About this blog..

This is a blog that I started in April 2006, just after I first put on my bogu (kendo armour). It collects the advices given by more experienced kendo practitioners as well as those from my own experiences. Both technical and the mental aspects of kendo are written in the blog. I hope someone will find them useful or interesting at least!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Seme and footwork

The training today lead by Stephan was good. There were quite a few beginners, so the training was mainly kihon. I focused on my footwork, namely, the fumigomi, and the use of right foot while doing seme. I read from somewhere (will check later), that the use of right and left foot is quite a subtle technique. The right foot is used to advance forward with the body and the fighting spirit in order to scare the opponent or probe the opponent's mental state. The left foot should be ready at anytime to propell the body forwards, except the moment when it is drawn towards the right foot, either because the feet are too far apart or for whatever reason. It requires therefore a delicate timing as to when to bring the left foot forwards since the kenshi is vulnerable at this point.

Another point regarding the fumigomi is that, one should not lift the right foot high but forwards. The bottom of the foot should not be seen. If the body weight is properly distributed with 50-50 then if one foot lifts up, it will naturally fall down. The movement of the advancing foot should therefore look very natural.

In fact, I noticed Yoda does the above very well.

After trying the above during the kihon-keiko, I applied them in the jigeiko time. I can't master it completely, but I felt I'm improving. I aslo paid special attention on my body posture.
Comments from Stephan were:
  • Debana-kote: after the hit my left hand tend to be too low, which looked awkward I guess.
  • Footwork: I should try to stay relaxed. Move around a little bit, instead of standing and moving seldem. I think I was trying to hold my posture and my seme so much that I forgot about it. He however commented that my seme was good.
I also registered for the Toru Giga Cup and seminar, which will take place in Prague from 20th to the 24th Sept. Since the winners of recent years have all been national team members, I think I'll have a very tough time. So I have to train harder from now on.

I'm also extremely looking forward to the seminar, since it's going to be given by Hiroshi Ozawa, 7th Dan Kyoshi, who wrote the book "Kendo: the definitive guide." Deciding what type of accomodation to take wasn't such an easy task for me. There were two options: 1. shared room in hostel; 2. in the dojo with sleeping bag. I don't know how bad it is to sleep in the dojo, but since I'm trying to save the money, I've chosen to do that. Whereas sleeping in the hostel will cost 15 euro more in total, which is not too expensive at all. Ahhh... I don't know. Maybe I should change my accomodation choice. I'm still indecisive.


Vivian Yung said...

Oh nice, I visited and trained in Hiroshi Ozawa sensei's dojo in Tokyo last year when I was doing kendo at Nippon Sports Science University. He is a very nice and approachable person and I am sure the seminar will be great.

Say yoroshiku to Ozawa Sensei for me when you see him. :)

Ivan said...

I'm glad to hear that! Does he speak English at all? I'm currently contemplating the idea of going to Japan early next year for about three weeks for kendo and general travel (and foood!) One idea that came to my mind was to visit his dojo. I'll ask him in the seminar and hopefully can arrange something. Not sure where to stay though. I guess you stayed at a homestay family?

How was your experience there? Didn't find that in your blog. Which area is it located in Tokyo, as I heard it's pretty big. Will say yoroshiku to him for you :).