Growth, ... it will come
Yuri, my fencing coach, always had a simple but helpful phrase, "It will come." Those words emphasized the need for optimism, perseverance and, above all, patience.
There were times that I'd intensely practice the same sabre exercises with no success. After days of hard devoted work, I'd reach a point of both physical and mental exhaustion and be near tears. Yuri would see my frustration, put his hand on my shoulder, smile at me and just say, "It will come."
He was right.
One of my frustrations as a Go beginner has been the lack of my ability to read the whole board. Very often, I would become too focused on a particular battle in a match and miss the interactive opportunities of nearby stones. Some of you have experienced it and I see it in the moves of some of the other beginners that I have played.
The first chapter of The Second Book of Go (2nd Edition) has helped me with reading the opening moves on the board and visualizing new opportunities. I've been going through this chapter slowly because I've been recreating the sample games and joseki on my goban-on-a-lazy-susan.
In my last two games, a 13x13 with hgf90 (22k?) and a 13x13 on KGS, I could read the opportunities behind the stone positions better. What looks like a pincer can be an extension opportunity. A move that seems to be a threat turns out to be a false one when considering the influence one of your nearby stones have.
It was refreshing to feel that I've grown ... even just a little. I know however that I still have a lot of ground to cover.
Incidentally, if any of you are interested in learning more about fencing, try Fencing.net.
If you're interested in kendo (in the US), I recommend that you visit the All US Kendo Federation website. My former instructor, Tanaka-sensei (7d) has been the president for a long while now.