I went to Battle Creek for practice on Sunday. It was well worth it, always is, and I encourage all of you to do so as well - I'd definitely like to go again as often as possible (which, admittedly, isn't very often for me). Props to John Ellison: he was going to come up from South Bend but blew out a tire and had to change that bad boy while wearing hakama, keikogi and winter coat. Then he limped home while his adopted Pats lost the Superbowl. Argh! Sorry, John.
We had a great practice lead by Matsuura-sensei and also Yoshida-sensei and Suganara-sensei. We covered basics, some advanced waza (including debana waza and tsuki-men) and did a lot of intense jigeiko - everybody had keiko with everybody. I got to fight the afore-mentioned sensei and the hard hitting drew of Stephen Chaffin, Bob Mack and Travis Hill.
Here in Michigan all the kendo clubs have an open invite to each other to attend practice and if you can take advantage of that to practice with this great, diverse body of people, you should. Definitely write or call ahead to let them know you're coming and have at it. Very valuable.