Wow, another year has been wasted away

The pandemic definitely makes things go by so fast.

Training-wise, it doesn’t only feel like, “push the reset button,” but also just a reset button as in you are basically teaching an army of beginners.

and a MASS number of them.

On one hand, it’s good for the future of naginata, because the lack of exercise during the pandemic definitely motivated a lot of people to get moving again.

But there is also the problem of a lot of veteran members getting lazy and too adapted to the “pandemic lifestyle” and has a hard time getting back into the dojo; whether the reasons be the “fear” of not being able to handle the training anymore, the shame for taking such a long time off, or just simply that they are scared about COVID (which is totally understandable). Most of the time, the veteran members have a hard time coming back, so you barely get enough training in the advanced stuff as an advanced person, resulting in UBER rustiness once you’re back in the advanced drills.

However, perhaps this is a good thing to be doing kihon all the time with super beginners–it allows you to really slowly ease back in, in both skill and physical strength, so I guess it isn’t bad.

I’m just constantly telling myself that, “things happen for a reason, and always for the better,” as a way for me to cope with the pandemic lifestyle and its effects in my time. I’m just taking things as they go and rolling with it.

5-dan Shinsa Prep

So I was suggested by a sensei whom I train under whenever I go to Japan to write out a, “guideline” for foreigners (non-Japanese) in how to get go-dan, by writing out my own experiences/feedback that I received when I prepped for my exam.  I originally told that sensei that I would be more than happy to do it, but that I’m not sure if my, “guidebook” would be helpful to others because the feedback that I got for myself, may be different than what another person would need in order for them to pass the exam.

But upon thinking about it further, I figured, “Why not?” since it may help others in the end anyway–may as well give it a shot, wouldn’t hurt.

I originally wanted to document the whole experience as vlogs–but I’m sure that the senseis and the AJNF wouldn’t have wanted their privacy to be jeopardized (since a lot of their feedback was from their personal naginata philosophies, etc…) and the work, I felt, would’ve made me shift out of focus with what I was really supposed to be doing there anyway.

I talked about this with some other non-Japanese national 5-dan friends, and they seemed to be open to the idea as well—it would honestly be interesting to compare all of our notes together.