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!

Friday, July 06, 2007

At the core

My graduate study is approaching towards the end, and, in order to ensure that I work hard enough to finish it on time, training will be kept at maximum twice a week. If every training goes well, this would not be too bad, though I can probably more or less only try to make my existing techniques more proficient. Not a bad situation. As there are still plenty of space for improvement.

Yesterday, about 14 kenshis with armours turned up. The kendo population in Dresden has really been climbing steadily in the past 1.5 years. When I started around that time, only a handful of people with bogu would turn up at each training. Once a few more beginners advanced enough to wear the bogu, a few with bogu would drop out. So the population had always somewhat maintained at an equilibrium.

So why has it grown so much in the past year? Well, I attribute it to the fact that we now have a handful of kendo fanatics, regular practitioners, whose will to improve their kendo is so strong that it surpasses the desire to engage in other activities. This tight circle of people makes up the core on which the Dresden kendo community builds. As they make effort to improve themselves, the rest feels the passion radiated from them, and sees a reason to learn more and to train hard.

Who belongs to this core of kenshi? Well, you know who you are.

So back to the training itself. Because all of us had bogus, we could concentrate on waza. After 10 mins of warm up, we did 30 mins of kihon and debana-kote. Then 30 mins of jigeiko.

When doing jigeiko with beginners, I practiced debana-men and uchiotoshi-men. With more advanced players I used more renzoku-waza. I still find it hard to make my left foot follow up quickly enough, especially when I am tired. But how fast the follow-on strikes can be executed depends largely on if the left foot is close enough to the right one. Other notes are:
  • remember when executing sashi-men, the initial motion resembles tsuki to secure the centerline, and at the same to prevent debana-kote.
  • keep the center of weight lower so that it's easy to launch forward to attack. But still need to try to maintain the posture.
Stephan's feedback from jigeiko:
  • In seme and kamae, keep the right arm relaxed while the left fist stays in the centerline. Do not push the shinai too hard.
  • For debana-kote don't think about avoiding the attack before the strike. Otherwise the posture would be broken.

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