a MMB! Kendo Blog: It's All About The Mind

MMB! Kendo Blog

Monday, April 18, 2005

忍耐 + 掌握人生
It's All About The Mind

There were 8 people, including me, training at Master Kim's dojo tonight. We started off with heaps of ashi-sabaki exercises along the length of the dojo at a very fast pace. We practiced moving in suri-ashi forward and backward and stopping under Master Kim's command. Towards the end of this exercise, my left hamstring was very tired and my left leg could not push as hard and fast as at the beginning. On the other hand, Chu-Hee was still able to go very fast on his foot even though it is apparent that he was puffing as well. Well, everyone was puffing a bit at the end of the exercise. It was a very simple set of exercise, but it's extremely effective in improving speed and posture. Yet we seldom set aside enough time to practice it. Sometimes, I think we concentrate too much on the upper body movements and neglected the footwork. There is a saying that hand weighs 20% while foot weighs 80% in kendo. Improving the footwork will definitely takes my kendo to a new level.

Apart from the ashi-sabaki exercise, we also practiced a lot of men-uchi, kote-men-uchi, men-hiki-men, then a few very long uchikomi-geiko, followed by another few very long jigeiko. I felt a bit flat today. I tried practicing uchiotoshi-men against Master Kim during jigeiko but he blocked it so simply and easily that I was stuck as to what I could do. Of course, I also did *other* waza, but I was really trying to get this uchiotoshi-men waza working. Master Kim was always pressing in and putting so much seme on me, it was pretty hard to keep my kamae steady so I was kinda forced into cutting or else I would be cut. It took much more effort to keep the centre playing against Master Kim because his kensen was so *live*. I guess I need to practice more of keeping my centre and applying more seme so that, hopefully, Master Kim can feel my seme next time.

I also played Jimmy in jigeiko and I was able to go further with my uchiotoshi-men, but the distance was still a problem. I could not reach for the men-cut after uchiotoshi.

Oh well, that just means more practices on this waza tomorrow night at Hornsby.

Master Kim also told me that I was using too much power in my right arm to generate the cutting power. As a result, my body was turning to the left when I executed men-cut. He said that I should use my body pushing-in power instead of my right arm and use the wrist for the snapping power.

We trained pretty hard tonight. At the conclusion session, Master Kim said that kendo or shiai is all about the mind. We should try to play our best kendo and keep a strong will and mind even though we might be very tired physically. Chances are the person playing against you is just as tired as you are. We should keep the "can do" attitude so that we can progress further in the kendo ladder.

Before the training tonight, Jimmy asked me why I wanted to play kendo. I told him that I wanted to play kendo because I read 六三四の剣. That was my answer. But of course, there is more than that once I began learning kendo. The more I play, the more interesting I find kendo. There is much more than the physical aspect in playing kendo. Of course, it keeps me fit, allows me to keep eating the amount of food I am eating now and still be happy (my mum keeps telling me she heard this expert on TV talking about the benefits of exercising. She kept quoting the expert that exercising creates more endophine which makes people happy). =P Kendo also gave me opportunities to meet and befriend with a bunch of nice, funny and wonderful people, plus something to dream for and something to work hard on. I am glad to have taken up kendo. I wish I could start kendo as soon as I learnt about it from 六三四の剣. tehehe. But I am glad that I still kept my dream of learning kendo alive 10 years after watching 六三四の剣. =D Now is time to unleash!


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