Hiya Suburi

June 10, 2006

Today’s kendo workout was a good one for me. I blew it off on Wednesday evening mostly because I didn’t want to go, but in part because I was tired. I ended up going to sleep about 8:30 that evening; getting almost nine hours that night. A fair trade I think.

Even though I haven’t worked out in two weeks I’m not too sore this evening. I think the conditioning in my legs will return fairly quickly. What is going to give me fits for a while are my shoulders. Much of the work in kendo involves holding your arms out in front of you, doing this continuously for a couple of hours really strains the muscles in your shoulders and upper back.

We started with the usually practice cuts, alternating men (head) strikes with kote (wrist) strikes. The hardest exercise is called hiya suburi, which involves rapid strikes and footwork. You shift backward while preparing for a men strike, and then step forward while executing the strike. Then repeat. Fifty times. Adding speed until you are basically running in place and striking as fast as you can. It’s a lot harder to do that it sounds from my meager description. It’s the only aerobic exercise in the lot, and it leaves everyone winded.

I had some reluctance about going again today, but felt good about it afterwards. The hardest part is starting over again at the beginning. When I made my decision o set aside active participation in karate-do it was the the right decision. I have not truly regretted it in the years that have passed. However, starting back in a dojo seriously is a reminder of what might have been.

Seems I’m getting a lot of that these days.

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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.