I felt a bit guilty about going to practice today (having cost us the chance of a nice party last night), so I hesitate to say this: what a great session! /o/
Aside from the fact that my messed up breathing left me winded for 2x2 minutes it went great! We started practice together with the bogu-less kouhai: warmup and kirikaeshi. We then quickly split up to practice basic drills: oki-men, hayai-men, kote-men, ai-men and then the lovely kote-men-taiatari-hikimen-aimen! The biggest reason why my ai-men is failing, is because I pull the shinai waaay too much backwards. I often make the same mistake with a vanilla hayai-men.
And that was that! The rest of class was shiai!
Tomorrow, three teams from Renshinjuku will participate in the annual Edo Cup in Amsterdam. Nick, Bob and Charel sempai will represent the Almere dojo, while Amstelveen will send two other teams. Because of this tournament, Ton-sensei and Kris-fukushou wanted to run through competition preparation again. After the basic etiquette, we got things on the road. For every team member there were two opponents, or three in Bob's case and I went up against him.
They weren't the cleanest hits and I believe that Kris was reluctant to count one of them, but at least I'm happy to be showing some progress. ( ^_^) My fight against Kris went pretty well and I lost because of a stupid mistake: I thought he had landed a valid blow, so I dropped my whole guard, so he hit me again perfectly. Apparently the first blow was in fact not good enough, so that was a valuable lesson I learned: do NOT stop fighting until you are told to do so.
The biggest problem that Ton-sensei and Kris pointed out is that nobody was 'talking' or building tension with their opponent. Just about everybody just leapt in there, trying to hit stuff. I had very conciously been trying to avoid doing that, but I need more! "Take your time and explore your oponent! Get to know him!" was the big take-away.
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