Saturday, 27 November 2010

Back Up North

I had to travel up to Glasgow again due to work so I arranged another visit Taisedokai. This time I was lucky enough to meet Gerry Kincaid Sensei who taught the class. Keiko consisted of seme and oji waza, concentrating on using suriashi to focus the seme.

The main tips I took from the class:

  • Seme should be moving forward (varying speed). Don't move into distance then stop and wait.
  • Seme is driven with right foot and left hand moving forward.
  • Don't open out the elbows too wide when making a big men attack, it exposes tsuki and do targets.
  • Misdirection - fake a kote then cut men or fake men then cut kote if the aite lifts their hands. I have practised the fake kote for a while but never the other way around, this is something I will try in the future.
Kincaid Sensei was kind enough to explain these points to me in detail after practice.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Cool Quote

I recently read this quote which was posted on Andy Fisher's (British squad member) blog:

‎"Notice everything! Look at what is happening in Keiko, when you have a good opponent, or even if you are stood waiting, look at your Senpai and Sensei, try and figure out what you like about their movements. Do they have a 'Tokui' Waza? you have to notice them, and then in your own Keiko try to imitate. This will lead you towards finding your own way..."
Tanaka Takeshi Sensei (2006 WKC 2nd Place).

Sunday, 21 November 2010

M3's 2010

We entered two teams into this year's Mumeishi 3's which was the biggest yet with over 65 teams competing from all over Europe. I think what make this competition so popular is that three men squads (two dan and one kyu grade) there is fast turn around of matches and it gives a chance to blood beginners.

I was fighting as number two (chuken ) and our first match was against Mumeishi 'A'. Seyi our kyu grade performed really well and won his match 1-0, I started well in mine with a quick kote... however, I did the same as in the British Open and threw it away by losing a men and kote. Was very annoyed with myself! This left the match all square at 2-2 points. Oli fought into encho and took it with a winning men cut.

Our next match was against Tora 'B'. I know these guys pretty well so knew the quality we were facing. Seyi fought Josh, who graded shodan this year. Seyi didnt give him any room to manoeuvre and drew 0-0.

I fought their kyu grade, I could tell he'd been given instructions to stay close and keep in my face so I couldn't attack from distance. He was doing a good job well until wakare was called and we were parted. This then gave me room and I got him with a small men on the restart. 1-0.

This left Oli to fight Dipak who was their best fighter. Dipack went ahead early but Oli managed to tie the match late on giving us the win.

We were drawn against Portsmouth 'A' in the next round. Again I knew these guys from visiting their dojo in the past. Seyi was paired against a Japanese lady and did his usual straight cuts without letting them settle. Another 0-0.

I was matched against the kyu grade again which upped the pressure as people were expecting me to win. However, things didnt't do to plan as I couldn't get a clean cut. I did notice that he was lingering next to the shaijo line which gave me the opportunity to cut then nudge him out for a hansoku. After the restart he again retreated near the line so I attempted a cut/taiatari to send him out for a second hansoku..... i'm unsure if I hit him with a genuine taiatari or a shoulder barge but I sent him sprawling across the floor. I felt really bad as I don't usually fight dirty (I hope they let me train with them again!). It finished 0-0.

It was down to Oli again to win it for us again who was matched against their 3rd dan taisho. Both fought well and it stayed 0-0 though full time, encho and ended with a judges' decision (Hantei) which was given Oil's way. A tough way to go out as both sides fought hard.

This win meant we'd made it to the quarter final against Wakaba.

Seyi again drew his match 0-0 against their kyu grade (meaning he was defeated in every match), and I was drawn against Andris who i've practiced against many times before. I felt I kept my end up well during the match but he caught me with a kote, ending 1-0. This meant Oli had to beat their taisho to keep us in it. Unfortunately, Takuya was too strong and won the match.

We performed our expectations to make it into the quarters although my team mates did carry me though most of the matches. The main positive I've taken from this competition is the vast reduction in nerves while in the shiaijo. Hopefully I will start to loosen up for future shiai and help score a few more points.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Further Footwork Advice

I attended two days of squad training last week which proved very useful. Mano sensei was away so Honga Wright Sensei (Godan - Tora Dojo) took the two day event.

The day started very energetically with footwork exercises and lots of kirikaeshi (the width of the dojo), knackering! Wright Sensei highlighted that my steps are too small which doesn't take advantage of my long legs. To fix this she demonstrated that I should push further with my left to create more of a lunge, I then draw my left foot forward to overtake where my right foot was (right foot airborne and pushing forward so they do not cross on the floor). I've drawn a diagram to try and illustrate this:

This technique will hopefully increase my distance and speed across the floor.

Wright sensei also picked up that my elbows are too wide when cutting big men, I need to keep them closer together which should help my wrist snap.

The second day involved lots of debana kote and shiai practice. I had three shiai matches at the end of the day and lost all of them (without scoring). Haha, i don't think shiai is my strong point.

The downer of the weekend is that I feel crippled! Muscles in my legs and arse aren't used to being pushed to these extremes, I also hit my bad toe which has blown up again :(

My plan is to concentrate on increasing my stride over the next month.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

New Suburi Technique

Terry Holt sensei (7th dan) from Mumeishi dojo visited the club on Friday practice and taught a basics session.

Holt sensei focused on cutting and using the wrists but without rotating the hands - 'touching your nose with your shinai' as he put it. To practice this we were told to hold the shinai in the middle of the tsuka (no space between hands), then cut men, kote, do. The close positioning of the hands meant it was difficult to rotate shinai vertically. The aim was to finish the cut with a wrist 'snap'.

During Jigeiko Holt Sensei pulled me up on my spirit and kiai. I tend to kiai then let my spirit drop before I attack.

Blake sensei taught me an alternative hiki waza technique (i forget the name). Instead of cutting by launching back with standard footwork, step back right then left foot then cut men moving forward. This gives the impression you are disengaging which can make the aite drop their guard.

Holt Sensei during Jigeiko