I haven't talked about kendo in a while. It sort of became a routine, one which I did enjoy though. The amount of people in our beginners course ended up being about 9, which to me feels small because ju-jutsu always had like 20 people or something. But then again the other kendo club in our city only had one beginner, poor guy.
Last Friday we had our first graduation, of 6. kyu grade. I wasn't too nervous at first, seeing as I have done 3 grading tests in ju-jutsu. Turns out kendo gradings are pretty fast. We went three at a time in front of the judges/senseis and did what they told us to do. It was just pretty basic things. We had totally practiced a lot more complicated things already. Then we just went back to sitting and watching the next people do the same thing. Only after I sat down again my legs started feeling weak and wobbly. Luckily I'm the kind of kid who often gets the physical symptoms of nervousness after the excitement is over already. Then I just sat there thinking how different it was in ju-jutsu where grading would take the entire 1½ hours and you'd do something all the time to also test your skill under pressure and the limits of your stamina.
After the test one of the guys suggested we'd go for a beer with all the adults there that wanted to. I first said no, but when another guy said he wouldn't really drink because he, too, had to drive home, I decided to go. We went to this rather shabby pub that was playing old rock and metal classics too loud. All in all not my kind of a place. I drank some coke and later a senpai appeared and bought us a round. So I drank like one fifth of a beer because I knew I could still drive after that little. The senpai proceeded to tell us a lot of interesting stuff. There are two kendo clubs in our city because the other one believes in a lot stricter manner of teaching. Like army discipline and never giving any praise or showing emotions. Whereas ours is a lot more chill. That explains The Mean-senpai/-sensei, I guess. All in all I'm happy I went because I learned a lot about the politics between the kendo clubs and how kendo is different around the world. (Well obviously, if it's so different within one city!) And other general things about practicing kendo and the ideas behind it.
But, now I'm in a situation of making a decision. Will I continue kendo?
I would have to buy the clothes and either rent or buy a bogu set. That is quite a commitment, I'm not rich enough to just buy stuff like that. I'm also not sure if kendo is what I need in a sport. I kind of miss the diversity of ju-jutsu. Like, I feel like I need to move my body more and in different ways. In kendo you mostly stand up, back straight, move and hit. In ju-jutsu you get to crouch, jump, tumble, lift, wrestle...
Then again, I have enjoyed kendo. The people are nice, both my fellow beginners and the senpais and senseis. Also J-senpai told us in the pub that Uematsu-sensei will probably be here for some years for sure so it would be good to get as much teachings out of him when it's possible. And all in all it kind of feels like waste to learn some basics only. If I stop now I won't remember anything in a year.
Well, I guess I have a Christmas holiday to come up with a decision.