Muscle ache? Check!

2012-12-16 08:57:00

kendo notes

Between my sterilization, the Dinosaurs show, standby duties and Alegria I've been absent from kendo class for two full weeks. And because I've been so busy with work I haven't practiced at home either. I feel guilty about it, but as they say: "god's punishment is swift" because boy do my muscles hurt! (;^_^)

It's great to see how our group keeps growing with newbies, who also show great attendance. Sadly, we don't seem to have much luck with the guys in bogu though. Sander is very busy with work, Hugo has a lot of schoolwork as do Jeroen, Martijn and Houdaifa and I myself have family and work stuff. So that's six guys who should be senior in the group, but who have problems making attendance. On the one hand it's beneficial to the friendly atmosphere in our dojo that Ton-sensei is so lenient about attendance, but on the other hand our attendance issues do keep both ourselves and our juniors from learning as quickly as we could. 

When it comes to our members, it's also interesting to see how many young kids we attract. We don't yet rival our mother-dojo in Amstelveen (who have flocks of Japanese children attending training on saturday), but I'm willing to bet that we're in the top four with the amount of kids. Bobby doesn't count anymore as she started high school this year, but between Aaron, Ainar, Nathan, Lukas and the Korean-boy-whose-name-I-havent-learned-yet we have five students of ten or younger.

Now, on to class. After warming-up we started with lunges in order to improve footwork and balance. I don't keel over anymore, but that's because I'm over-compensating. There are two commonly made mistakes: either you keep a too-narrow stance and can't keep your balance, or you over-compensate for that and take a too-wide stance (as per graphic A above). Kris-fukushou reminds us that we really should keep our feet at the proper width during the whole practice. 

We practiced kihon in the motodachi system, with the eight guys in bogu acting as partner for the dozen or so people without bogu. After that the group was split up as usual and my group moved on to waza practice. The two most important lessons for myself were about debana kote and suriage men

With debana kote I was always confused: do I need to move my shinai over or under my opponent's blade? Turns out that it's neither, because both are too slow :) As per graphic B, Kris explained that your shinai stays almost level, while the opponent moves in for a men-strike. That way you automatically duck under his shinai and you also stay close enough for a quick kote strike. 

Now, suriage men is apparently a very difficult technique for kyu-grade students, but it doesn't hurt to get introduced. Kris-fukushou suggested the D/C-shaped movement that is also mentioned by Salmon-sensei in the linked article. And as Salmon-sensei points out, most of us were having lots of issues with both the movements and the timing. In my case I feel way too slow and I have it in my mind suriage men is a two-stage movement, while it should be more of a single arc where you deflect and strike from the deflect position. 

Aside from these things, Kris-fukushou warned me about my kiai and kamae. I think it may tie in with a warning Onno-sempai gave me a few weeks ago. If I do my kiai incorrectly, I hunch and lock my arms. There's a big difference between a relexed posture and an "open" "YIAAAAAA!" yell and a tight/locked posture with a "closed" "RRUAAAGH!" yell. Once I'm locked up, I can't strike quickly nor properly. 

Class was closed with all student in bogu acting as motodachi in uchikomi geiko, which the other students had to run twice. That meant a total of fourteen rounds of five strikes for everyone. A great way to close this last class of the year! tags: , ,

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