I am still crawling around in the sub-basement, however it is cool. I am discovering things, which will help me up the stairs. Another day of practice, I went in late Sat afternoon. Again it was somewhat crowded. Something is upcoming, besides the Shinsa next month for me, I recall something about a higher level Shinsa as well. I do know a Sempai is going for his Rokudan again. So it is not just us rug rats feeling the Shinsa pressure right now. Then in May there is the big Tai Kai in Kyoto. I plan on attending again to watch. I know at least two Sempais are going to shoot and no doubt a couple of my Sensei again. I want to see the big guns shoot this year. Last year I had to work. This year I will say just say no! Maybe depends on how our home money is looking.
Sucks Manor has a sub-basement…
I continued to practice. The group returned from lunch, I practiced a bit then sat for a break and just watched. There was some discussion, then i heard my name. Ohh boy, what is up now, I thought. I got a going over, my right tenouchi was wrong, my draw angle was to shallow, not pushing enough with my left and over all too tense. I was trying to hard, yeah, thought that myself. Also, I was asked about the weight of my Yumi. I said 14. The head Sensei said, what came out to, the right hand does not hold/draw 14, not does the left, it is balanced out between the two. Ok, I got it, I was putting too much effort in the right hand. Also I was told my right thumb does not hold the string, it is relaxed, my middle finger holds the string pressure. Both myself and another Sensei said ehhhhh!? Yes, The head Sensei explained. He also dug out a book to show me, I am not sure if it was a Japanese Kyuhon or what, but it had good diagrams. I got what he was saying. The right hand tenouchi I was using from the Shibata school was correct with a modification. Also I was told, do not do the snapping finger turn the wrist thing, it throws my elbow off. Soou ka! Make a larger Hikiwaki, but not with my hand, with my elbow. Another thing, beside opening my chest more, was my right hand and forearm should not be straight as I was trying to do, there is a natural curve, that should be maintained from Dai-san. Let the elbow do the work and relax both of my hands more. Don’t do archery, do Kyudo!
I worked at it for a while. My planned three hour practice, turned into four. I wanted to have this info somewhat logged in the mind/body data base before leaving. Before everyone left , and I was alone. I was checked again by the Renmei head. 80% better he said. Yokatta, I thought, I thanked. Another Sensei came back in later from the gym. He checked, and also said better than before. Again I express my thanks, he left, I practiced.
Tosa is an area on the southern part on one for the island somewhat about 5 hours bus ride from Osaka. A somewhat pleasant bus ride. This is where the Tosa dog comes from. A famous breed like the Akita and the Shiba. The Prefecture is Kouchi the town is Shikoku. It is famous now for the Geopark. Deep sea saltwater baths, and water. Water which people drink for health. taste weird to me. There is also a famous place Muruto cape the site of some famous monk’s enlightenment. There are some who make pilgrimages to there. I saw such a group while there.
LZ has a job, somewhat like a mystery shopper job. She write reviews on Hotels and resorts. With some effort, and planning on her part, she can make arrangements for us to not only visit expensive places, but come away with a little money, at the least it is a almost free trip. This is one of those trips.
Click >>>> Photoblog
Yesterday we, the Blues Band played at The Overheat club again. The night before or perhaps early that morning I get an email from the Doc., he had given me a couple of songs he wanted to do for the show. I said ok. That morning he gives me two more, and says I want you to sing this song, done slow. This is the same song I got pissed off about last show, being told to do it at the last moment on stage. However that was only part of my irritation. So I told him thanks for saying something before getting on stage, however if he wants it done that way he needs to sing it. His response was he is not ready. Ok, so I had to break it down to him (street talk for explain it). I said when I am being paid to play/sing, I do it however the employer wants. When I am doing something for free, I have the right to do it, play/ sing however I want. otherwise, I am not told how to do a song. When the band is working as Matsuo Blues Band and I am getting paid, I do as I am told. If I am not getting paid, doing something for free, with no benefit to me, then I do not have to do as told!
She got it then.
We had a new member join us, on piano that day. The Doc said he was a piano genius, he could play any song hearing it. He was to my ears just ok. I was not impressed. I could not hear well when playing at the time, but later I listened to a recording and the first two songs sounded muddy and there were some clashing or disharmonic cords. The final song was ok, for a first time playing for all of us song. I do not know if he will be a permanent member or just sitting in from time to time, like for the up-coming big Blues Festival we will be doing in April. It is nice to have the extra instrument, and he seems a nice guy, hopefully he will work on his Blues cords.
You can’t stop the music…
A few weeks ago, I went back to the Ozaki Jazz society gathering. It was a Valentine night session. I arrived just a little past the starting time. When i open the door at first i got a bunch of stares, from everyone, especially the new faces. Then I was surprised by applause from those who recognized me, others after a few quick whispers. That was quite shocking and somewhat embarrassing, at the same time a nice little ego boost. It was a weird experience. I entered and greeted everyone I knew including the owners who welcomed me. I took a seat at the bar in the corner to watch and listen. It was a slower night than last time so now as packed, still a nice crowd. As I hoped for I did not get called up right away and got a chance to relax and enjoy.
Losing can be winning.
I went to the dojo today, Sat. My plan was to spend most of the day there in practice and meditation. When I arrived it was still crowded, it was early afternoon. I was not feeling especially sociable really wanting to work. I spoke to everyone, a bit more to certain sempais and went over to the changing area. There I sat, stretched, a bit of meditation, and changed. Slowly I made my way on to the dojo floor for my first shots. As I was about to shoot, I saw someone heading to the mato area to retrieve ya. I gave a moment pause, should I wait or shoot. I choose to shoot , but had already lost my focus so missed big time, big TIME! Sigh. Oh well. The next shot after the retrieval break was a hit. However I was not all there, the next several shots I missed, it was about one hit out of each four.
Yuk- The worst…
and lets not forget about the Kyuhon questions that need to be studied. On the train I listen, at work…This is sort of like becoming a full-time job…with no pay. Sigh. Reminds me of my Kung Fu Uncle always saying. Kung Fu training is not supposed to be fun. you want fun go to the gym. Yeah sort of like that.
“The path is the goal”.
Ch ch ch changes…Year of the monkey
We, the blues band had an engagement again at the Overheat club. It is kind of silly to call it a band, since it is mostly the Doc and I, with whoever happens to sit in on drums, if someone does. I called it the “Matsuo Blues band minus one”, since then that is what the Doc has been calling it. Except he will add Matsuo Blues Band Minus One Plus One, depending on if someone is sitting in on drums.
He thinks it is cute. I think it is lame, and sort of corny but that is just me, because I have an attitude. Japanese are big on kawaii (cute)
“the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”
So as a good sailor I adjusted my sail plan. I will increase my local practice and have my own week intensive just before the local Shinsa. With the private attention I receive from my local senseis and sempai and increase in practice time, I should up my game to passing level. So even if not now, there is June, and two other chances this year. It is not like I am in the states and only get a Shinsa once a year. So yeah, anyway it is not like I have deadline. With persistence it will happen…this year! Yosh!!
As for the people I wanted to see from the States, well there was some internal political issues with the NorCal Renmei so my main friend was not attending anyway and I had changed my attendance date to the B seminar instead of the C. And now…hmmmm. Kind of a big expense just to go visiting. Will have to consider things.