a MMB! Kendo Blog: Reaching To New Height

MMB! Kendo Blog

Friday, July 08, 2005

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Reaching To New Height


5 training sessions in 4 days! I made it, just like the way I wanted it to be. Things just get better and better each day. I feel ready for the National Squad onslaught this weekend. C'mon! Bring it on!

I went to UNSW training last night. Peter Strauss was there too. He will stay in Sydney for 3 weeks before moving to Japan permanently for his new job with SAP.

We did a few rounds of kirikaeshi along the length of the dojo. Then we practiced a few rounds of kihon-men and kihon-kote before moving on to the waza-focus session.

The waza that Kirby wanted us to focus on was debana. First, we practiced debana-men. Both kendoka would start in chudan no kamae in toma distance. One side would take a step forward to close the distance to issoku-ito-no-maai. As soon as one side took the one step forward, the other side would instanteneously launch a men-cut.

I think the key to executing debana waza effectively was a focus mind, watching and scrutinising the opponent's every single movement. Your left foot would be ready to push off any second. And as soon as an opening was spotted, you would pounce on the opportunity and cutting straight away, not letting any split seconds to slip by.

We practiced debana-kote in a similar format for a few rounds. As we became more comfortable with the movements, Kirby would introduce the idea of practicing it with random timing and seme into the waza, making the situation more realistic.

In the last rounds of exercises, both side would go for the cut - one side would go for men, while the other side practiced debana-kote. Kirby especially emphasised the point of cutting straight down in debana-kote and keeping the body upright. Both side should get hit if the exercise was executed correctly. No one should worry about being cut in this exercise.

In the last 20 minutes, we had mawari-geiko. I played Sussan, Aaron, Peter, Kirby, Jackson and Cecelia. I was trying to practice seme and was experimenting a bit in how my kensen movement would make my opponent's react. It was quite fun practicing and exploring the link between my kensen and my opponent's reactions. It's even better when it worked the way I'd like and be able to capitalise on the opportunity. I enjoyed it.

After the training, Kirby gave me some feedbacks on seme, and a few hints on how to counter-attack with suriage waza. Kirby could do the most perfect suriage waza. Below were some of my observations on Kirby's suriage movements:

  • The kensen should be at opponent's head height;
  • Kensen should always be in the centre line;
  • Right hand should be in the centre line; while
  • Left hand control the shinai direction;
  • Kensen should be right in the centre after suriage.

Kirby suggested that we should practice the movement in front of a mirror. The shinai should point to the head of the person in the mirror.

New Kendo Year
This week is my 4th year anniversay in first stepping into a kendojo. The past year has been a fascinating kendo year for me - earning my shodan, winning my first state kendo title, the Hong Kong tournament, and the good results in the Nationals.

Stepping into the fifth year, I hope my kendo will reach a new height, be even more passionate about learning and training, and hopefully good results will follow. Nidan next, Nittaidai after, Hong Kong Tournament in Feb'06 and then Nationals!

What's better than starting off the new year with the National Squad Training!

For my birthday, I will do a little celebration and indulge myself in getting a good massage.


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