Things to take away from today's kendo class

2011-06-25 13:46:00

It's starting to become a theme, but:

Today's class felt GREAT! After our usual warming up (though again without running laps) we did at least an hour of waza keiko, practicing all of our basic techniques. The more advances students finished off learning different counter attacks to deal with a fast men strike. In the mean time, Hugo and I kept on repeating the basic drills: big men, fast men, kote-men, big men. To end it all of, the students in bogu then did a rotating sogo renshu, where each student was in turn attacked by the eight others to practice their new counter attacks. 

The final twenty minutes of class were spent on jigeiko, where all students were free to practice with one another and with the teachers. During the waza keiko and during the jigeiko I spent about ten minutes with sensei Ton practicing the fast men strike, something that I struggle horribly with. The proper form is to:

  1. Step in.
  2. Step in and thrust straight for the face.
  3. Sweep up the kensen and strike. 

The problem being that I fail to do a straight thrust for the face. I kept on "shoveling", meaning that I lower my left hand (tipping the shinai upwards) followed by moving my arms upwards, to slap the shinai down again. To get rid of this annoyance Ton had me do something unusual: practice tsuki thrusting (short video) on him.

That got the message across, though Ton then pointed out a new flaw in my form: when doing a thrust I habitually do a very small pull backwards on my sword, which is a total and dead giveaway of what I'm going to do. The suggested training method Ton gave me: stand in front of a mirror, hold your hands at normal kamae height, then thrust at the throat of your mirror image. Man! I'd really love to have that training dummy by now :D

During the jigeiko part of class mr. Waarheid (another visiting student) suggested that we do some uchikomi geiko, where he'd make openings for me to strike. When practicing fast kote-men-do he pointed out that I was screwing up maai, by stepping in waaaay too much for each consecutive strike. 

What a great class! I feel awesome and I've learned so much today :)


Ah yes! More things... During jigeiko I had to bow out for a few minutes to get my heart rate to drop. Five rounds of kirikaeshi, followed by five double rounds of men, men, kote-men, men got my heart pounding and sadly I couldn't bring myself to push through. So I sat out one round of bouts and then jumped in again. And again, Ton reminded me that my kamae is too tense. I also twist my wrists to the inside a little too much, which limits my maneuverability. tags: , ,

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