glenatron: (othello)
This evening we were doing some more unorthodox ninjutsu, starting out with a lot of techniques to protect against being attacked from behind. The interesting thing about this is that as you get better you should be able to feel the attack coming by reading your opponent's intention as they begin to move. I have no idea how this works or whether it would work if you weren't expecting to be attacked from behind, but most of the time it does. The sensation is something you have to listen for (although it is much stronger if your opponent really intends to hit you) and I doubt it would work, for me at least, outside of the training hall, but it is very intriguing. You do sometimes get jumpy and evade before your partner begins their attack and what is interesting is that after you have done that you almost always get hit the next time - a part of it appears to be that you have to believe you can do it in order to trust your instincts. What the mechanism is I am unsure- I previously assumed it was a combination of low level sensations, air currents, quiet sounds and so on, that your brain collated without you being conscious of any of them, but that doesn't explain why you feel it more strongly and react much earlier when the attack is more determined.

I suppose like many things I shall come to understand it in time- I will have to if I ever want to attain fifth dan as the grading involves kneeling in front of a man with a katana and rolling out of the way as he cuts at your head.
glenatron: (Default)
When I got graded a couple of months back I really felt that I was in over my head, that there was no way my ninjutsu is at the standard it should be this close to shodan. It took me a few weeks to realise that Les and John, my instructors, wouldn't have awarded me the grade if I didn't match up to it and that they are senior Shidoshi and know a lot more about the whole thing than I do. Once that hit home I feel as though I have gained a huge amount of confidence in my abilities. Things that just didn't work are starting to fall into place as I find I can do techniques without having to concentrate or worry about what I need to do next- the things I have been struggling with for years are starting to become parts of a coherent repertoire. I'm also spending more time training with our senior students and learning a huge amount from them as well and while I'm still being constantly amazed at their general awesomeness I at least feel like I am studying the same art now.

In spite of how much I enjoyed yesterday's training, I did spend a lot of it working with our highest-graded student, being demonstrated on by John and generally getting thrown and locked in various dramatic ways and today I feel like someone has taken a hammer to my shoulders and arms, in a healthy what hasn't killed me will make me stronger kind of way.

June 2017

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