If there were thoughts that stood out during a moment of self-reflection after last night’s keiko, it would be these: There are no easy days. Every keiko is just an opportunity to dig deeper than I did before.
There was a brief moment when I thought that training would end without me feeling like I was dying. I felt a little bit more confident than I did last week. Taking the time to practice at home to address some of the things I had trouble with lately helped me ease more smoothly through most part of keiko.
But it was not meant to be the day that I would step out of the dojo after training knowing that I did well. Because if there was one thing I was sure about, I sucked BIG TIME at my first free-sparring practice. I did not have the same experience with it as the club’s three seniors had when they joined the IGA Ken Gasshuku last year. Still, the humbling part about it was that I was not able to make use of what I have learned so far to perform better than I did. Watching the video of the said sparring confirmed what I already realized even while I was still into the 3-minute session. I saw everything I did wrong.
I do not know how long it will take before I improve at this particular exercise. On the upside, being bad at anything is temporary. Better is an achievable goal. I guess I will just have to keep trying to get better at it until the next most grueling challenge comes along.