Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Jodo Club

The APU Jodo Club has started practicing ... and this is yet more proof (as if you needed any) that I am NEVER happy!

Well, it's great that we've started. Finally. But we have no place to practice, so we're doing it outside, from 6 - 7:30 pm on a rough lawn down by the tennis courts. The last couple practices, I have gone in my work clothes (dress pants, button-up shirt, dress shoes) so you can just imagine what I look like at the end of practice. (Hint: Sweaty. Veeeeeerrrry Sweaty.)

Plus, mosquitoes in Japan are enormous and love type O blood. I know. And they come out to dine every night, around 6:05 pm in my experience. So on one hand, everyone is exhausted by the intense heat and humidity, but on the other hand, no one wants to stand still very long because they're being eaten alive.

But it is a fun experience to teach Japanese kids. I use a mix of English and Japanese to teach, and I think they mostly understand what I'm talking about. I also have a very good helper, who is not only good at Jodo, but also good at English. So I guess it's not all bad ... but I wish they could just find us some floorspace somewhere INSIDE a building. I hate to think what's going to happen when rainy season starts (like, tomorrow).

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Everything hurts

The other day, in a rare fit of energy, I decided to go jogging around the park behind my house. The thing about jogging (or exercising your legs, generally) is that they don't hurt the next day, they hurt the worst 2 days after you exercise. So today, my thighs and calves are really killing me. It's enough to make me never want to go jogging again, somehow.

On top of this, yesterday I went to Fukuoka for a practice at the Ittokan Dojo, which is run by Namitome Sensei, Shinohara Sensei, and Tominaga Sensei. It was ... uh, ... pretty damn intense. Lots of jo's visibly bending; lots of sweat and red faces; lots of kiai that sounded more like animalistic fighting noises that your typical "Ei!" and "Ho!" I'm used to getting sweaty and red-faced myself (just from walking up a flight of stairs, for example) but it was scary to see everybody else drenched with sweat. They really put a lot into their practices there. I think when you see that kind of practice, you understand that sometimes, the kata just don't work unless you're really fighting. For example, some of the transitions from one position to another position only make sense when one person is pushing and the other person is resisting. (These observations are mostly of upper level kata that I don't understand yet, but it looked that way to me.) And boy, did they resist!

So anyway, after 3 hours of that, I was pretty exhausted. At one point, Namitome Sensei was telling me to take longer steps, to close the distance more quickly; I did so, and wouldn't you know it, I caught my toe in my hakama and fell down flat on my face. It was just a BIT embarrassing. I don't think I have damaged any bones in my toe, but it sure hurts. It feels like I sprained it or something. Plus, I gave myself a nice bruise on my knee, too. Plus, I have a palm-sized bruise on my stomach from repeated smacks to the solar plexus. My wrists got a bit roughed-up too. So, basically, every part of my body is sore right now. Except my face. Maybe I should go eat something...