Kendo class and 'career' planning

2012-10-28 08:45:00

Lately the teachers at Renshinjuku kendo dojo have been pushing the students to challenge themselves. They're getting as many students as possible to enroll in the dutch national champioships and they also want students to prepare for their exams. Sadly I can't join the NK (due to planning) and I don't feel I'm ready to take the exams either. Kris-fukushou confirmed this to marli, when they were having a chat while I was dressing: if I were to go for ikkyu now I'd definitely not make the grade, but if I work hard I can definitely give it a good shot next winter. And I will!

I'll discuss the matter with Heeren-sensei, Loyer-sensei and both Hillen and Kris, to see what they think I need to work on the most.

Saturday's class got off to a slow start. People came in a bit too late, so we only got things on the road by 0925. In the end, turnup was not bad with eight guys in bogu and about a dozen beginners without armor. We started with the usual warming-up, after which we quickly went into seiretsu. While Loyer-sensei took the utmost beginners aside, the novices joined the more advanced group for kihon practice. The guys in bogu acted as motodachi, while the novices practiced oki-men and oki-kote-men

Then, waza practice! We started with basic kirikaeshimen and kote-men drills, then quickly moving onto more advanced materials: double hiki-men, hiki-kote-men and hiki-men-kote-do. As Kris and Hillen explained, the object is to push the envelope on our grasp of distance and footwork. In these drills it's no use to over-think your actions as a lot of it comes down to feeling what you're doing. You do an exercise, then you very quickly analyse your actions and then go on with another drill. The basics come down to:

  1. Start in taiatari.
  2. Your left foot moves backwards while your shinai moves back just enough to get a clear shot.
  3. You fumikomi when striking and land about a foot behind where you started.
  4. The second strike is made with fumikomi in the exact same spot.
  5. The third strike is made in the same spot, with the fumikomi launching you backwards.

As was said, if you overthink this then you'll just get stuck as I did. I tried to do the exercises in slow motion, but then everything fell apart. Instead, try it at 0.8 or really just 1.0 of the desired speed. 

The latter part of practice was spent on reacting to motodachi's men and kote attacks. We were free to try any techniques we like, so I focused on debana-kote, ai-kote-men and kaeshi-men. For those people joining the NK next week, we did short practice shiai. I fought Tiamat-sempai

Individual pointers I received from my teachers:

Class was closed with some reminders from the teachers. tags: , ,

View or add comments (curr. 0)