Saturday, 26 June 2010

Bring on the heat

I visited Wakaba again on Saturday on one of the hottest days of the year. Blimey, I dont think ive ever sweated as much as this before. At the end of the session my gi, hakama and even the top of my tare were so drenched I could wring out the sweat. Luckily we had enough breaks during the three hours to drink fluids to keep us going.

Over the last few years i've tried to manage my hydration levels before practice. I keep a 1.5 litre bottle of water at my desk (I work in an office) and sip throughout the day. As a result I usually drink about 2.5 litres before I leave work. In addition to this I drink 500ml of carb powder mix as I travel on the train to practice (High5 Orange), with an additional bottle to drink during the session for long training sessions.

I have been told carb mix is only effective combined with the correct nutrition. However, I have found it does help, especially during long hot keiko like Wakaba. Maybe its just a placebo effect? This article suggests that commercial products are a waste of time and that a home made alternative is just as effective CLICK HERE.

I feel hydration is an important consideration for kendo which is commonly overlooked. I'm amazed that a lot of people do not prepare during the day and end up sinking a quick pint of water 30 mins before practice. All that happens is you pee it out without any benefit. Dehydration destroys energy levels and occurs before you feel thirsty. Therefore, thirst is not a good indicator.

During Saturday's practice Katsuya Sensei observed that i'm not using enough footwork. He said that i'm leading with my arms too much which is making me slower and predictable. I will concentrate on cutting more with my feet/body over the next few weeks.

Manny observed that I need to clean up my kendo a bit before grading to provide a good impression. This means looking confident with good posture, not scrapping at close range, not showing any emotion or disappointment when I am cut (accept it and keep a positive attitude) and lifting my arms when I turn after the cut.

Its the Chiba Sensei seminar next weekend. Looking forward to it.

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