a MMB! Kendo Blog: October 2007

MMB! Kendo Blog

Sunday, October 14, 2007

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Riding High

I have been going to the university gym early in the morning almost every weekday for 2 weeks now, and it has contributed greatly to my recovery of form in kendo. I felt so energised in the past week of keiko. The stamina and good flow of spirit are coming back to me again. I could feel it. Hooray!!!

Thursday, 4 October @ UNSW
Cross Sensei once again commented that my men cut was too light, and showed me how to train for a stronger wrist snap for the kind of small men cut that I do. He suggested me to set up a hitting dummy (with spare men on) at home, and train my wrist strength by continuously snapping the tip of the shinai on the men target. The focus is to get a good solid cut with nice BAMM sound.

Monday, 8 October @ Five Dock
I found my focus. My kendo is coming back alive again!

While driving to the dojo, for some reasons, I kept on thinking how it felt like on the morning of the womens competition in my last World Championships... How the whole team walked from the hotel to the championships venue, the way I felt on the way to the shiai-jo... I wanted that feeling so much again.

I told myself, I can re-live that feeling again if I really want to. So let's try it tonight.

The keiko was fantastic that night. Since starting my gym routine a week ago, my stamina has gone up substantially. I was able to play and concentrate fully from start to finish. So it was very satisfying.

During keiko, something happened. I suddenly realised that I need to focus on the kensen movement, instead of focusing entirely on wrist flexing and how fast I flex it. Ultimately, it is the shinai tip that cuts the target. And also, I only need to clear the shinai tip from opponent's shinai to cut the target.

Wednesday, 10 October @ Willoughby
Itakura Sensei led the training tonight and the class practiced a lot of basics - footwork, kirikaeshi, men-taitari-men, hiki-waza, uchikomi geiko, etc. During the hiki-waza session, the class were divided into groups of 3. The routine that we had to do was 10x men-taitari-men continuously on the two motodachi spaced on the left and right side of the kakarite. The idea is to execute the 10x men-taitari-men, from side-to-side, as fast and strongly as possible.

I did 3 rounds of this routine, and Daisuke showed me the proper footwork to allow quick turn-around to launch the second attack. The footwork is like this... after completing hiki-men and the follow-through step-back, pivot to the left on the rear foot (i.e. left foot) to do a 180-degree turn to face the opposite motodachi. After the pivot, you should be back to the normal kamae position with right foot in front. This, however, is only a very brief moment as you immediately launch into a run-up men as soon as your right foot lands on the ground after completing the turn.

Saturday, 13 October @ Willoughby
Training was so enjoyable as I felt so full of energy, and was able to do each round of jigeiko like my first. With my improving stamina, the intensity is also rising in my keiko. I am happy with my keiko once again.

During the waza session, Payne Sensei led the class to do maki waza. It has been such a long time since the last opportunity to practice this waza, and my wrists were very rigid to do the waza smoothly. After a few rounds of practice, however, Chris told me that the ones that I spiraled in around his shinai while executing the maki-waza felt much stronger. This means that a strong maki-waza not only requires good wrist action, but also a total commitment of the body to move in.

During the jigeiko session, I practiced a wide varieties of men cuts - sashi-men, push-pull men, katsugi-men, etc. I am also riding on Monday night's high - focus on kensen movement and wrist snap in order to make shaper kote cut.

Isaac Bober sempai, a former SKC member now living in Adelaide, turned up to the Willoughby training. It was so great to see him and keiko with him again as it has been a long long time since he left Sydney. And congratulations to Isaac, as he is going to get married next week. Hooray!