Before the practice started I got a chance to try playing...
|Learning the proper way to hit the drum|
|Feeling extremely silly|
|So much harder than it looks!|
After I had finished making a fool of myself and my arms had started to hurt, I took a seat and watched my host and his club-mates practice. Since I didn't know what I was doing I hadn't been playing very intensely but as I watched the others play using all their strength for several minutes at a time (which had them sweating and out of breath!) I realized just how tiring playing these massive drums could be and what a good workout it is.
|My host and his club-mates|
|A very intricate song|
Once the club had finished practicing it was time for the senseis (teachers) to practice (they are part of a professional group). They were fantastic. They started off with an incredibly complex drill which they played flawlessly. Then just when I thought it couldn't get any more impressive they changed positions: they went from sitting to lying on their backs with their drums between their legs at pretty much the half way point of sit up. But they didn't stay still (that would have been far too easy...) they would move back and forth, essentially doing sit ups, all while whacking these massive drums with all their might and making it sound good.
|Can only imagine what kind of abs these people must have...|
So cool. Yet another example of why traveling is awesome.