Monday, 30 November 2009

Move with the Hips

Sensei Geoff Salmon took the second half of our Thursday practice last week. Instead of an hour of Jigeiko we performed Kirikaeshi, five minutes of Jigeiko and finishing with Kakarigeiko with each new opponent every rotatation. Im sure there is a japanese term for this style of practice. I was completely knackered by the end but enjoyed it!

After final rei Geoff suggested that I push more with my hips for my cuts. I have a nasty habit of raising my right foot too high to 'stomp' for fumikomi. This plants my body and limits my forward movement after the cut.

Footwork is my primary concern at the moment. I must work on it further.

I also visited Portsmouth Kendo on Saturday which I thoroughly enjoyed. I like the guys down there and always have a good practice. A British squad member from London was also visiting who took me to the cleaners.... he destroyed my maai which caused me to 'panic' cut. I was defeated both mentally and physically.

I think it will be a few years until I can give kendoka like him a proper challenge. However, he did say I fight with 'clean kendo' which I take as a complement.

Kote Query

I have been in contact with Michael from Chiba Bogu and asked about the correct sizing of my Mine kote to protect the knuckles.

After trying a number of dojo mate's kote on for comparison I came to the conclusion that the upper portion of the Kashira should also protect the knuckle, this is wrong. Michael drew me a nice diagram and confirmed that the knuckle should sit underneath the fold, between the upper portion and the Keri to aid flexibility (which mine does).... it seems I was unlucky to catch a heavy cut at this point.

I need to inspect the padding to see if I should send it back to have more deer hair inserted. Expensive, but worth it? IT does worry me that I could hurt my hand in a similar way again.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Dodgy Elbow

Ive spent the last few weeks practicing in Jodan due to my bad right hand. Due to my duff technique I think i've over extended my left elbow and strained the tendon.

Reading up on the symptoms I think i've strained the Common Extensor Tendon which is the main cause of tennis elbow. Therefore, I need to keep an eye on it so I dont make it worse.

[edited 30/11/09] It seems that the BKA posted an article explaining a similar injury here.

Monday, 9 November 2009


Welcome to my new blog.

There's lots of Kendo blogs floating around on the net so I thought I'd do something a bit different. All kendoka know that injury is a familiar part of this martial art, this blog will list mine as they occur.


I started kendo in November 2005. Since then I have damaged the following:

April 2006 - Broken right thumb.
This occurred when I caught it against my aite after it was sticking out during a cut. I fractured it at the MCP joint.

It was my my fault and as a result I quickly learned that i need to tuck all fingers in.

I visited the hospital and they x-rayed then strapped it up. They used fabric tape and cut it into short strips. The strips were wrapped around the bottom of my thumb and crossed at the top, creating a ridged herring bone effect. I had to maintain this strapping for 3-4 weeks.

In the mean time i used single hand chudan and jodan, which was tough after only a few months training.

December 2008 - Torn left shoulder rotator cuff.
I did this after some over enthusiastic kagarigeiko. I felt my shoulder go after I hyper extended it ( I think i 'threw' my arm'). Stupidly I used freeze spray and returned to practice only for it to go again. I need to listen to my body more.

I visited the GP who refereed me to the hospital. After a series of in conclusive x-rays (it was soft tissue damage), I was told to rest it completely for a few months.

I then started a program of physio at the hospital that lasted from February to August 09. I was instructed to use weights, theraband and stretching exercises to build up strength. Unfortunately I was unable to return to full fitness in time for my intended Shodan Grading in April.

After my physio program I had an MRI scan. This wasnt an enjoyable experience as it involved a long needle being inserted into my shoulder joint. This showed that I have a small tear in the rotator cuff which has caused some slight thickening around it.

I had an option to either have surgery now which may not produce any improvement or wait until I get older where i may feel the effects more. I still experience an achy shoulder but you get used to it.

September 2009 - Damaged right hand knuckle
I caught a painful kote from an opponent fighting Nito. I have a feeling it caught my knuckle between the rolls of padding on the fist part of my kote - therefore I had about 2mm of leather protecting it!

I should have rested it until the bruising disappeared but I kept training for the following few weeks (stupid again!). Sods law I seemed to get hit on it during every subsequent training session which resulted in a lot of swelling and shooting pains up my arm when i bent my wrist down. Not good.

To remedy this ive been icing daily and applying voltarol. I've also been fighting in Jodan.... an interesting experience which I would like to study further. However, my lowly shodan status means I need to fight chudan for a fair few more years until i can practice Jodan seriously.

To try and increase my kote protection in the meantime it was suggested that I stitch a tsuka stuffed with tights over the problem area. It works but looks a little odd as I am currently fighting with a big white sausage attached to my right hand.

Phew.. that was a bit of an essay. Bye for the mo.