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!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Turn, turn, and turn

We had a training yesterday with a somewhat different feel. First we started with rope-skipping to warm up, which I haven't done for more than ten years.. But I was thinking of doing it at home anyways. In fact, in a few minutes I 'll go and buy it. It's especially good to strenthen the muscles on the legs and the calfs at home since there's usually limited space for doing the footwork.

Practising do was essential and inevitable - 20 do-strike (left and right) standing, another 20 with one step forwards while striking left-do and backwards while right do-strike, 20 kaeshi-do, and 30 do haya-suburi. I tried this time to hit on target firm and strong, and it was better than the last time. However, trying to do the same with kaeshi-do was more difficult. I tried to keep the blocking and strike on the same beat. A good drill, but still unnatural to me. However, I think I would improve the fluency a lot with two or three more times of this exercise.

Footwork. With chudan no kamae we practised moving forwards and backwards across the hall. One variation was moving backwards with zanshin (shinai over the forehead), and when Stephan whistled, we have to strike men. Again a good drill!

After a few rounds of kirikaeshi, we did the following combo:
  • (1) men-strike, and pass the opponent; (2) immediately hiki-men (3) from issoko-itto-no-maai stike men immediately. This was essentially the application of the drills we did earlier.
Another exercise was that, the two would do the (1) and (2) from the above one after the other until the end of the hall and back.

Then kakari-geiko and more kirikaeshi.

  • kirikaeshi is more natural now.
  • Do-strike is stronger.
To be improved:
  • Kaeshi-do. Practise blocking and striking on the same beat.
  • After turning around there was a long halt, and I couldn't strike immediately. Must be something to do with how I position myself and my stance.
  • Push the hip forwards, during kakari-geiko or similar all-out practise. It's hard to do it fast with perfect posture, but one should always try.
  • Becareful of the feet not being parallel to each other.
This week the muscle on the inner-side of my left forearm has been hurting, after I started to use mainly the left hand and wrist to strike (since the training at the beginning of this month) While I think I'm accustomed to use my left hand now, I hope the pain will go away soon.

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