a MMB! Kendo Blog: On Fire!

MMB! Kendo Blog

Sunday, November 12, 2006

忍耐 + 掌握人生
On Fire!

Finally got my Australian Team zekken this week

In the past 2 weeks, I set myself a small set of goals. And they were quite simple:

1) To get enough sleep every night of the week, so that I can focus and train hard every session.

In order to achieve this, I forced myself to go to rest as quickly as possible after evening activities (whether it was keiko, Japanese class or dancing) during the week.

Having the extra hours of sleep, I could feel I am in good mood and good spirit during the day, and got extra energy to train and go "full on" during keiko session.

2) To be able to control when to "switch on" and get fire-up.

I felt that sometimes I could fire up and go madly at training. At other times, however, no matter how hard I try, I just couldn't get that "spark". So I have been trying to find out how I could ignite that spark whenever I need to. What to get me fire-up. So that when the big time comes, I can control how to creat that energy and fire in me.

Last Saturday when I watched the 54th AJKC finals, I was so inspired by Uchimura's spirit. In the close up shots, you could see that "thousand miles killing stare". That focusness just grasped my breath away. And his kiai, there was so much intensity and spirit in it, it just made my nerves tingled. And I knew straight away, I wanted to be just like that when I step onto the shiai-jo.

Watching kendo videos on YouTube is very addictive. After watching all the 54th AJKC clips, I went on to watch other great kendo shiai clips. This went on for a while, and in the end, I got all psyched up and ready to go for the action myself. It felt like I was the person in the clip, whether it was Miyazaki or whichever Kendo God I was watching. I could visualise myself doing the brilliant cuts and get all psyched up.

And then, from there, I found that I could get myself on fire when I re-lived the moment when that perfect ippon is scored - That feeling when the shinai bounces ever so nicely off the opponent's men, that beautiful BAMM ippon sound.

It is that hand feeling, that shockwave that is transferred from the tip of the shinai to the hands, and that BAMMM sound in my ear when an ippon is scored that gets me psyched up.

So at training in the past week, I have been trying to satisfy this hunger of getting that shockwave to my hands and the beautiful ippon sound.

With that urge to satisfy that hunger, the training becomes more intensed and very meaningful, and I really enjoy the training in the past week.

Monday - UNSW
Sano Sensei led the class on Monday and we did a lot of kihon along the length of the dojo - I think we only did kirikaeshi and kote-men from the time I arrived to training at 7:30pm up till the official ending time at 9pm.

From 9pm for half an hour, there was free jigeiko for those keen for some more.

That night was GOOOOOOOD! I had an extremely exciting time at jigeiko. I was quick enough to be the first person to onegaishimasu Sano Sensei, beating Yoshiki's onegaishimasu by a little bit. YAY!!! So I got to go first.

Afterwards, I had ippon-geiko with Yoshiki, a sanbon-geiko with Mike, an ippon-geiko with Gideon the Gov.

Last but not least, a final jigeiko with Fukuda Sensei to wrap up an excellent keiko night.

I was feeling on fire that night - so focused, so intensed, so full of energy. I was feeling so pumped.

Feedbacks from Sano Sensei:

  • Do something in tsubazerai - I spent too long in tsubazerai, too cautious. Try not to think too much and do something.
Feedbacks from Fukuda Sensei:

  • Use more kote-men - Try to incorporate kote-men waza in my keiko. It is an excellent shiai-technique. It is especially effective when your opponent is just about to come forward to strike.
Thursday - UNSW
The focus of this training was on various waza - seme-men, debana-kote and kaeshi-do. We spent a considerable time practicing these various waza. In the last 15mins, we had mawari-jigeiko.

The class finished at 9pm. However, because there was no badminton booking after us, Fukuda Sensei decided to do shiai-geiko with both Sano Sensei and Ka-bi one after the other.

The matches were really intense it was extremely exciting to watch and to soak in the atmosphere.

Saturday - Sydney
I led the warm-up and suburi once again, and Ka-bi led the rest of the class.

In this training, I focused on achieving the goal I set for this week - to be able to fire-up at keiko time. I think I did it and put 120% in every one of my jigeiko, including the ones when I jigeiko'ed with the little kids. I made sure that I kept up my intensity. Not that I was cutting madly and running all over the kids. I still played accordingly to their level - but my spirit was there to make the jigeiko real and intense for them. And I think it is the responsibility for the motodachi to urge and bring the best out of the kakari. And I think I did that, and to my best.


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