Yesterday's Kendo practice included my first sparring match. I was paired up with someone a touch bigger than me, and it went down rather like this:
1) We charge each other
2) We charge each other
3) Sensei pulls us both aside and tells us to relax and remember to just do what we do in normal practice
4) Big guy hits me on the head
Afterward, a different instructor gave me some pointers on actually deflecting and delaying attacks from my opponent until I like the situation. Overall, a good experience; I thanked my partner for the match. He said he was happy to go up against someone with some strength -- as a beginner, we tend to end up paired up with kids a lot, and even if a kid is technically more competent, it's just hard not to knock someone around when they weigh half as much as you do.
This marks my second week of blistering my left (trailing) foot in Kendo class. Whereas last week I managed to not notice the forming and breaking of a blister, this week the new one hurt enough that I was pretty much done after the match. I'm sure I'll callous up after a while.