a MMB! Kendo Blog: This is just the Beginning

MMB! Kendo Blog

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

忍耐 + 掌握人生
This is just the Beginning

When the plane touched down on the runway, the word that Brett Smith said to me while we were in Japan kept echoing in my head. 'Responsibility'.

It is now my responsibility to maintain the same level of training intensity, which I have undergone in Nittaidai, back here in Australia. Nittaidai is certainly a great start to becoming serious about improving my kendo. I have been fortunate enough to receive a great deal of good advices from many Sensei, Sempai and friends. However, Nittaidai is just the beginning. There are many things to work on from now on, and I realise that it will take some time to make significant improvement in my kendo even with all the advices I have been given. So now, first and foremost, it is crucial that I make a conscious effort and put all my heart into every training I attend, and practice what I have learnt in Japan.

Pyrmont and UNSW - Monday 7/11

Thanks to Mike Henstock, I went to training at Pyrmont plus UNSW tonight. It wasn't my plan to go to 2 dojos until Mike called me up at 6.45pm when I just returned home from work. What a great idea I thought! So I visited 2 dojos tonight.

Nishimoto-san's Nito
8 people turned up to the Pyrmont training, including Payne Sensei, Itakura Sensei and Onodera Sensei. The highlight of tonight's training was the jigeiko with Nishimoto-san.

Nishimoto-san was playing jodan all night until the very last jigeiko rotation between him and me. I was a little surprised when he changed into nito, but I wasn't too shocked because he has been carrying nito in his shinai bag for a while. I guess now the time is ready for him to use nito in jigeiko.

Normally, it would take me a while to get into gear when playing against someone with unusual kendo. But not this time. Thanks to Nittaidai, I have faced so many strong kendo players in the past month that I have forgotten how to freak out, but to deal with what is in front of me as quickly as possible.

It's great that Nishimoto-san decided to play nito. In my mind, someone who plays nito is like sending a tsuki invitation. So of course, I tried tsuki throughout the jigeiko. It's so cool. Plus, now that I have a little bit of exposure to gyaku doh practice while I trained in Nittaidai, I also executed a number of gyaku-doh on Nishimoto-san's now wide-exposed hidari-doh (he is holding up the long sword with his left hand).

The most difficult thing in playing against a nito player is to deal with the short sword. I had a discussion with Michael Komoto about playing against nito players, and his advice on this was to bring the shinai closer to the chest than you normally would in chudan no kamae. Your shinai would be pointing outward, slanted in a way that makes your nito opponent unable to use the short sword to knock your shinai down unless he comes very close to you. In that sense, you have made your nito opponent's short sword ineffective. So now, you have an advantage of dealing with the nito player's one-handed long shinai attack with your more powerful two-handed attack.

I look forward to the jigeiko with Nishimoto-san tonight, and try out the new strategy.

Jigeiko and Thoughts
The Monday training at Pyrmont and UNSW were all jigeiko, so I had a good opportunity to try and practice the many things I learnt from Japan.

I realised that my practicing partners were able to execute debana-kote on me just when I went for men-uchi. The problem is that my seme-men is still in two motions - I swing the shinai up too much, thus exposing my kote. So from now on, I will really need to focus on extending my arms and cut in one motion.

Hornsby - 8/11
I was concentrating on my kamae, particularly the position of my left hand, and the men-uchi's arm-swing motion.


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