Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Post 200! and Kendo: Lesson 1

So it took about 4 years or so, but this is the 200th post for this blog apparently. Go blog!

Kendo: Lesson 1

On Sunday, Jon and I began our first Kendo lesson at the community center in the next town over. It's an 8 week 1 hour course on the techniques of Kendo for beginners. This is a video from our first class. (I'm the shorter one.)

Har har har...

When Jon and I entered the class, I did not see any women at first. I was completely terrified because if this was just a boys class, then why did they let me sign up?

The guys I saw included two older men, one of which definitely plays Second Life or some other life alternative reality. I'm basing this on his shitty attitude. It may be dumb, but after class he insisted that he was late for work. The way he said it (very whiny) insinuated that the class ran over--err, did he not see the times he signed up for? I bet you his avatar is jacked, and he tries to act suave by buying ladies at the bar apple-tinis with his Linden dollars.

The other older guy looked kind of creepy--plus he wore jeans. Who wears jeans to a martial arts class?

Then there was a larger kind of guy who is 25. I'd assume he plays a lot of Warcraft.

The last guy that I could recall was a high school kid. I think he plays video games as well.

No one seems incredibly obnoxious yet, so despite the dorkiness of the group (and it is not that they play video games that makes them dorky, which I love myself, but that they probably are those types of people that are typical of sci fi conventions and the like) it should be fine.

In any case, there were two old ladies. Then a couple came in--so Jon and I were not the only couple there. There were a bunch of other men too, but I can't comment on them because they were part of the more advance beginner group.

We got our swords. Jon's is a 39 and mine is a 37. I think it's length in inches.

We warmed up in a circle with everyone. There were a few high school kids in the Kendo garb and 5 sensei. The sensei were all really nice, though you get a sense that if they wanted to they could kill us all and take our wallet and keys. (Jon messed up the warm up I believe because he failed to mirror the person across from his correctly--so half the circle was warming up on one side while some of the guys near Jon were warming up with the other. He'll have to work on that.)

Then they showed us how to bow and stuff and broke us apart by experience. They told us that we had to line up by experience and then by age. The old lady totally did not line up where she was supposed to be, but no one said anything to her.

Oh, and as far as ethnic mix, it was mostly White, considering the area it makes sense, but there were a few Asians. The old ladies, the head sensei master guy, the high school kids in the Kendo garb, the other couple, Jon, and half of me.

We learned how to glide "like a water bug" and hold our swords. He mostly lectured us about the history of Kendo, his martial arts experience, the purpose of the sport, etc. He seemed knowledgeable and cool.

Then he had the high school kids demonstrate what Kendo really looked like. There was A LOT of yelling. I hate yelling. In kickboxing and marching band alike, whenever there was something we had to say outloud, I made the motions with my mouth, but I hardly ever let anything come out. This is going to be tough. But really, how tough can life be if the biggest worry is how dumb you sound when you yell?

When class was nearly over, we did the bowing thing we did in the beginning.

Jon was very nice to me after class--probably because he wanted to ensure that I'll be returning with him to the next class, which I will.
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