Its been a few months since my last blog, mainly because not a lot has happened kendo wise.
On the injury front, i've picked up a few additional problems mainly through cycling. I've had on going physio since March for damaged knees which originated from tight hamstrings, glutes and weak quads. Therefore, I've spent the last six months stretching daily (about 40 mins at the gym) with plenty of squats and lunges to strengthen up the knees. I have also started pilates once a week to help improve my core. Although my knees are still a bit knackered (the left ive struggled with for a few years), they feel much stronger now and I can touch my toes!
I've also started to develop Tailor's Bunions outside each foot. I think this is the result of poor fitting cycling shoes so I'm currently trying to find a way of relieving these.
Regarding my progress with jodan. Hmmm... its frustrating. I've been working on my kamae as I find its easy to hold the left fist too far forward or left of the head. This results in a 'fly fishing' style waft instead of a sharp cut or twisting is harsh on the elbow. O'Sullivan sensei is helping me try to sharpen my cut but i'm pretty much back in beginner mode, baby steps.
I think the most difficult aspect to reprogram is my footwork. In chudan my fumikomi is respectable but switch it around and i'm landing on my heal or hopping vertically, all the well known beginner traits. Oh I do miss the days of chudan!
There's a couple of issues I have which make me feel uncomfortable practicing jodan. One is kote, I have a fear of annihilating someone's arm because of my current lack of control, the other is boring my opponent with rubbish and predictable attacks. No so long ago I could at least engage with higher grades to make them work for a point, now I fanny around without offering a genuine threat. Its a big blow to the ego.
I should be back up to two practices a week again after one of my clubs closed for the summer. Hopefully this will help me resolve a few issues soon.