I've Hizen few years ago for a kata seminar, but this was my first shinai kendo practice there. All in all it was an enjoyable night, the guys there were very friendly and accomodating (I know a few of them already due to Wakaba and other events). The only problem is it was so bloody humid, I felt like keeling over after about 15 minutes!
During practice Geoff Humm Sensei (7th dan) gave me a few pointers:
- Relax shoulders;
- Dont bounce up shinai after cut;
- Push/run though after cut, dont stand still; and
- Dont step so deep for seme. If i'm already at Issoku ittō-no-maai then use my arms to push the shinai forward instead of moving my body.
During jigeiko I was again suffering with terrible form, I couldn't complete a successful cut and was becoming very annoyed with myself... I was thinking "why cant I do kendo anymore?". Then the weirdest thing happened, I suddenly flipped my mind focus from myself to my opponent. It was if someone had flicked a switch in my brain. I immediately started to cut correctly and felt good.
This proves I have some sort of retarded kendo brain which fights against itself for no real reason.
I attended Wakaba on Saturday which was its usual intensive but enjoyable practice. During the session Katsuya Sensei reinforced the importance of cutting with the body and not focusing on the arms. He said that cutting speed is driven by the body and not how fast you can swing the shinai.
My performance was ok, I'm still not moving as quick as before my holiday but its still miles better than the last few weeks.
I've also been hit on the right index finger again on a number of occasions. However, I think ive worked out why this has been occurring. After my cut i've been pushing my hands forward to run though. As a result, I think i've been catching my opponent's men strike on the hand because it's in front of my head. I'm unsure how to stop this, do I lower my hands when running though or push the sword horizontally forward more?