忍耐 + 掌握人生
Suriage-Doh + Left Foot + Wrist Power
Tonight's training session was led by Kirby. We started off our waza session with 3 rounds of kiri-kaeshi along the length of the dojo. I partnered with Yoshiki in this particular exercise. Yoshiki was really fast with the kiri-kaeshi, so when I was receiving his cuts, I basically had to run to catch up with him.
For me in this fast kiri-kaeshi exercise, I was trying to get my arm and leg movements coordinated while doing the strikes as fast as I possible could.
I started off *really well* today. I tripped on my hakama at the very first men-cut in kiri-kaeshi and caught the right great toe in the process. Oouch, it REALLY hurted. Of course, I was not supposed to show my emotion to my opponents in kendo, so I just kept going. But man, that was painful. I re-inflamed the pain in the metatarsophalangeal joint of the right great toe that I inflicted on myself in squash last Tuesday. So for the rest of the lesson, I was using no right great toe. I could still play okay without my right great toe, except my sonkyo was very wobbly.
After doing the along-the-dojo kiri-kaeshi, we lined up facing each other and practiced a couple sets of normal kiri-kaeshi, kihon-men, kihon-kote before moving on to the "waza-of-the-night" session.
Tonight's focus was on suriage-doh. We learnt to do the suriage-doh step-by-step. Kirby splitted the suriage-doh waza into 4 separate exercises. We repeated each exercise a few times before moving on to the next one. The four exercises include:
- Motodachi strikes men; Shidachi deflects attack by swinging the shinai straight up, where the top 20cms of the shinai sweeps along the opponent's shinai. The shinai's sliding movement will be enough to make the opponent's shinai out of the centre-line.
- Motodachi strikes men; Shidachi deflects attack using suriage-waza, followed by doh cut, where the right foot take a step forward diagonally to the right. No follow-through.
- Motodachi strikes men; Shidachi deflects attack using suriage-waza, followed by doh cut and passing through Motodachi using ashi-sabaki.
- In shiai style, Motodachi strikes men; Shidachi deflects attack using suriage-waza, followed by doh cut and passing through Motodachi using ashi-sabaki. All these motions are done much quicker and in more realistic way.
Kirby emphasised that when we execute suriage, we should aim to catch the opponent's shinai with the first 20cms of our shinai so that we did not have to lift our arms too far up to go over the opponent's shinai before making the doh cut. To be able to catch with the first 20cms of the shinai, one must execute suriage on the opponent's shinai at the earliest possible time.
I found suriage-doh really difficult to execute. My doh cut by itself was not strong, let alone doing an oji-doh waza. I always got caught up with the distance by the time I suriage'd and ready to go for doh. Kirby pointed out that I did not have to take a step forward as my opponent would close in the distance. I should just stay at the same place with my foot sliding to the right when executing suriage-doh.
At the last 30mins, we had mawari-geiko with 2-3 mins in each rotation. During the rotations, I got the chance to play Sussan, Nurlin, Dino, Yvonne, Yoshiki, Mark Stone, and Mandy. I practiced those things I have been working on, plus suriage-men.
Progress with left foot + Wrist power
I think I have finally made some good progress in the use of my left-foot. I was able to go for one-step one-cut attack almost anytime I desired. The only thing that I had trouble was when I was trying to make opening using the shinai with the weight on the left foot. It was very difficult to press down and knock away my opponent's shinai with weight on the left foot only. Normally I would borrow some of the power by transferring the body weight from rear left foot to the front right foot to generate the shinai knocking power. With my weight on the left foot, I had to rely purely on my wrist and arm to generate the shinai knocking power.
I think I will need to build up power in my wrists...