Sun Block

May 25, 2006

In my career as a martial artist I have had many different injuries. I have jammed toes and fingers, broken knuckles, broken my nose, dislocated my elbow, and torn the medial collateral ligament in my right knee. Not to mention countless contusions and bruises. However, last evening I added a new "injury" to my list of martial arts related boo-boos: sunburn. Sort of adds a whole new meaning to the term sun block.

The kendo club I've joined is an aozora (blue sky) dojo, meaning they practice out-of-doors. At the start of practice last night we were fully in the evening sun, with temperatures hovering around the 90 - 95 degree mark. Warming up was quick given the air temps. I didn't get a bad burn, but I did notice some color on my forehead and ears that wasn't there before. Also my arms and legs (which were uncovered as I don't have my keikogi and hakama yet) are sporting a little tan today.

Practice itself was good; in addition to the usual cutting exercises we learned a simple wrap technique to move the opponents shinia out of position. Using a circular motion with the right hand it was easy to parry aside the other's shinai. Following that we added a riposte (quick return thrust following a parry). All in all it was a good class and I enjoyed myself. This morning I am less sore than I was following Saturday's workout; I've taking the first steps towards regaining some physical conditioning.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.