April 1st, 2009


Naginata tournament

I've been studying naginata for two and a half years now, and linuxspice started last fall. We went to New York over the weekend for the annual tournament. Last year, I lost all four matches fairly quickly by the maximum score. It was my first time competing, and I was up against the captain of the British national team and one of the better competitors in Canada.

This year, I did better: I won my first couple of matches, got totally killed in the semifinals by the eventual winner, and then narrowly lost the third-place match to the defending US national champion, in a fight that I surprised myself by actually having a legitimate shot at winning. If I could have pulled it out, Toronto would have swept the medals in the women's individual division; as it was, we finished 1-2-4, which isn't bad given that we don't have an actual sensei in residence here.

I didn't do so well in the team matches. I lost the first one 0-2 on a pair of points that I should never have given up, and I had a 1-1 draw in the other match. If I had been able to salvage a point out of the first (or not lost 0-2), or won the second, we would have won first place, and I feel bad for letting my team down.

The other big highlight of the tournament for me was that linuxspice and I got to compete together as a team in engi. It was her first time competing, and though we have a lot to work on, we had our timing and distance down much better than with most other partners I've worked with. With some time and practice, I think we'll do well together, and it's great to see her get so excited about the art.

We also had a lot of fun on the trip in general, met some really cool new friends, and got to see folks we hadn't seen in nearly a year.

Even better, Mom is doing much better now. She's getting therapy at home, and is regaining a lot of function. We're going to Acton and Montreal this weekend, but we're going to go to Erie over Easter weekend... and then linuxspice has her 3rd or 4th kyu naginata test to take. Then it's Cleveland the following weekend for kendo and iaido, and probably Palenville the weekend after that. And then it's Beltane!