What a great class today!

2012-03-17 16:55:00

Kendo was awesome today :) There was a turnup of roughly eighteen people. 

As usual we started off with kata practice. Today I had the pleasure of training with Bobby. I say pleasure, because in kata we make a good connection. What we lack in form, we make up in the mental aspect. We lock eyes and properly go through the "dialogue" that kata are. 

Footwork training got expanded again and I'm glad we did this! Four laps of suri-ashi, two laps of double men-uchi, one lap of suri-ashi with the shinai stuck through our legs to keep proper distance. Then two laps of repeated men-uchi and one lap of continous men-uchi. In the final three rounds, my suri-ashi went out the window again. :(

Kris tells me that I swith to ayumi-ashi (e.g. "walking"), which messes up my rhythm completely. The stupid thing: I don't even notice the switch! In my head I'm still doing the sliding footwork, and I don't even notice that I'm not sliding anymore. So weird! The fact that I'm putting my left foot in front confuses the rest of my body and messes up the timing of my strikes. I'm glad that Kris pointed this out, so now I can pay more attention to it. 

Like last time we then switched to kihon practice, with all beginners on one side and the kendoka in bogu on the other. As motodachi we kept receiving the strikes that the bogu-less folks threw at us. Big men strikes, small men strikes, big kote-men and small kote-men. Twelve rounds in total I believe. We then split the group up, where the beginners went with Ton and we went with Kris for waza practice. 

Small men strikes, then men-hiki-men, then men-hiki-men-hiki-kote, then men-hiki-kote-hiki-do. With the last one I really started getting confused on the timing and the steps; for every do strike my distance was too large to even hit. I think I realized why: when going back from tai-atari I kept doing step-back, fumikomi-hiki-kote, fumikomi-hiki-do. I shouldn't do the step-back! Even worse: the step-back was a weird bounce :(

Finally we did oji-waza, where motodachi strikes a small men and kakarite can do anything he want. In my practice rounds, in most cases I failed to land a retaliating strike; I only deflected or evaded :(

To close our private practice we did jigeiko, where I went up against Martijn. That's been a while! :) The others remarked that we completely lacked any tension and conviction. In most cases we struck and immediately sunk into tai-atari, instead of doing zanshin (like Kris remarked last week!). Then we slunk backwards and tried weak slaps. All in all we were messy and we've got a long way to go. I don't mind, I'm looking forward to learning over the next few years! :)

Class ended with with uchikomi geiko, where Kris demanded that everyone do their kiai continuously. No stops, no short kiai, just continuous. After my first round he made me go back, because I kept stopping to breathe after each hit. So I got to do three rounds! /o/

Great stuff! I was hyped after class! I even think I'm improving in my stance a little bit, because I don't have those killer muscle aches in my neck and arms anymore ^_^

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