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, April 05, 2007

Forstreuter Sensei visits 2

Today was another valueable training session with Paul-Otto, and the more advanced kenshi's got to practise refereeing in a competition situation.

We started the session with about 20 mins of kihon. Kirikaeshi-men and do. Men and kote-men. Sensei pointed out that when I strike, at the instant when my right foot stomp on the floor, it tends to pull back instead of goind straight down. This might explain why my body is not moving forwards fast enough. However, correcting this problem is not an easy task, so it deserves to be in the goal of the month.

Then he explained the basic regulations of refereeing, the positions of the referees. I imagine that there are a lot of written materials out there, so I won't explain them here. I first deomenstrated as a fighter, and my opponent was Georg, which was an excellent opportunity for me to exam my shiai ability. However he won 2-0 first by kote and the second by men. Though the first point was incorrectly judged which was commented by both Paul-Otto and Georg himself. The second was a solid men thundering straight onto my men. The greatest problem of mine in the match was that I did not put pressure on him. I was afraid of getting too close, and this fear leads to constantly moving backwards, creating opportunities for him to strike, and premature attacks with no seme. I also need to shape up my physical condition in order to gain that confidence. In addition, I didn't use my kensen very well. It's almost like my fighting spirit only went as far as the hands, but not to the kensen.

After the fight, it was my turn to referee. At first, concentrating on the movement of the fighters while, at the same time, keeping the correct relative distances from the other referees was not easy. But after two matches, positioning became more of a natural instinct, and therefore I could focus more on judging.

We had extra 20 mins to jigeiko. I first faught with Paul-Otto and then David. The time with Paul-Otto was short. As it usually is with high grade senseis, suriage-men was always on the menu. He also pushed me a few times from my side when I pass him after the strike, perhaps hinting that I wasn't running fast away from him. The practise with David was exhausting, but good. He somehow always tend to move to the opponent's right side after strike, which made it difficult to use kaeshi-do. His movements are very swift, something I hope to improve on.

After the training when I went up to thank Paul-Otto, he told me I have to put more pressure to make my opponent afraid. Spot on.

Afterwards we went for a drink in a nearby pub. Seldom do we do this, and it was fun!

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