Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Easter Hates Kendo

It's easter holiday season again which means school closures and disruption to regular kendo :(

My regular place was shut so I planned a visit Tora kendo club. However, first capital connect had other ideas (surprise, surprise) and cancelled my train. Not straight away mind, they let me wait 30 mins on the platform so we could watch the late train wiz past without stopping to make up time – no announcement, nothing (F****** ****s!). I hate that train company.

I have been working on a number of things over the last few weeks with varying degrees of success. Some resulted from another pasting I received from Young (as usual), who explained that I rely too much on Hiki waza because my Shikake waza and attacking presence is weak.

I have to admit my faith in my men attacks is at a low, I can never seem to get though. As a result, I’m using oij waza more to try and compensate for the poor success rate. I suppose I should keep plugging away and not get caught up with ‘must win’ attitude.

On a plus point he did say my footwork is improving, but I still need to increase my distance.

I’ve been doing a bit of research on the net to try and get an idea on how to improve my Shikake techniques.

One vid interested me in particular, I’m wondering if this will help me attack from distance. HERE.

I was also given a few more tips from Katsuya sensei. These included:
  • Attack/seme by bending both knees so it looks like I’m moving forward. Salmon sensei also demonstrated this technique to me a few weeks ago. I have since tried this a few times in jigeiko and I cant quite get it to work. Will persevere.
  • Don’t stand there doing pointless tapping and fiddling with the shinai. These moves must serve a purpose otherwise keep kensen straight.
  • I explained that I have difficulty fighting rank beginners and end up getting tangled up. Katsuya suggested I use straight, big waza with follow though and zanshin. This can help create an opportunity to change target if the opportunity arises which means I can learn something new.
  • I should open out chest with my shoulders back in kamae. Not only does this improve posture and appearance, it also means the shoulders can snap forward slightly with the cut and increase its effectiveness. If the shoulders are already rolled forward in chudan then the have nowhere else to go while conducting a cut.
Blake sensei has also been bashing into our heads that we should sustain our attacks until be mentally beat our opponent. He doesn’t mean unleash in a torrent of kakarigeiko cuts, but maintain absolute pressure. E.g. kote, men…. Hiki men without procrastinating, then zanshin and ready to immediately beat the opponent if they show an opening/ signs of weakness.

He repeats the phrase “Beat the man, not the equipment”. Words which I feel takes kendo from a mechanical process to understanding how to dominate the opponent.

Another phrase I heard last week made me chuckle. This was ‘Statue of Liberty’. This was coined by a dojo mate to describe an opponent who rigidly stands in chudan and allows you to run onto his sword point.

‘Statue’ describes their pose and ‘liberty’ describes taking liberties in thinking you’re going to simply run onto their kensen. Heh, I like it.

Edit//: This is ace! HERE

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