The Beginner's Kendo course I've been on for the last couple of months reached its conclusion tonight, with us finally getting to hit other people with shinai, practicing in reality the three main cuts to Men (the head), Kote (the wrist) and Dō (the body, the target area being just above the hip and beneath the ribcage) we'd learnt in the first four formal kata.
In short, I've enjoyed the course immensely, and I'm going to be joining the club, as well as getting a proper membership with the British Kendo Association, and hope to keep going on a regular basis for a long time to come. It's a shame that I never really made the effort to look for a club like this when I first moved into the area eight years ago, because perhaps now I wouldn't be quite the porker I am now. Though at least Kendo is the one martial art where being overweight doesn't necessarily have to be a huge handicap - I'm by no means the biggest or heaviest guy there, which is reassuring.
Even though I've only been going once a week for the last ten or twelve weeks, I have noticed that the muscles in my arms are certainly better defined, but there hasn't been any major signs of weight loss yet. I've lost a couple of kilos here and there, which is a nice start, but I put that more down to slashing my alcohol intake in the last couple of weeks, which should also have a few other fringe benefits to my health.
Next week we're going to have our first session in armour, which is going to be awesome. I've been looking forward to this point since the first session, when I stayed behind to watch the rest of the club spar, and it's going to be pretty intense. Not to mention maybe a little claustrophobic once I put on the Men helmet and faceguard on for the first time. I'm pretty sure that getting hit on the head by shinai isn't going to do my recurring headaches any good either, but I always end up coming out of a session pretty pumped, so I'm sure the adrenalin will help some with that... Anyway, I reckon this is going to become a fairly permanent fixture for my Thursday evenings for the foreseeable future, so I reckon it rates its own blog keyword by now...