February has arrived, and the Kenshusei Course is coming to an end.
The Part-Time Kenshusei, or weekend kenshusei as we like to call them, are meeting for the last time this weekend. The weekend kenshusei are the silent majority of the Mugenjuku Kenshusei program. There were about 14 of them this year, and they met every Saturday night and Sunday morning for 3.5 hours of training each time.
Last night, I went to see Aoi-san take her exam for nidan, or 2nd degree black belt. This morning, Steve and Sato-san took their exams, but I had to work. This evening, we are having a big party in the dojo–the part-time and full-time kenshusei together. We will say goodbye to Steve, who is returning to England, and Akiko, who must have to go back to work!
Aoi was very happy at the end of her exam. For nidan, she had to do regular jiyu waza, ushiro-hiji-mochi-jiyu-waza (grabbing the elbows from behind freestyle), and futari jiyu waza (freestyle against two attackers). She did very well and gave some good koshi-nage throws to Andy-sensei. But all that jiyu waza is very tiring. I don’t know if she was happier to get her nidan or to be finished with the test!
Many of the weekend kenshusei are injured. Okatani-san has a broken hand, Steve has broken ribs, and Nakaema-san has a broken foot. It’s all part of the kenshusei fun!