a MMB! Kendo Blog: 2:1 - I won!?

MMB! Kendo Blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

忍耐 + 掌握人生
2:1 - I won!?

Shiai-Geiko - Oct-21
The All Japan University (Women) Championships will be held on 13th November. So apart from the many waza practices and kakari-geiko we did, we also had some shiai-geiko practice during last Wednesday Oct-19 and Friday Oct-21, and I actually had the opportunity to shiai against a 1st or 2nd year girl during the Friday practice.

On Friday, after 3pm - 4:30pm joint guys & girls club training. (There were 150 students training in one hall that day!) We had the girls only training. After about half an hour of waza training, Okada Sensei organised shiai-geiko for the main part of the day's training routine.

We started with 2 rounds of team shiai (6 in each team). All the university representatives in the white team, and the next best team in red. For me and the rest of the girls, we clapped and cheered on.

After the 2 rounds of team shiai finished, I was told to put my men on for shiai too! It was an individual match between me and a 1st or 2nd year student. Wow, how cool would this be!

All the Nittaidai friends were saying 'Gambatte' to me before the match, and I was feeling quite good and positive about the shiai-geiko to come. In some way, I was looking forward to the geiko very much. To try the new things I have learnt in the past weeks and showed them to my teachers and friends.

As soon as I stood up from sonkyo, I launched a men attack. However, my quick-thinking opponent sensed it and countered my attack with a super quick debana-kote.

Oh my goodness, I lost the first point like 3 seconds!? Is that all I could show (or not show) to my teachers and friends???

While I was walking back to the starting line, I looked at my friends' face and they all gave me very reasurring looks and smiles and cheered me on. They gave me couragement and inspiration, and I would hear them shouting encouragement words out. For myself, Okada Sensei and all my Nittaidai friends, I would do my very best to stay in the match and played as well as I could. Feeling energised, I made some quick men attacks. I also tried using the fake men then gyaku-doh waza that I learnt here in Nittaidai, but to no avail. The shinai got stuck in the process. Anyway, it's good to try this new thing in a shiai-geiko situation. The men cuts that I made landed one or two on the target, but wasn't convincing enough to warrant a point. So I tried seme and debana-kote. And to my surprise, I landed a perfect de-kote with a beautiful popping sound that I too was amazed. Then all the flags went up. Oh my Goodness, I scored. I just scored a point on a Nittaidai girl. Wow! That's so crazy. My friends were all clapping and cheering at that time.

After the restart, I played almost like how I played before I scored the first de-kote. And once again, I landed de-kote in a similar situation. Can you believe it? I couldn't believe it myself at that time. 2-1??? I won??? Was that a dream??? Oh my God! That made my day. I was so happy.

I have to say that I was only able to do this with the encouragement of all my teachers and friends. I just want to say my most heart-felt, sincere thanks to all their supports, advices and patience they have given me so far. They are all great people.

Takano Aiko - the girls' team captain - gave me the most influential piece of advice I have received since coming to Japan. My left hand was pushing too much to the right that my left-hand, and therefore, my shinai were all off the centre-line during chudan-no-kamae.

It's such a small, subtle observation but an extremely important one for me to improve my power in chudan-no-kamae. By making sure my left hand doesn't push too far to the right, it will relax my left shoulder and thus my upper body.

Now I am thinking about my left hand's position all the time when I train.

Katate-Tsuki & Doh-Kirikaeshi
Woohoo! We had several rounds of katate-tsuki last Friday. And amazingly I was able to land a few right on the targets too.

We also did some Kaeshi-Doh-Kirikaeshi, where the motodachi cut men, and the shidachi practiced kaeshi-doh (migi and hidari).


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