a MMB! Kendo Blog: Making Tough Decision

MMB! Kendo Blog

Monday, February 14, 2005

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Making Tough Decision

It was a tough decision to do more kendo training tonight. Firstly, I was chronically deprived of sleep after the weekend squad training. I only had 5 hours of sleep last night, coughing badly for half an hour during the middle of night and had to wake up to drink hot water to curb the cough. More importantly, today was Valentine's Day. I felt really guilty when I told Tim during lunch that I would be training tonight instead of spending time with him.

However, there were not much time left till the Asian Tournament in Hong Kong next weekend and the National Championships next month. If I did't train hard now, I wouldn't have time to get ready for the Championships. Every training session was more important than ever. So I decided to drag my tired body to get more training.

Tonight session at Master Kim's dojo focused on the theoretical / technical aspects of kendo. The things we focused on tonight were basic cuts and seme - attacking opponent's centre-line.

During the kote cut practice, Master Kim pointed out that I was cutting from below the opponent's kote, so the shinai landed on the opponent's kote in an angle, resulting in a 'dull' cut. To execute a crisp kote cut, I should extend my left arm to just above my opponent's kote and simply drop it flat on top of the kote. Master Kim then told me to hold the shinai with my left hand only and do kote cut. I could instantly feel my kote cut became much sharper when I cut from above my opponent's kote. Master Kim told me that I should remember this feeling and always execute the kote cut in that way.

Towards the end of the training, we practiced the application of seme. Master Kim observed during the weekend's squad training that the good Japanese players were able to break into their opponent's territory, holding their own centre-line while destroying their opponent's. We experimented with a seme technique: a slight side-step to the right and pressing your opponent's shinai shank at the same time, trespassing into your opponent's territory in the process. While you maintain your centre-line in line with your opponent, your opponent's centre-line was forced off away from you because of the pressure applied on their shinai's shank.

We also practiced chudan against jodan. Master Kim said to play against jodan, footwork was extremely important. While in chudan, the foot should move forward and backward to create opportunity to attack.


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