Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Tenouchi Practice

Finally, after six months of visiting Mumeishi I have finally finished a night feeling positive. Holt sensei has been pressing me on my basics, namely opportunity, tenouchi, footwork while turning (left and right) and zanshin. While i'm not claiming to have cracked any of these, I feel that I am making progress.

Prior to class Holt sensei demonstrated a method of practicing tenouchi. This is how I remember it, this may not be 100% faithful to the original instruction.

Hold the tsuka in the middle of the handle without a gap between the hands. Next, 'bounce' the kensen up and down (top of head down to throat level) by flexing the left wrist/hand while pivoting with the right. The downward part of the bounce is created by a sharp squeeze of the hands to produce a snap. Repeat this 1... 2... on 3 lift the shinai up and forward with the shoulders and snap a small cut with the wrists, pushing from the hips and completing with fumikomi. The kensen must not rotate 90 degrees so it's pointing to the ceiling.

The correct hand grip is needed for this, the base of the tsuka in the heel of the left palm with it running past the index finger. Axe handle style grip will not work.
I felt this exercise helped me stretch during my cut and provided more of a snap. It's something i'm planning to practice at home.

I have also bought a new bogu bag. for the last two years i've used Ebogu's Tozan backpack ordered for the US. While its dimensions are perfectly suited, its fabrication and materials are woeful. I have spent hours stitching up the seams with thick thread in order to stop it falling to bits... stitching failure started as soon as six months after purchase. It's finally given up the ghost with the actual fabric ripping around my bodges.

I've since been scratching my head about what to buy as a replacement, finally settling on an ice hockey backpack due to similar weight and size of armour. It took a while to find one that will fit my do measurements, I ended up buying an Alkali CA9 backpack. Its reinforced and made from tarpaulin, so hopefully wont rip.

The only problem is IT'S MASSIVE. The width and length are perfect but the height is a good 10cm too long. At least I can use it as a sleeping bag if I get locked outside. I'll update later on how successful this purchase has been.

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