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!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Training with Waseda student

In the last two trainings (Tuesday and Wednesday) we had Tasturo Kozai from the Waseda University visiting us. Just by listening to his kiai pumped up my energy by ten-folds.

For those who don't know their university has the best kendo amongst all the Japanese universities, well, hence the world's best. Every year a few students from their university kendo club travel to Germany with arranged home stay and local guide in exchange with kendo trainings. This idea was made possible by the close tie between the German kendo federation and late Ando Konzo, 8-dan, who was teaching at Waseda.

Coming back to the story. I had the chance to play with on Tuesday. His men-strike was just too powerful which overcomes mine easily. I got his men once by launching the attack from the front-right. Another was a hiki-do. A great feeling playing with Japanese kendoka as opposed to most of the others is that the atmosphere is always friendly and collaborative, more laughs and smiles. The practise with him was just too short.

On Wednesday many people turned up for the training and Tatsuro effectively lead the training, and explained many fine points including:
  • In Taiatari the impact should be made with the force from the stomach and the hip. The arms held tight against the sides of the body.
  • The motodachi receiving the taiatari has an important role of NOT being too relaxed. He should also stand firm and receive the impact with the force from the stomach and the hip.
  • In kihon-geiko, one can practise seme and simulate the competition situation.
  • The right foot should be lightly touching the ground, as though there is a sheet of paper between the foot and the floor. This allows agility, in the case of nuki-waza or renzoku-waza. It is at the moment of shinai landing on target, that the weight is heavy on the right foot (ki-ken-tai-ichi).
  • Distance in nidan-waza's should be careful.
  • Seme, seme, seme.

My peformance on Wednesday was much better than the previous day, because I really tried to hold the centre before striking.

After the training Georg requested jigeiko with Tatsuro. It was a great match to see as Georg is one of the strongest kenshi if not the strongest in Dresden. But Tatsuro got ippon after ippon. He had such a strong centre and clean movements. A real pleasure to watch.

However, he looked quite tired from everyday's training from Sunday to Wednesday. I wonder if he expected differently before coming to Germany? heh heh

Saturday, February 03, 2007

backwards, forwards

After 1.5 week of absence due to injury and hangover, I went to the training yesterday. After the kihon we formed a circle and played the game of "who-wins-stays-in-the-middle". Well, at least that how I imagine it'd be called. But the problem was that the attacker is voluntary, and most people were shy to come up. So we formed instead a queue. I didn't enjoy it so much as most people just charge onto me without thinking and a bad hit also qualified as an ippon. Didn't see much kendo in it.

After this I did jigeiko with Patrick and then Georg. Haven't had the chance to practise with Patrick for a long time, so it was nice. Especially because he has good kihon (basics). With Georg it was fun as well.

Here are some after thoughts:
  • When moving backwards always maintain the intention to go forwards again, this applies especially to the oji-wazas.
  • Do-strike the left hand should drop vertically in front of the navel so it wouldn't be too high or low.