part of thehakama that goes around your waist twice should be turned over when itis crossed over in front of you, the back plate of the hakama should beabove the belt part (can't think of a better word, is there a websitesomewhere with the names of all the different parts of the hakama?),

always look at everything in front of you, and nothing in particular (Iwas told that I always look at what I'm attacking, and never at anythingelse),

always do empty cutting, even if you are trying to hit something(don't ever think of it as trying to hit men or something like that).

One of the teachers at the old dojo, who is quite tall (good to practicewith) has invited me to come to his kendo classes at the local highschool.... but I don't think I can manage now.

Maybe in a few weeks.

And that's about it for now. I'm really tired and sore all over.


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