My uni project deadline is this Friday which means i've been kendo-slack for the last few weeks, only managing a couple of practices. After my hand in I'm planning to take advantage of the short inter-module break and make a few additional weekend practices.
I fought in the London Cup team event a few weekends ago. Nenriki entered two teams this year and I felt ours was pretty strong, three of us are similar grade/experience and the final two are old hands at shiai.
I was fighting Jiho (second) and our first match was against Mumeishi B. Due to my regular practices at their club I knew my opponent, he's an Ikkyu so was less experienced than I. Nevertheless, he proved a tough guy to break down. I managed to beat him with a kote nuki men before the final bell.
Like previous years, people commented that I didn't 'claim' my points enough so most of my opportunities were not scored. This is a reoccurring issue I need to rectify, otherwise fighting in competitions will be a waste of time.
Our pool only contained two teams so both went through to the next round, where we faced Team GB 2. Again, I knew all our opponents due to squad training and faced their Jodan fighter. I knew this guy was quick and aggressive so set my stall out early to try and unsettle him, I chucked in a few rubbish tsuki just to let him know I was willing to give that target a go and tried to maintain a forward positive attitude. He kept working away at my kote and was told after I was in for a shout for a nuki men... however, at one point he managed to clip the bottom of forearm when I was lifting for a cut which was scored by the shinpan - I could tell it missed my kote due to the pain! My opponent then followed up with an identical cut which hit kote plum, no complaints about that one.
At least I put up a good fight and didn't disgrace myself. The final score was x KK x x x, which mean my result lost it for the team. I was gutted. GB 2 went on to win bronze.
Regarding general practice, i'm still struggling with posture. I'm over compensating my leaning back by leaning too far forward, leading to my back leg flicking up. O'Sullivan sensei says my posture is still looking a bit ungainly and awkward, i'm unsure if this is due to my leaning forward/backward issues or something different.
59 days until grading....
Good luck to those grading at watchet this weekend!