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, April 02, 2007

Forstreuter Sensei Visists 1

Today was an excellent training lead by a visiting Senei Paul-Otto Forstreuter, 7th Dan Renshi. He is a very gentle teacher who gives good instructions.

The training today and on the coming Wednesday will focus on refereeing skills, something I had never had the chance to practise. We warmed up first and then practised kihon for about 30 mins. Then we splitted into two groups, one group would demonstrate techniques while the other acted as referees, and then the two groups switched. At a given moment, one person was the motodachi while the rest from the demonstrating group queued up as the kakarite. We continued practising a technique until a full rotation is complete. These techniques included the following:

first kakarite hit men and turned around to hit a second men. (The refereeing is always performed upon the second attack. The first was, persumably, for warming up.)

  • Kakarite: men, kote. Refereeing the kote.
  • Kakarite: men, kote-men.
  • Kakarite: men, men-debana-kote.
  • and so on.. The other techniques being judged upon were men-debana-men, men-kaeshi-do, kote-suriage-men.

I was the motodachi for men-kaeshi-do (I did kaeshi-do on the kakarite who performed men), and kote-suriage-men, which were a lot of fun. And being judged on was a great opportunity for me to check if I do things correctly. The kote-suriage-men was easily awarded ippon. The kaeshi-do was always tricky due to the distance and the accuracy of the do-strike. But I still managed to get it maybe 6 out of 7 times. Paul-Otto Sensei told me that my upper body tended to bend back before the block, which looked like a sign of fear. I should instead be more forward-going.

We finished the training with about 20 mins of jigeiko, with rotations (mawari). Not knowing the direction of the rotation, I stood at the wrong position and did not managed to do jigeiko with Paul-Otto. What a shame!

After some time people were tired, and a few people became very passive and only attack when I turned around for Zanshin. Not only were they mostly too close, this was also bad kendo I think. Why don't you attack actively instead of just standing there, turning around, and hit? On my part, I know I should show better Zanshin, but it was difficult due to the exhaustion.

Georg told me at one point that I missed an opportunity to strike men. I guess his was right. I should be more alert to openings, especially when I am becoming more tired.

After the training Paul-Otto Sensei told me that he was in Taipei last year (where he got his 7th Dan!), and how he enjoyed the championship, the city and the culture. I'm glad to hear that!

No comments: