a MMB! Kendo Blog: September 2007

MMB! Kendo Blog

Saturday, September 29, 2007

忍耐 + 掌握人生
It's a Wonderful Life

Last Thursday, I attended the UNSW evening training for the first time in a long long time. Sano Sensei asked me at the end of the training if I had been overseas in the past few weeks. I wish I could go somewhere holidaying. Instead, I was still in Sydney, but tucked away under a pile of textbooks. Though I had a non-kendo related good news to report, I came first in biomechanics in my physio year. So the hard work was all worth it. Woohooo.

It must have been the longest blog break I have ever taken, and almost 6 weeks since my last post. I was so busy studying for university in the first 3 of those 6 weeks, I didn't play any kendo except attended an intense weekend national squad training in early September. Thank goodness it was held in Sydney, so I didn't have to travel interstate.

Seme-ashi Advice
The week before the national squad training, I really wondered if my fitness and kendo condition would be okay to go through the intense two-day training. I could feel the toll for the lack of training in the earlier sessions. But by the second day, that good kendo feeling started to come back again. Especially after I taped my foot up during the morning break time, I was able to slide my foot and fly across the dojo floor happily again. Woohooo!

One major thing that I learnt from the weekend was doing jigeiko with and observing Yano Sensei's way of seme. He advised me to try using the right foot (seme-ashi) to test my opponent. If my opponent reacts when I slide my foot in, then I have just created myself a good attacking opportunity. If my opponent does not react, then I can try pressuring in more, or I can tuck my right foot in and then try sliding in again - until my opponent feels the pressure.

DHMDK Kumdo Championships, 15th September
I had to attend to some university matters so I could not attend the earlier individual events of the competition. Happily I was in time for the Team Competition.

Our club kyu team fought a valiant fight, especially in the finals to snatch the kyu team championships title. Watching our kyu team members fought with such positive spirits was quite inspirational to the dan team. And we hoped that the positive spirits could motivate us to replicate the same success.

There were 6 clubs participated in the dan team competition. We fought University of Sydney Kendo Club in the first round. My team, consisting of Jayson, myself, Daisuke, Toshio and Taek fought in that order in the first round. I did so so in that game. Being the first game I played in 2 weeks, I could feel my cut was a little rusty, and eventually ended in a draw. Daisuke and Taek both won their match 2-0 to take us to a narrow win over USYD, and onwards to the finals.

In the finals, we fought the host - Dae Han Moo Do Kwan. I adjusted the team order for the finals, with Daisuke fighting first, Jayson as jiho, myself as chuken, Toshio and Taek as fukusho and taisho respectively.

What a wonderful line-up. We won a convincing 5-0, taking 9 points to nil in total! The team played some of the best matches I have ever seen.

And there, the club won all 3 major dan team championships this year - Korean Kumdo Championships, Founders Cup, and DHMDK Championships.

Me and Jayson
Photo: David Banbury

Over the moon after winning the team final
Photo: Twins Yiu

An ecstatic triumph
Photo: David Banbury

Looking at the video that Kassandra kindly taped in the championships, I realised that my front and back foot were too far apart. This reduced the potential of my maximum jumping distance. So I have been making some conscious effort to change my foot stance in kamae during training nowadays.

This is the gyaku do that I did to win my match 2-0 in the final.

Back to Normal Training
After my second-last mid-semester exam finished two weeks ago, I have sort of gone back to more normal training frequency of 3-4 times a week. Unsurprisingly, my kendo has become a bit rusty, but hopefully, with more normal training frequency, I could get myself back to normal 'kendo' shape before the State Championships in December.

At the moment, I have to re-programmed and accustomed my body to the different varieties of techniques that I was good at and those that I was previously working on before the the unintentional kendo break. It is a slow process, sometimes frustrating, but with the help of my fellow kendo friends and a bit of belief that I am on the right path, I am sure that I will get back to that fired-up ready-to-rock feeling.

More Men Power
Both Cross Sensei and Master Choi commented on different occasions during the past two weeks that my men cut lacked power or the snappiness. I will really need to pay attention to my wrist work and make an effort to snap my men cut from now on.

Something totally unrelated, but I was watching two movies last night with my two kendo buddies, and now I suddenly have the urge to watch the classic 'It's a Wonderful Life' again. So there you go, the title of this post.

So that's it for the moment. So long until the next update.