a MMB! Kendo Blog: Picton 2007

MMB! Kendo Blog

Sunday, February 04, 2007

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Picton 2007

I went to the annual Picton Weekend with David Banbury, who has kindly offered to give me a lift to Picton, which is about 1.5 hrs drive from where I live.

The training officially began at 9:30am. Kirby started the training weekend by leading the 50 of us through some stretching and suburi. The rest of the day was splitted up into four main session - 1.) Kihon Uchikomi 2.) Kata / Grading Preparation 3.) Harai waza & Hiki waza in focus 4.) Free Jigeiko

Session 1: Kihon Uchikomi
In the first 1.5 hrs session, Payne Sensei led the class and demonstrated a range of waza and then for us to execute. We covered a wide range of waza, from kirikaeshi, kihon men/kote/do, nidan and sandan waza, hiki waza, harai waza, uchikomi geiko and kakari geiko.

Session 2: Kata
For the second 1.5 hrs session, I participated in the kata group, with Payne Sensei, Sano Sensei, Itakura Sensei and Ka-bi coaching the group, answering questions, correcting the kata execution and giving individual feedbacks and comments.

I paired up with Jackson, and we practiced kata 1 - 7. After practicing the first 7 kata routines for an hour. We wanted to try out the kodachi kata 1 - 3. However, neither of us had a kodachi at the time, and we were looking around for a spare kodachi. We were so lucky that Payne Sensei kindly lent us his kodachi and also helped us learn the kodachi kata.

I have done kodachi 1 - 3 a few times before, but the last time was almost 6 months ago, and I have almost totally forgotten all the moves. With my 3rd Dan grading coming up this August in Wollongong, I think it is really time for me to be diligent in practicing kodachi kata.

At the end of the session, all the kata pairs had to demonstrate the kata we had been practicing. Every pair started the same time, and stopped when the pair had performed the last kata they learnt.

Jackson was really keen to perform all 10 Kata routines, including our last-minute kodachi kata. So we did all 10 kata. Well... it was an interesting performance. We did alright until Kata 4, when we both tried to stab each other at the same time. My bad. I was the motodachi and should be doing the kaeshi-men on Jackson. Apart from that glitch, we did alright up to the kodachi kata when I forgot to put my left hand down in tsuburi. And when I went to settle back in the kodachi chudan no kamae where I was supposed to lift my left hand up to my waist, I realised that my left hand was already there... Mmmmm... more practice more practice...

We had a 1 hour lunch break before the third session where Sano Sensei led the waza group, while Ted Rixon Sensei led the Kyu Squad training.

Session 3: Harai and Hiki Waza
In the first half of this session, we practiced without men and kote, and focused on harai-kote, harai-men (both omote and ura). In the second half of the session, we put on our men and kote, and practiced the harai waza with actual striking to the target. We also practiced hiki waza in this session.

During this session, Sano Sensei pointed out a few things that we should consider:

  • Cutting distance between you and partner.
  • Cutting with correct part of the shinai.
  • Hand-foot coordination in harai waza - we practice one-two timing. At the count of one, we execute harai waza and lift the shinai up while the right foot slides forward. At the count of two, the left foot moves up while the shinai strikes the target.
  • Hiki-men's zanshin - the shinai will momentarily point upwards after hiki-men is executed, but should always return to chudan no kamae to complete the zanshin.
  • Hiki-do's zanshin - be careful of the hasuji (cutting angle) of the shinai after cutting. Make sure it is not a scrape to the side of the body. Whichever angle the shinai cuts in, the shinai should come out at the same angle.
Session 4: Free Jigeiko
The third session finished at around 4pm, which was followed by free jigeiko. Most of the people were visually tired from the day-long training, especially the wear and tear on the feet after a hot day.

I wouldn't hide the fact that my feet were quite tired by then, but that tiredness was overcome by the joy and expectation of free jigeiko with people from other clubs who I don't normally get a chance to engage keiko with. So I quickly put on my men and kote, and went straight to onegaishimasu Shoko Bunder. I think we beat everyone to be the first pair to engage jigeiko :)

After one hour of about 6-7 jigeiko, Sensei signaled it was the end of the day training.

The Crazy Overnight Stay at Wirrimbilli Sanctuary
Most of the girls took a shower at the Picton High School before heading to the Wirrimbilli Sanctuary for a crazy long night with a lot of crazy UNSW people, and other more civilised people from other clubs :P

We had a BBQ dinner that night at the Sanctuary. Then beer followed after that. I only drank two bottles of beer (plus a lot of breakfast juice) that night, but managed to get myself controllably hyped up and happy. And we chatted and laughed late into the night.

Anyway, when I finally went back to the girls' cabin and sleep (I was the third to go back for rest), there were still more than half of the girls out and about running around and having fun. Well, that went on for the whole night.

When all the girls eventually came back to the cabin to sleep, there were lots of ruffling noise as the mosquitoes were flying around attacking the top bunk's people. So at 3am in the morning, someone finally couldn't stand the mosquitoes and jumped up. Then a whole string of events happened after that... At 4am, another person jumped up and said she was feeling very hungry. So a few of the girls got some instant noodle from the boy's cabin and went out to eat. When they come back, they reported seeing a light somewhere in the direction of Gideon's car. They went to check it, and found Gideon there cooking chicken... Yes, all at 4 in the morning.

What a weird night!

Sunday: Grading
Anyway, the next day we had grading. I couldn't grade as I still have to wait another half year before I am eligible for my 3rd dan grading. So I watched and helped the backend organisation of the grading.

There were a total of 37 people graded successfully in the weekend. Of those people, 4 were successfully graded to shodan, and they are Chris Barbe, Jayson Chaplin, Adam Lee and Stephen Ellis.

We had an hour of free jigeiko after the grading before the end of the training weekend.

Most of the people went to the George IV pub in the centre of Picton town for lunch and beer. For me, it was my first time to try the "pork pie" that all the other people have been raving about.

Anyway, here are the photos of the weekend. Enjoy!

BBQ dinner at the Wirrimbilli Sanctuary

Say Cheers!

My BBQ dinner

Elaine and David

Elaine, Sussan and Andrew VH

The ANU people - The Cunninghams, Martino and Rebecca

Mmmm... how come there is a Sano bin here

A very happy me surrounded by a group of very happy and crazy people

Cecilijia and me

The infamous pork pie at George IV pub in Picton

Pork pie is a traditional British food. It consists of pork and pork jelly in a hot water crust pastry and is normally eaten cold.


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