Friday, 29 January 2010

Less Power, More Speed

Thursday night practice focused on relaxing our arms and using our wrists to 'snap' the cut.

We started with what O'Sullivan sensei calls the 'tap tap' exercise. Here we practiced repeated small and big wrist based cuts on a partner's horizontal shinai with as little arm power as possible. The aim was to create a satisfying 'pop' while keeping the sword alive.

After the initial exercise we practiced cutting in armour, finishing with kote suriage men and men suriage men. Here we we started to appreciate the benefit of having relaxed arms as suriage waza can be conducted much faster when there's little power in the arms/shoulders.

An additional mental note to take into Fridays practice is to remember not to bob up and down so much as I cut during kirikaeshi. Blake Sensei pulled me up on my poor footwork on Tuesday and said I need to cut with stable posture. This means sinking my hips into the strike as opposed to bouncing up on the balls of my feet.

Young battered me again. He managed to knock the shinai from my hands 3 times, this was because I was pushing him away in Tsubazeriai using my arms (shinai horizontal across his do). Whenever i did this he whipped his hands down and slammed my shinai to the floor. Lesson taught and hopefully learned.

On the knuckle front... its still pretty swollen and bruised after it was hit again. I am booked in to see the doc Friday morning, but I already know what he'll say... "stop doing kendo for a month or so" :(

//edit: Doc says it doesn't look like a bad injury. However, I am bruised the area around an artery and nerve which is causing 'retrograde pain' (shooting pain up my arm). Im guessing i've irritated the Median nerve. He suggested I try and protect it more and keep icing it to reduce the swelling.

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