a MMB! Kendo Blog: Seme. Attack with the Body!

MMB! Kendo Blog

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Seme. Attack with the Body!

I visited Master Kim's dojo tonight. I love going to Master Kim's dojo because of the amount of constructive advise I get out from each training session.

There were 6 kendoka tonight - Master Kim, Jimmy Kim, Johnny, myself, and two Korean kids. We started off with a 15 minutes warm-up, jogging along the length of the dojo and doing the usual stretching exercises.

The next 15 minutes was dedicated to footwork drills. We paired up and my partner was Johnny. We learnt to apply pressure on opponent's shinai, breaking / regaining centre while moving forward / backward. We also experimented with distance and foot movement - moving forward, sudden stop and moving backward.

The next session was geiko. The six of us splitted into two groups, with Master Kim and Jimmy Kim the motodachi. Johnny and I were in Jimmy's group. We started off with kirikaeshi, then uchikomi geiko, kote-men, debana-kote (both inside and outside) and aiuchi-men. Master Kim pointed out the following things during this session:

  1. Kote-Men. The focus is on both kote and men. The men cut of my kote-men wasa was fine, but my kote cut was too light. Master Kim said the kote cut is just as important as the men cut. The main point is to relax the right arm before the cut.
  2. Relax the right arm. Exert power in the right hand at the last split second just when the shinai lands on the opponent's kote. That will give the perfect oomph and power into the kote cut.
  3. Move faster with that kote-men! Pa-Pan!!! Breathing in will slow down the speed of executing kote-men. So make sure to breath out whlie executing kote-men.
  4. Attack with the body. Move that hip! Master Kim pointed out the importance of moving the body into position when executing a cut. During aiuchi-men, Master Kim said the person who is able to move the whole body into position first will ultimately be the first to land the cut on the opponent.
  5. In tsubazerai, always be sure your shinai is on top of your opponent's shinai, so that it gives you a chance to execute a cut on your opponent but not your opponent on you.
  6. The rear leg should never bend too much. Bending the rear leg too much will impede the speed of powering forward and launching a cut.
The final session was shiai geiko. I had to play against Jimmy Kim. We both tried to put everything we learnt tonight into action. I experimented with kote-men and breaking of the centre. I also tried my best to move that hip, though Master Kim pointed out that my body was still not moving in together. A main huddle that I need to overcome in order to take my kendo to the next level. Master Kim gave a few more advices during this shiai geiko session:

  1. Attack with the Body! The best seme is created by moving the whole body in. Moving the whole body into an attack is much more powerful than attacking just with the shinai.
  2. Breaking shinai's centre. Master Kim said I am not using enough force to move my opponent's shinai away. To improve my ability to break my opponent's shinai centre, I should experiment with my shinai tapping with greater force, so that my opponent's shinai is visually off centre.
During Jimmy and Johnny's shiai geiko session, Master Kim showed us a men-kaeshi-kote technique. When executing this technique, make sure the posture is straight after executing the kote cut. Do not bend down. Show zanshin.


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