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, June 23, 2007

Forward thrust

Yesterday, my men-strike somehow just clicked. I tried to thrust my hip forwards with the left leg, faster than before. The results is a faster and stronger men cut.

I arrived the dojo 40 mins before the session while the iaido had not finished. At the corner of the dojo I did 500+ suburi, and backwards - forwards footwork in chudan to practice seme.

Maybe because of the 30mins exercise, I was already a bit tired at the beginning of the kendo session. Nevertheless, my goal was still to give it all. And I did just that.

3 x kirikaeshi, 3 x men-hiki-men-men-hiki-kote-men-hiki-do, (then the same exercise but with kote-men), 2 x men-hiki-men-men (motodachi) - debana-kote, 2 x 5 techniques against men.

In the hiki-waza combo (I forgot the name for it), there should not be any pause between each strike. I also paid extra effort into the zanshin of the hiki-men, namely, holding the shinai high above my head with arms almost straight, to really show the spirit.

I didn't turn around fast enough for debana-kote as my men got hit most of the time.

I continued to give it all in the 15 mins of jigeiko, and kept on striking men with the epiphany I described at the beginning. It worked wonder. I thought also very little because I was tired. My body took over the control.

I tried also the osae-waza, which is the pressing technique. For me the best is pressing with the ura (right) side of the shinai. There are three main points:
  1. pressing at the middle of the opponent's shinai.
  2. pressing and striking is one movement.
  3. the arc drawn by the kensen should be as small as possible so that the strike can be make as quickly as possible.
In the last round of jigeiko I fought with Stephan, which was a very enjoyable fight even though I lost the ippon-shyobu. I struck men but at the same time he launched kote-men. Both the kote and the men hit the target. I was so tired that I didn't spend enough effort on seme. With a kote-men it's hard to defend, but if one apply seme (pressure) in the course leading to the strike, it is much hard for to opponent to be ready for striking. Perhaps one can also say that applying seme is a form of defence without explicitly covering one's open targets.

I was completely knackered after the training. What a good feeling!


Vivian Yung said...

Great to hear you had such an enjoyable and satisfying keiko. Looks like you are making huge leap of improvement now. Keep the momentum up :)

Ivan said...

yeah I can't wait until the next training. What I need now is to let my body get used to that men-strike, so that I can do it every time.