A week last friday I was fighting a clubmate during Jigeiko and I slammed my left foot into his, resulting in a knackered second toe. I taped it up against the neighbouring toe but I still suffered a stabbing pain ever time I launched for a cut.
After a week hobbling about it was rested enough for Thursday's club visit to Tora dojo. I've not visited those guys for a few months so it was fun to take part in their kihon again. However, this made me realise that i've lost all the fitness built up over the summer with UCL :(
There was no Friday practice due to building work at our gym so I visited UCL. It was much busier than the summer due to returning students and new beginners. They also have a good contingent of Japanese kendoka who are handy with a shinai! This includes a Jodan player who has a cracking katate kote. I thought I held my ground pretty well against these guys but the difference in class was pretty apparent. Kihon was a killer though, three string kirikaeshi swapping with 3x men, kote men, waza etc... i nearly died. I also stubbed my bad left toe again and the knuckle has swollen right up.
I feel that i'm improving with my kamae. Since i've been working on moving my balance from back to front foot I seem to be able to launch forward quicker. Still lots of work but I think i'm changing.
Blake sensei has also set me a task to work on. I have to improve my attacking attitude and not kill my spirit after one cut. Therefore, he told me to try and take the last cut in an attack (e.g. kote - men or hiki waza) in order to raise zanshin and dominate my opponent. The trick is to do this and avoid turning it into kagarigeiko.