a MMB! Kendo Blog: Jigeiko All the Way

MMB! Kendo Blog

Friday, January 13, 2006

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Jigeiko All the Way

Pyrmont, UNSW, Mon, 9-Jan

I was surprised to see so many people training in Pyrmont tonight. 6 Sensei was there - Payne sensei, Fukuda sensei, Strenger sensei, Onodera sensei, Master Kim and Itakura sensei.

I had jigeiko with Master Kim, Onodera sensei, Fukuda sensei, Payne sensei. In the final 10mins, the class were splitted into two teams, and we did ippon-shobu matches. I had my shiai with Rick and took the match with a hiki-men.

Kendo Love Bites
Tonight, I kept thinking about the things I need to do in order to achieve my New Year Resolution. I have been trying to make every cut a fully-committed ippon cut. So when I launched an attack, I would move in quickly, cut whole-heartedly and carried on forward to show zanshin. The idea of moving forward with spirit to make my opponent wants to go back kept echoing in my head.

With those thoughts in my head, I am very happy with the quality of my attack and performance tonight. I was so determined in making ippon cut that I ran into sensei's kensen twice - once with Onodera sensei and another with Payne sensei (surprisingly none were from Fukuda sensei who is renowned for tsuki'ing his opponents) - and score a BIG red kendo love bite on my neck. =P

Be Ready & Have Full Intention to Cut at All Time
At the start of the jigeiko with Fukuda sensei, he said that we were playing for ippon-shobu in the Finals of the Australian Championships Finals.

Of course, I did my best to take the winning point. I tried to control the centre by twirling, pressing and knocking Fukuda sensei's shinai away from the centre, and dashed in as soon as Fukuda sensei's kensen moved off the centre. However, by the time I actually moved in to cut after spotting the opening, Fukuda sensei's shinai would have already recovered its centre, and so I was either running into his shinai or my cuts were blocked easily.

Mid-way through the jigeiko, Fukuda sensei stopped me . 'Too Simple', he exclaimed. He said I was moving in and cutting with the same pattern every time, and so my attacks were all too predictable for him.

He added that I was lacking the intention and readiness to cut before I moved in for the cut. It was only after I moved into the dangerous chika-maai zone and launched the attack that he started sensing my intention to cut. But that's too late. I should be ready to cut even before I moved in to cut.

Also, from his observation, I stayed in the dangerous chika-maai zone for way too long, and my movements inside this zone was way too slow. He said that I must move forward quickly inside the dangerous chika-maai zone and execute a cut. Otherwise I should stay in issoku-ito until the opportunity comes.

He suggested that I should practice moving in quicker with smaller cutting movements to make the cuts more effective.

UNSW Free Jigeiko
After the Pyrmont training finished at 8:30pm, I rushed out of the dojo and drove straight to UNSW for their final 30mins free jigeiko session. when I arrived to UNSW dojo, Fukuda sensei who left Pyrmont 10mins before me was already there. Everyone in the class made a circle while Fukuda sensei and Sano sensei explained to the class on the next exercise: ai-men followed by hiki-men.

While Sano sensei was translating for Fukuda sensei, Fukuda sensei saw me walking into the dojo and raised his arm and hold his thumb up. Yes, I know. It's great to come to UNSW to train.

I had jigeiko with Michael Henstock, Natalia, Nurlin and Sano sensei. The jigeiko were great, and I was thoroughly enjoying that 30mins session.

In the jigeiko with Mike and Sano sensei, we kept the intensity very high. No physical slash and bash. It felt very much like a pure game of mind - to dare the other side to make a cut, or to psyche the other side to fall into the trap I have set up for my attack. We searched for opportunities from issoku-ito-no-maai, and only made a move when one of our centre-line was broken. So for that, I only attempted to make fully-committed cuts.

Sano Sensei's Observations
According to Sano sensei after our jigeiko, I thought too much during my jigeiko. I think sensei was trying to tell me that I should try to free up my mind and let my first instinct take care of the rest during the jigeiko. It's hard, sensei said, as he suffered from the same problem. I too think it is hard while I am in the process of correcting many deep-seeded problem in my kendo, and to do that, I have to constantly remind myself what the correct way is. So it is hard not to keep thinking during the jigeiko. Maybe I should try to think a bit less. Concentrate on one thing at a time.

Sano sensei also pointed out that my body was leaning to the right when I went for men-uchi. I think I should concentrate on pushing out with my left hand.

We wrapped up the free jigeiko session at UNSW at 9:30pm.

While I was packing up, Fukuda sensei called me over and asked me if I was tired. He was referring to the two training in one night. I think the daily morning jogging that I kept up since attending Nittaidai has helped me built up my cardio fitness, and I wasn't feeling puffed out or tired at all after the two training. So I told Fukuda sensei that I weren't tired. He said that's very good, and told me that I should also go to the UNSW training after Pyrmont from now on. If I practice like this, I should have a good chance of making into the Australian Team. I hope so too!

Willoughby, Wed, 11-Jan

Kata, Kata, Kata
We did Nippon Kata and Kendo Bokutoh Kata for the whole evening. Yes, Kata for the whole night. No shinai. Just Bokutoh!


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