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!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry X'mas and Happy New Year!

Thanks to everyone who comes on regularly to read my kendo journal in the past 8 months.

I'm back to Newcastle for X'mas. So there'll be no kendo for about two weeks. As in the previous years, my X'mas and New Year activities involves mainly eating. Occasionally we go for a walk in the hills of northern England, burning all that hearty food in the stomach.

The photos below are from our walk on the christmas day, a tradition we've kept since 5 years ago.

Monday, December 18, 2006

stomp and turn

I found that to execute debana-kote cleanly and accurately, one has to take only one small step forwards because the opponent usually runs in and the distance is shortened. After the cut is executed, use the right foot as a pivot and turn.

Today Tino let the session. It was a good training despite we started too lated again. Lots of kihon, and then men-kaeshi-do, kote-nuki-men and men-debana-kote. At the end we had about 30mins for jigeiko, which allowed us to practice with 4 people. At the ippon-shobu I won against all of them, two by debana-kote and two by men.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

International Berlin Kyu Tournament

In the International Berlin Kyu Tournament, I got to the top 16 in the knock-out round. The total number of participants were about 90, so it's not a bad performance, even though I hope I had done better. Lost to Baris Goek from Berlin EDKG dojo, who then lost in the quater final.

In the pool I came out the top again two other players, including Max from Dresden and Beel from somewhere in Germany. In my first match, against Beel, I won 1-0 by a kote. I drew my next match with Max. They however both drew one and lost one, so they had to fight on to decide. I however was not supposed to fight, but because the person keeping the score made a mistake (which was only realised later), I fought again with Max. And the drama started here.

Max and I went into extension for almost 20 mins, both feeling extremely exhausted, and were unable to score any points. He started to wobble and clearly was at his physical limit. While in tsubazeriai he started to pant, which became heavier and heavier. At this point I realised there was something wrong so I just stood there without the intention of doing hiki-waza, thinking what's happening with him. He then went face down on the floor. So I won. And we weren't supposed to fight this match, which made me quite angry of the scorekeepers. Max recovered very quickly though, after some rest, and was able to fight again in the knock-out round.

In the knock-out I had my first match free, and the second match against Tino, also from Dresden, whom I won by 2-0 with men-strikes. Then I lost to Baris in the next match. Here is the video:

It turned out that someone else also uploaded this match to youtube, so here is another version of it.

After analyzing it, I think the main reason why I lost was the speed and the attack. I wasn't fast enough, even though I know I could do better. My attack was too weak, not enough going forwards. In the first video at about 1:09 mins I lauched a men-strike after some good seme, but hit only the mengane. If I had extended my left arm more forwards I would have been able to reach further. At 0:25 there was also a good seme, but I launched from too far. I lost 0-2 by men and kote. I have to admit though, that he is stronger than I am. At least for now :)

So Baris lost in the quarter-final, and all the prizes were won by Polish and Czech players. Notably there was a female Czech kenshi who played very nice kendo. Her speed was fast and even her kiai was loud and strong. She rightfully got the fighting spirit award.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cut too light

After a week of absence in the dojo due to work I attended the training on Friday. The session was short and started late due to the late arrival of the people who did Iaido. It's a bit of waste of my time to be honest. Coming on time and just sitting there and wait. But, that's how life goes sometimes.

After the kihon, we did debana-waza, hiki-waza, kakarigeiko, and finally jigeiko.

  • My sashi-men is not strong enough. I hit too lightly.
  • I realised afterwards that at jigeiko my performance was too monotonic, which made it predictable for more experienced players. Especially, it made me prone to debana-waza.
  • need to work on hiki-men.
Next Saturday is the International Berlin Kyu-level Tournament, which Stephan tried to persuade me to attend. I'm tempted, but also unsure about whether I should give so much time to kendo at the moment when I'm trying to finish my thesis. But I'm going to try. This means that I'll have to train at least 3 times next week.