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, May 12, 2007


This week I had plenty chances for shiai-geiko. On Tuesday towards the end of the training we had shiai-geiko. I fought with Martin, Georg, and Erik, who just got into bogu not so long ago. I won two matches and lost to Georg on twice being outside and a men-strike while turning around for Zanshin - a pretty shit way of loosing. I got a ippon with kote-men in the match against Martin, which I was happy about. In fact, I felt rather relaxed and more in shape on Tuesday than on Friday.

On Friday was the monthly Dresden kendo league, which I don't usually participate. But since I want to participate again in the Leipzig Kendo Championship again this year (see last year's event), I wanted to see how I have progressed, and correct on my mistakes, so that hopefully I can do better this year.

I won two matches and drew two. Though I didn't loose, I wasn't very happy about my performance, because my hands were far too tense to execute sharp cuts. My reaction was also slow. Here are some thoughts after watching the videos someone took for me:

  • Feet were often too far apart. As a result I was often short by a couple of inches to reach the men.
  • Cuts were not sharp enough. My hands were too tense, especially the right one. And I couldn't use tenouchi properly to bring that sharpness. This came from nervousness, I think. In jigeiko or even the Tuesday's shiai-geiko, they were fine. But I have to be more consistent.
  • Apply more techniques (especially oji-waza). Apart from an attempt on kaeshi-do, and some debana-kote, I just did straight men- or kote-strikes.
  • While launching the strike, put the weight a bit lower so that the hip can be brought forwards, and my body would go faster forward without unnecessary upward movement.
Good things:
  • Good posture. My back was up-right.
  • My body did not bob up and down while inching forwards.
  • Loud kiai.

Now the videos:

1. Me (white) against Mathias (red). I won 1-0 on a harai-men, which unfortunately was not on the video.

2. Me (red) against Sebastian (white). I won 1-0 on a cheeky men-strike, while he was turning around for Zanshin. It was funny that I got pinned to the wall, despite my attempt to stay inside by wrapping my leg around Seb.

3. Me (red) against Martin (white). It was a draw. It was a real fun as Martin has about the same physique as mine, and does very strong men-cuts. Stephan realised at about 30 seconds into the match that we both had white bands on. He therefore said, "Martin would have had double the chance to win (!)" ;D


Vivian Yung said...

Hey Ivan, very nice straight posture in your videos. That is fantastic!

The cuts were also straight and you were making very good timing judgments too.

Concentrate on taking your left foot up as quickly as possible when you cut. I am sure it will make your good men cuts even more powerful.

Ivan said...

Hi Vivian, do you mean quickly draw the left foot towards the right one? Or I should actually lift my left foot up like in the case of sprinting.

thanks a lot for the advice!

Vivian Yung said...

Hi Ivan,

To move your left foot forward as quickly as possible, the quickest way is to move along the floor and minimize lifting up as much as possible.

You can refer to your videos of exemplar players and watch how they take their foot up after a cut. Try and imitate them to get the feeling.

Ivan said...

I see. Cheers!