Thursday, December 29, 2011
Oh yes, the good old Inside-The-Train stretch. Not advisable in the crowded trains of Tokyo during rush hour, but once you are deep in the countryside with almost no one else on the train, what better way to while away the hours while heading to your in-laws' place????
Thursday, December 15, 2011
waiting, waiting, waiting.
Most of them are due to arrive in Omaha today or tomorrow (or next Monday, depending on who I talk to). They are already over a week overdue because of some kind of trouble in LA, where they landed at a port after traveling over the ocean from Yokohama.
A normal person would probably have packed all the weapons, especially long pointy things, in one box and shipped it economically with the other zillion boxes for very little increase in cost. But between Moving Day #1, when the truck came to take stuff from our house in Tokyo to the port in Yokohama,and moving day #3, when we actually flew out of Japan, I had a kobudo demo and last practices with long pointy and non-pointy things. My daughter also needed some of her stuff for her last practices.
So I made a giant box out of littler boxes and put in naginata, spear (oops! one inch too long...no spear), sticks, lots- o - swords, etc) and sent that in advance with the other stuff. Then I made another giant box for the leftover stuff and brought it over as luggage (oh, they charge for oversized boxes now, even if within the baggage limit....). Of course I also snuck a few goodies into the suitcases. You know, nunchaku, tonfa, sai, pointy Klingon bagua weapons....
Somehow we got through the Tokyo and Minneapolis airports without them opening the giant weapon box. And the security people only searched one of our suitcases in our absence, one stuffed with clothes, not weapons. So the group of late weapons made it over safely.
I've had plenty of toys to play with these weeks in our new apartment in Kansas but it will be nice to get them all together again. And nicer to set up a little studio over here...
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Last practice, and back to the basics: how to use the wooden staff or bo. There are several weapons in our group's curriculum, but the bo is the most fundamental and has the most forms, as well as the most detailed sets of basic motions. We practice many techniques against the bo with the other weapons as well.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Oh yes, the second floor of xyz Junior High School, somewhere in Tokyo. We usually practiced in the gym but arrived one Friday night to find that the school had already decorated it for a weekend event. The young kids worked out in the hallway outside and I went upstairs to work on the nandao southern broadsword routine.
Didn't get that form down as well as I would have liked before leaving Japan. Anyone teaching nanquan / nandao / nangun in the Kansas area??
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Days before moving out of Japan, my daughter joined her last tournament. It was for young people, so I could actually enjoy the day, not worrying about my own performance. I was free to videotape people for my reference library, chat with folks, just generally enjoy for a change.
My daughter placed fairly low as I had expected - you've got to practice more than once a week to be among the best...but it was a good stimulus for her, and a good memory to bring over to the US.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Used by junior high school kids for floor hockey on occasion, this little piece of plastic can double as a double-bladed straight sword (jian) for your daughter as well as for a single-bladed Southern-style sword (nandao) for you on those last nights of practice before leaving the country. Yep, you are stuck in a junior high school gym for a training hall. You have your own swords but your teacher needs one two. Of course you grab the hockey stick so your teacher can use the real thing while demonstrating. And you hope no one takes video and posts it on Youtube....
Thursday, December 1, 2011
OK, the last couple months have been a whirlwind. It is not so easy to wind down 16+ years of life in a foreign country and return to your home country (with family in tow). But we have made it, are now spending our first night in our new apartment in Kansas.
Now we are waiting for the 115 boxes we shipped over the ocean to arrive at a warehouse in Omaha....