First day back after two weeks off with a chest infection, it hurt. It's gutting how fast you can lose cardio fitness.
Anyways, back to Mumeishi for another dressing down by the locals... my main fault of the day was my posture. Holt sensei observed that i'm leaning back too far which is slowing my reaction time. I was instructed to straighten up and place slightly more weight on my right foot than my left (but not too much), I should be ready to "pounce like a tiger" as he put it. I found it hard to break my bad habit so this will be my 'thing to fix' over the coming weeks.
In addition, he also instructed that when I cut do I should turn with zanshin before the shinai completely moves past the opponent's do (I should have turned as the shinai 'lets go' of the do). This means I will be ready to cut again if the opportunity arises. If I run through in a similar way to a men cut that opportunity will be lost.
Visited Tora on Thursday which was fun. Its the first time i've been there for a while and there were lots of new faces, they've managed to generate a good atmosphere at that club. Impressed.
Back to Nenriki on Friday and managed to practiced with Mansfield sensei (6d Kendo, 7d Iaido, 7d Jodo), who's a very generous teacher. He immediately highlighted my hesitancy due to 'thinking too much' and tried to draw me into cutting instinctively. He had his work cut out!
Sensei explained that I had to 'feel' my opponent rather than seeing -> thinking -> reacting as this makes me 'jump' to my opponent's pressure and react slowly. I understood what he was saying but damn, how the hell do you 'feel' an opponent? When he opened a target my body just seemed to freeze, I could see it but couldn't immediately attack, it was very frustrating.
By the end I managed to achieve a few 'instinctive' cuts but I don't know how the hell I achieved it.... will I be able to reproduce them again on another night?
Again this all seems to come down to self confidence and taking on a forward positive attitude.
It's the Mumeishi 3's in two weeks, I hope I can regain some sort of form for then.