a MMB! Kendo Blog: Psychology of Play

MMB! Kendo Blog

Friday, September 30, 2005

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Psychology of Play

The Key: Left Leg
I have found 'that' feeling again. Great feeling! It was during a jigeiko on Wednesday night Willoughby training that I suddenly realised that I haven't been using my left foot to support my kamae correctly over the past 2 months. I have neglected the importance of the left foot and have placed too much weight on my right foot. As a result, I haven't been able to launch my seme-men cut in one smooth quick motion. That, however, is going to change. I have improved my kamae. Just in time before I go off to Japan.

Last night I went to train at UNSW. When I saw how many people were in the dojo, I was shocked. Inside, there were only FOUR people - Gideon, Mike, Dino and Cecilijia. They looked esctatic when they saw me. "YAY! Vivian", someone called out. haha, I felt so welcomed. It was such an intimately small class.

Most of the UNSW regulars went up to Brisbane to compete in the UniGames and that explained the small class size last night. Kenji, the Japanese visitor, also came about the same time as me. So 6 of us were training last night, and Sano Sensei came half way through the haya-suburi to instruct the class.

The 6 of us has decided to do 2 rounds of 70 haya-suburi. Mike set a super fast pace in both rounds. Luckily I have been doing some haya-suburi homework, and so surprisingly, the 140 haya-suburi was quite a pleasant workout.

Back To Basic
After we got into full bogu, we did 3 rounds of kirikaeshi and then 2 rounds each of kihon-men, kihon-kote, and kihon-doh. It was so good to put the focus back on to the absolute basics. This gave me the chance to self-examine the use of the left foot in kamae and during push-off in kihon-men.

Sano Sensei introduced the special waza routine for last night - kihon-men, kihon-kote, kihon-doh, kihon-men - which was the basis for all the exercises that followed.

Intensity and Connection
During these kihon exercises, Sano Sensei put special emphasis on the intensity and connection with our opponent, especially between cuts.

Once our energy and intensity were running high, Sano Sensei added a more active role for the receiving side. While one side still practiced the kihon routine, the receiving side will need to counter-attack those kihon cuts with men-debana-kote, kote-suriage-men, doh-uchiotoshi-men, men-kaeshi-doh.

It was difficult to grasp the correct timing and distance at the very beginning, but Sano Sensei encouraged us to keep trying and slowly I could feel a bit more success in those counter attack waza. It was at this time that Sano Sensei asked both sides to execute each cut as if we were in jigeiko or shiai. The aim was to make those cuts as realistic as possible, so to make the practice more worthwhile.

Entice Your Opponent
For the counter-attacks to work, Sano Sensei pointed out that it is important to entice your opponent into committing a cut that you have planned to counter-attack.

Jigeiko With Sano Sensei
We had free jigeiko in the last minutes. Sano Sensei told us to jigeiko with everyone in the dojo, so each jigeiko should limit to around 2 minutes each.

I had my last jigeiko with Sano Sensei. It's been a very long time since I had my last jigeiko with Sano Sensei (the last time was probably in Brisbane in July at the National Squad Training), so I was very keen to show my best kendo to Sensei.

It was a very good jigeiko as I could feel the intensity in the match. Sano Sensei told me that my cuts were much sharper after the training, which was very encouraging to hear.

During the jigeiko, I had tried to execute a type of hiki-doh waza which I learnt from the July 2005 issue of Kendo Nippon. It didn't quite work the first time. So during the next tsubazerai encounter, I tried to execute the same hiki-doh to see if there were any improvements. Gosh, not only did Sano Sensei blocked it easily, he was able to chase me down and followed up with 2 men cuts while I was moving back. And THAT was how I lost my point during Founders Cup. My hiki-doh and zanshin were very weak.

So after the class, I asked Sano Sensei for advice on hiki-doh. He told me that he was taking note when I did my first hiki-doh during the jigeiko. He was thinking whether I would do it again. And so I did. So the second time, Sano Sensei didn't hold back and came chasing after me. So I asked Sano Sensei how I could make my hiki-doh more effective, and Sano Sensei gave me some really good advices. He said that maybe I should not cut doh as my first hiki waza. It might be a better idea strategically to execute powerful hiki-men first. Once the opponent became protective about their men in tsubazerai, the doh would become a easier target and then I could score a hiki-doh more effectively. Also, after hiki-doh, I should make a distance away from my opponent as quickly as possible to prevent him from chasing me down.

This lesson reminded me that Kendo is a psychological game.

Dino Zafirakos = Luciano Pavoratti?
Oh, almost forgot to mention about my jigeiko with Dino. Gosh, I thought both my eardrums have broken when Dino made his Pavoratti-styled kiai during tsubazerai. Now, that's the most fearsome tsubazerai waza. Gosh, scary stuff!


  • It is a mind game vivian, women should be good at it lol, jokes!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, September 30, 2005 4:55:00 PM  

  • Hmmm... you just watch! I will invent some secret girlie waza in my backyard. You just watch! muhwahaha.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Friday, September 30, 2005 5:09:00 PM  

  • It's good to know that I can keep up with what's happening in training through your blog. I'll keep those advices in mind next time. Especially the one about hiki-do. =P

    Only 6 turned up? What happened to the rest of the class?haiyark~~I remember thinking how good it would be to go for training yesterday. We spend the whole training time on the train back to Brisbane from Surfer's Paradise. huhuhu~~

    Once you've invented the waza, please do share around with us girls! =P

    By Blogger hawQ, at Saturday, October 01, 2005 10:30:00 AM  

  • haha you girls always some sneaky waza against us poor men!

    btw Vivian who is going to be the asian samurai?? lol

    awww man! I was going to show up on Thursday but I had to do something that night. shhh don't tell Nurlin your secrets!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, October 01, 2005 4:43:00 PM  

  • Vivian:
    Sensei also got me the same way as he did to you in jigeiko.
    On my fallback, he flew in with 2 super "mo ying" (shadowless) men cuts.
    too fast for me to block. :S

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, October 01, 2005 4:50:00 PM  

  • Nurlin,

    Congratulations on coming 2nd in the Kyu Team competition. I saw some photos from Brisbane and it look like everyone had a ball up there. I am sure you thoroughly enjoy the trip.

    OK, I will share my secret girlie waza with all the girls once I invented it. *Shhhhhh... have to be very quiet about this one*

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Saturday, October 01, 2005 5:37:00 PM  

  • Hey Eddie, did you call Doug about the Asian Samurai performance? haha, I know a few people have called Doug, but don't know the result. Maybe I should find out from Doug. haha. Man, if I was in Sydney and I was a guy, I would put both my feet and hands up in the air to perform in the Motor Show.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Saturday, October 01, 2005 5:39:00 PM  

  • I think I would also need a 'mo ying' hiki doh, good enough for the shinpan and audience to see, but not my opponent. Gosh, I really want to score a hiki-doh!!!

    Vivian: *DOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!*
    Judges: *Flags up* 'Doh-ari!!'

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Saturday, October 01, 2005 5:42:00 PM  

  • Funny you mentioned that Vivian. I got a do-ari at unigames during my individuals. =P It wasn't hiki do though, it was either a nuki do or a kaeshi do. Can't remember the details. =)

    By Blogger hawQ, at Saturday, October 01, 2005 5:49:00 PM  

  • Very nice, Nurlin. Scoring a convincing doh is the most difficult thing, and you did it. Well done!

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Saturday, October 01, 2005 5:50:00 PM  

  • Hey Viv,

    I didn't see ya today in USYD...Lol...When're you going to Japan?

    By Blogger Paul, at Saturday, October 01, 2005 9:07:00 PM  

  • Hi Paul,

    I felt so guilty not going to USYD training yesterday. I was doing my final shopping, mostly souvenir shopping, and I didn't realise the time pass=by so quickly when you are walking, browsing and choosing things in the stores. Aiyor...

    I hope you had a good training nonetheless.

    I am leaving for JPN next Saturday night.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Sunday, October 02, 2005 8:15:00 AM  

  • No asian samurai for me haha
    I would feel too embarassed. besides I think my sensei has a thing about people displaying their skills so publicly especially if they are inexperienced.
    Anyway.. keep talking about your training Vivian we are studying all your moves lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, October 03, 2005 10:46:00 AM  

  • haha, Eddie, if you find something I should improve on, don't forget to let me know too!

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Monday, October 03, 2005 12:01:00 PM  

  • Thanks Vivian! I guess practise pays off. =P..Are you coming over this Thursday?

    By Blogger hawQ, at Monday, October 03, 2005 12:51:00 PM  

  • Yes, I am planning to come to UNSW this Thursday. That should probably be my last training before heading off to Japan.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Monday, October 03, 2005 3:26:00 PM  

  • Viain wrote:
    haha, Eddie, if you find something I should improve on, don't forget to let me know too!

    Viv i am in no position to make that judgement, Im still only a 4th Kyu. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, October 04, 2005 12:10:00 PM  

  • Vivian:

    It would have been very interesting to be in such a small class...

    Anyway just wanted to wish you well in Japan and hope you have lots of fun and training ;)...

    I don't think I can go train for a while. Need to catch up with some rest and study so I won't see you tonight :(... have fun!

    By Blogger Quoth the raven, at Thursday, October 06, 2005 3:28:00 PM  

  • Viv,

    Just wondering if it's true that the Burwood comp has been cancelled...

    By Blogger Paul, at Thursday, October 06, 2005 10:35:00 PM  

  • Hey Vivian,
    Regarding using left leg and being able to move smoothly.
    I read something the other day that mentioned Hara, the centre of the body located 2 inches below the navel, this is the centre of balance and we should be concious of it and try to work with it, (moving with hips etc maybe a tiny bit lower) I hope it answers your questions. Especially in taiatari and hiki men or doh. Yoshiki and mike also mentioned the other night that its important to maintain balance and weight distribution, posture to take hard hits and maintaining zanshin through balance etc, they use these techniques in aikido and karate. I am going to try practice on that myself, I was going to update my blog with this information but I dont have time to. Have fun in Japan!
    Thurday night jigeiko was fun even though I wasn't performing very well :P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, October 07, 2005 2:08:00 PM  

  • Hey Vivian,

    Just wanna say have a lovely time in Japan and see ya when ya get back!!! Hope to play you after you've gotten all those enlightenments there. =P


    By Blogger hawQ, at Friday, October 07, 2005 11:22:00 PM  

  • Dear All,

    Thank you for all your well wishes!

    I am frantically packing up for Japan tonight, and it's all excited.

    I will endeavour to train hard and learn as much as possible while in Japan. Of course, I will update my blog and tell you guys what I have been learning if I can find an Internet Terminal.

    I will keep it short for now. Probably I will have my first Japan trip update next Thur or Fri the earliest.

    Take care, buddies!


    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Friday, October 07, 2005 11:25:00 PM  

  • after your Luciano Pavoratti comment I cant help but to laugh everytime Dino Kiai

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, October 09, 2005 12:44:00 PM  

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