忍耐 + 掌握人生
Physical and Mental Strength
All this mess came at a bad timing as I missed Sano sensei's Birthday keiko on Monday. I heard there was a 30mins ganging up at the end of training. Sano sensei vs. the whole class. And I heard too, that everyone played exceptionally well that night. It must have been a great Kendo sight.
UNSW Thursday Training
I slowly gained my health back during the week, and pushed myself to the UNSW Thursday training. To be honest, I wasn't feeling so well and ready for kendo training. Nonetheless, I went as I felt my stamina and skills would go downhill if I missed another training.
The training format was waza geiko, followed by kakari-geiko, and finished off with mawari-jigeiko.
During the waza session, Ka-bi pointed out the followings:
I was lacking the pressuring intensity to make my opponent's react. My goal from now on is to build up and sustain the pressure and intensity to set up my followed-up cuts.
The ultimate of this seme practice is to create fear, freeze my opponent.
I was extending my arms and pushing my shinai forward towards my opponent in an attempt to create reactions from my opponent. Ka-bi pointed out that this is not effective in making reaction. Also, pushing my shinai in would cramp out the space I would need later to execute the swift kote cut.
Ka-bi suggested to start the feint-men kote attack from a distance. Pull the shinai back in an exaggerated movements to create an illusion to opponent that I am aiming for men cut. When opponent reacts by lifting his/her arms up to counter my men attack, his/her lifted arms exposed kote. It is then a simple case of following up with a swift kote cut.
Health is Number 1
Normally, I enjoy kakari-geiko no matter how tough it is. It gives you an uplifting spirit when you have given all you have got and complete the tough training.
This time, however, it was nowhere near that uplifting feeling. I still gave all I have got in every single round of kakari-geiko, but my energy tank was so low to start with that I was puffing for air so badly. I couldn't believe how much one week of sickness could do to my fitness. My lungs collapsed it was not funny.
I cannot afford to have another sickness from now to World Championships. To be able to train hard, I must stay healthy. Health is number 1.
Every Match is a WKC Match
At the end of the training, I asked Sano Sensei for comments on my jigeiko with him. It was a short jigeiko so there wasn't much to be said. Though I pointed out that I had used quite a lot of hiki-men during that jigeiko and asked Sano Sensei's for his opinion. He said that I need to make a more committed convincing hiki-men to claim the ippon from the shinpan. Maybe I was hitting the mengane; maybe I was not hitting the top of the men to create that snappy ippon sound.
Whatever it is, from now on, I must execute every single cut like I would do it in the World Championships. Every ippon from now counts towards to WKC.
Saturday Willoughby: The Russians are Coming
Maxim Tishchenko who came from a town called Vladivostok in Russia joined the Sydney Kendo Club training in Willoughby on Saturday. Maxim is one of the three Russian National Kendo Team members who will be visiting Sydney this month. Max was the first of the three to arrive to Sydney from their first stop in Canberra. His other 2 compatriots arrived later that day and I will be taking them to UNSW training on Monday night.
Maxim played a very fast style of kendo. He has very good control of shinai, and those who have played him on the day would notice that he has very good wrist power. One of his shinai-disarming flick sent Ken's shinai flying across the dojo like a boomerang.
I brought a video-camera with me to training and taped my jigeiko performance. And it wasn't as pretty as I thought. Footwork was slow and inexplosive. Cuts were predictable and repetitive. At the moment, I think I am lacking a goal to aim for at each training session.
For my kendo to improve, I must walk into the dojo with the right mindset and a goal to achieve in each training sessions. To get into the right mindset, I need to do some imagination and visualisation training to assist my kendo performance in the dojo.