A session dedicated to seme-to-men

2012-09-26 20:43:00

Seme to men

Last night's class was envigorating and I went home feeling energized and ready for two more rounds of keiko! ( ^_^) Jeroen-sempai, who joined me for the first time, came away with similar feelings.

Class was started in the usual fashion, with stretching, running and suburi. In hayasuburi, Heeren-sensei admonished some of the kenshi (definitely me!) for not bringing the shinai back against the buttocks in every single suburi round, as it is a helping hand in figuring if your swings are going down the center line. So thirty more hayasuburi it was! :D

The first ten to fifteen minutes of the day's lesson were fully spent on explanation. The crowd gathered around Heeren-sensei and Kiwa-sempai who demonstrated a number of things.

They also took a lot of time explaining the physical aspects of seme to men ("pressure and men"). An excellent read on seme would be Stephen Quinlan's "The fundamental theorem of kendo?". Funny how mr Quinlan's writings keep popping up in my studies!

In this particular exercise we would be stepping in deep, so deep as to almost pierce our opponents navel. While stepping in, our shinai would go through the center (do not push your opponent's shinai aside), thus sliding on top or over the opponent's shinai. Our kensen will be held low, as to disappear from our op's view. From this position, we would proceed to strike oki-men. The rough sketches above show this: step in deep, not just a little bit and keep the kensen low, not high. 

After the theoretical part of class we proceeded with practice. We did nothing but kirikaeshioki-men and seme to men. Oh yes, a few rounds of uchikomi geiko as well. A very interesting class indeed! And because we were using the system where 2-3 students match up against one motodachi I was able to regulate my breathing well enough to make it 100% through class, including three rounds of keiko. In jigeiko I was matched up against mr. Mast (visiting), Kiwa-sempai and Lennart-sempai. In none of these fights did I have the feeling I was doing particularly well, but I did my best to keep in mind the day's lessons as well as Kris' recent lecture about my standard keiko mistakes. 

It was pointed out that the seme movements we had been practicing do not only serve a big role in shiai and jigeiko, but that they are also very useful in uchikomi keiko. This was demonstrated by Kiwa-sempai who repeatedly got very close to Heeren-sensei before striking the designated targets. 

My seniors also pointed out flaws in my kendo.

I'm sure there was more, but it's hard to recall everthing :)

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