Friday, 9 September 2011


Lack of training opportunities mixed with a number of injuries have resulted in a frustrating last few weeks. First of all I damaged the second toe on my left foot after crashing into a dojo mate, this requires taping up for every practice. In addition, a twisted my left ankle is also plaguing my training, this brought Thursday practice to a premature end as I couldn't launch from my back foot. I also missed our first Friday back at my home dojo. My missus hates it when I miss practice as I end up sulking on the sofa!

I've also had a change in work circumstances which means I cant leave early to travel into London for Tuesday practice. Consequently, I have started to visit Mumeishi dojo as its only 30 mins drive away.

All I can say is I feel like a beginner again. Holt sensei (7DR) has pulled me up on my zanshin and ki-ai into seme. He spotted that I ki-ai then let my intensity/concentration drop before attempting to engage the opponent. To try and fix this, he had me shouting like a madman for 4-5 seconds then maintaining contact before he opened a target, it did make me feel sharper but I was out of breath very quickly. Holt sensei suggested I need investigate the use of my diaphragm to help breathing. Mumeishi is a high level intense practice, I even get beaten up by their ikkyus.

edit: i found this article on breathing that could prove useful  Here and Here


  1. Having to increase intensity whilst nursing an injury is always difficult and going 'back to basics' when you are not making that choice of your own accord is a real blow to confidence.

    Over the past few weeks, with squad training, visitors and the Bowden I've been having the same reality check of the quality of kendo out there. I've got nine years worth of experience and these younger guys are wiping the floor with me. It's a useful but unpleasant reality check, unfortunately that bruised ego is starting to get angry and inflamed so I need to just stop worrying. Although I think my match at the Bowden with Safraz that lasted no more than 43 seconds [including rei and sonkyo in and out] allows me a certain amount of sulking about my performance [I lost obviously].

    Shame not to see you there, stay healthy.

  2. Cheers Dave

    Yep being pulled up on basics definitely dents the ego a bit. However, I could see immediate improvements which means they can only be seen as a positive, after all if we cant do the basics how can we progress to complex waza? On the other hand, if I fail implement them in my 'every day' kendo i'm merely wasting mine and sensei's time. Difficult.

    Unlucky you got Saf in the Bowden, he's a proper livewire. Your experience reminds me of when I fought Alan Thompson a few years ago in the M3's... sonkyo, debana kote... back to line...start.... debana kote. Good night.

    Hopefully my ankle will be ok for the ref seminar. You able to make that?

  3. I fought Saf in 2009, I think I stepped out of the shiai-jo three times and he scored kote on me in the last few seconds of the match, so I was out for revenge. End result pretty much the same as your match with Alan but it was men, debana-kote.

    Don't think I'll make the ref seminar or the other squad trainings this year, lots of things to do at home to make up for my jaunts so far this year. Maybe look again at Aston in the New Year.