a MMB! Kendo Blog: Leading Up to the Nationals

MMB! Kendo Blog

Sunday, March 20, 2005

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Leading Up to the Nationals

I have had 5 kendo training sessions in the past week, including skipping my Swedish Massage lesson to go to training at Burwood Moo Do Kwan on Tuesday night on the advise of Master Kim. I was not the only one outside of Burwood dojo to join the class. Mike was also there that night, which was a welcome sight for me. About the training, it was REALLY tough. After surviving the suburi session which seemed to last for an eternity, we had jigeiko for the full 60 minutes. The Burwood guys were so fast and had so much energy and I realised that my cuts were too slow in comparasion to them. They would probably have done 3 cuts when I completed one. The last person I played on that night was Master Song. My shoulders were dead tired when I played Master Song and I had to say my cuts were really sloppy. And then there was a row of lower grades sitting down in seiza watched the jigeiko. I was seriously so happy when Master Song signalled the end of the training session. I had never been so thirsty in my whole life until that night. Mike and I went to the corner store after the training and I just gulped the 600ml Powerade down in 10 seconds. It felt so good when the cold liquid went down my throat. I knew I had a good workout that night.

I had a jigeiko with Itakura sensei on Saturday morning in Willoughby. I was trying to practice seme kote cut, so I made sure my kensen was pointing to Itakura sensei's throat until the last minute when I switched to cut kote. Normally, when I pointed my kensen to my opponent and started to move in, my opponent would think that I was going for men so they would naturally lift their arms up to block. When they lifted the arms up, it opened up the kote and I would have a chance to score a kote cut. However, that didn't happen on Itakura sensei. I tried a few more of the seme kote just to see if Itakura sensei would react. Not at all. He didn't even move a bit. All my kote cuts slid off his right kote and missed. Itakura sensei then stopped me and asked what I was trying to do. I told him exactly what I was trying to do but the seme kote did not work on him because he didn't even react the slightest bit. Itakura sensei then pointed out that my distance was too far when I executed the seme kote and so he didn't feel my pressure of my kensen pointing. What I needed to do was to close the distance and at the same time point my kensen to his throat. That would inject pressure on him and there would be a greater chance that he might react. That way, there would be chance to cut the kote.

So I tested out this closing-in seme kote cut in the State Squad Training in the afternoon and I was able to execute better seme kote cuts with higher success rate.

Next weekend will be the National Championships in Canberra. I am so looking forward to test my skills on my opponent. It's time to see how much I have improved compared to the others.


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