Due to the easter holls there were only a few people there. I was greeted by Ken (a senior at the club) who was very friendly. Luckily, Alan Thompson who's a key member of the British Squad was visiting and took the lesson as Ken was coaching a beginner.
We started with kihon and progressed to shiai techniques, focusing on seme, sashi men and kote men/do. I found the session very helpful and gained some useful advice:
- Cut immediately after seme, don't pause after I step into distance;
- Dont hang my kensen before cutting down with sashi men, cut must be an immediate snap;
- Dont grip the shinai too tight during seme;
- Move the Tsukagashira (end of the Tsuka) in a circular motion with left hand to snap a cut for a small do (using Tenouchi). Ideal for kote-do technique;
- Dont stare at my target before cut. Concentrate on opponent, quickly look at target when cutting but immediately focus back on opponent on contact; and
- Alan was pleased with the speed of my sashi men. He suggested that I need to build my attacking confidence to be able to use it effectively.