The second day and my feet were prepared for another pounding.
We started off with a recap of the techniques we learned the day before. Chiba sensei emphasised the importance of observing the opponent and using the reaction from the seme.
We then progressed to taking it in turns to cut men while the opponent cut kote. The idea was to beat the opponent. Sensei introduced a surprise intensive, whoever lost had to perform 20 hyasuburi. However, most of the time both sides admitted defeat and did the hyasuburi together (I suppose no one wanted to appear superior).
O'Sullivan gave some advice to me which struck a chord. He said that seme should be indication that i'm ready to cut, not an indication that I will cut. Therefore, I should use it for pressure rather than the first part of a men/kote etc..
The following technique we learned was Hiki waza. By now the soles of my feet were raging and my fumikomi suffered. Chiba sensei showed us ways of attacking the opponents kamae in tsubazeriai.
- Hiki men - Keeping the body active with the top of your tsuba pressed against the edge of your opponent's. Push the tsuba against your opponents body then quickly step back left then right foot, then cut men while performing fumikomi moving backwards.
- Hiki do - Same as above but lipping your tsuba over the top of the opponent's. Quickly jam it downwards causing the opponent to fight and push up. This allows you to step back and cut do.
- Hiki kote - Push the sword left across the opponent making them fight back, let go making them move to the right. Step back and strike the open kote.
I think this is how we were instructed - my memory is a bit hazy on this.
Chiba sensei gathered everyone around and spoke about keiko and fighting shiai. He said he'd let us into the secret of winning shiai, this was translated as:
"The secret to winning shiai is to practice until you are good enough to win"
Ha! I think he was saying that we wont be good enough after a weekend seminar, we must go back to our dojos and practice hard on the techniques we have learned. Then we'll be good enough to win.
The latter part of the day involved a mock grading and I was paired with a good fighter from Hizen. I was hoping for a good performance considering my nidan is only two weeks away... however, disaster! I choked at the critical time and failed to score a good ippon. Very disappointing as I know I can do better.
Hayashi sensei took notes during the mock test and explained that I showed good posture and a strong kamae (he said I initially looked threatening). Then it all went wrong, my men cuts were feeble. Hayashi sensei said i need to work more on my men cuts - worrying!
The day finished with sensei jigeiko. I managed to get my men on early and queue for Chiba sensei. The fight was inspiring, but again I didnt cause any upsets. He could see right though my attempted seme.... how do you fight someone so strong?
I also practiced with Hayashi sensei. I started ok with my seme but I then switched to 'headless chicken' mode, sensei stopped this by blocking away my pointless cuts which made me consider pressure again. He said that I managed to cut him once when I spoke to him afterwards, but I don't remember it.
All in all it was a very enjoyable seminar. I hope they return again next year!
A better explanation of the two days can be found on Salmon sensei's blog here.
Chiba sensei jigeiko
Hayashi sensei jigeiko