a MMB! Kendo Blog: April 2007

MMB! Kendo Blog

Monday, April 02, 2007

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Why Do We Warm-up?

Since my last post, I had trained 3 times in the past week - Last Thursday and this Monday at UNSW, and also Saturday training at Willoughby.

NSW Dan / Women Squad Training
Last Thursday was my first session in the NSW Dan/Women Squad training. It was good to see 10 girls from all different clubs participating the training. I was happy to play against players from the Korean Clubs which I don't usually get the chance to.

Paul Rixon Sensei led the squad training. We started off with jigeiko with each other, including the Kyu players from UNSW Kendo Club. After about half an hour, the squads did several sets of kirikaeshi and some waza, including men-debana-katate-tsuki. Yeah, I could hear 'whoa' from those of you who could visualise the waza I just mentioned. I wow'ed myself too, because I am still in the beginning phase of learning how to do a basic morotte tsuki, let alone a katate-tsuki on a moving target that is coming in to attack my men. But nonetheless, it was an interesting, fresh waza to make practice a little more interesting.

In the last 30 mins of the squad training, we had team shiai. Guys against guys, and girls against girls. The bout was only short, about 2 mins each. And we were able to have 2 fights each.

In my last fight, I asked Da-seul to be my shiai-geiko partner. And I had a good keiko with her - moving well, good connection with her, and I felt I had good control of the rhythm and spirit in the entire match. In the end, I landed an ippon on men in my kote-men attempt, which was a good way to wrap up my first squad training of the year.

Feedbacks from Rixon Sensei:
  • Tendency to lift both my arms up, so giving chance for opponent to do gyuku-do. So be careful.
  • Leaning forward and leaving body behind during men-cut. Concentrate on bringing the whole body forward.

Other Trainings in the Past Week

For the Saturday Willoughby and Monday UNSW trainings, I have been continuing my practice with suriage-men, and from time-to-time, made a few tsuki attempts. I could feel my suriage-men is improving, and I could feel the movement is more natural and am more confident to use this technique during jigeiko.

Feedbacks from Sano Sensei:
  • My men-cut is slightly twisted to the side (like a sayumen), and cuts are too light. Maybe one would call it, sashi-sayumen... Anyway, Sensei suggested that I could try using a more snappy movement if I was aiming to do a sayumen. But instead of a light slicing cut, I could snap my wrist and make it a powerful decisive cut.
Why Do We Warm-up?
Just a week or two ago at the beginning of a warm-up session, Ka-bi prompted the Thursday UNSW class to think about the need to warm-up. At that time, Ka-bi suggested that warm-up is to increase our muscle temperature.

Coincidentally, I was reading some journal in the university health sciences library yesterday and came across two journals, which talk about warm-up. Without dwelling into too much details and the big debate about static vs dynamic flexibility, I will simply list the benefits that the researchers have found.

So why do we warm-up?

A well-designed warm-up will assist the athlete in mentally focusing on the upcoming task and will bring about various physiological changes that will enhance the training activity of competition, such as:

  • Increase in muscle and core temperature
  • Improved neuromuscular function
  • Increased blood flow to the working skeletal muscle
  • Increased oxygen delivery to the muscles
  • Improve the speed and force of muscle contractions
  • Increased propagation of nerve impulses
  • Increased in joint range of motion (ROM)
  • Enhanced cellular metabolism
  • Decreased vascular resistance
  • Lower lactate accumulations
  • Increase muscle pH (so the muscle won't become acidic as easily)
There are so many benefits from doing a good warm-up routine, so that's why we should all do warm-up if we want to get the most out of each training.


  • Fittolani MF (2006) Performance enhancement & injury prevention via thorough preparation: static versus dynamic flexibility. Australian Strength and Conditioning Association - Strength and Conditioning Coach Magazine, Vol 14(4): 21-26
  • Swanson JR (2006, October) A functional approach to warm-up and flexibility. Strength and Conditioning Journal; 28, 5; Health Module: 30-36