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!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In shape again

Yesterday, I went to the training after my neck recovered from the shock last week. I led the training at the university's club, as both Georg and Stephan are away at the moment along with most of the more experienced kenshi, because of this, the event at the Baltic sea. Surprisingly, 7 people still came to the training, among which 5 had bogus. So we could do some decent training.

I emphasised at the beginning and the end of the training that the basic requirements for doing good kendo are perhaps the fighting spirit and body posture.

After some rounds of suburi, we started with 4-5 rounds of kirikaeshi. I stressed the breathing and its importance. This was pointed out by Ozawa sensei in last year's seminar in Prague. I repeat here again:
  • Kirikaeshi: (1) men-strike, (2) breath, then 4 sayu-men forwards and 5 backwards, then men-strike, (3) pause and breath again (4) repeat (2) and (3).
Like jogging, when one breathe systematically, he can run for longer.

Then we did more kihon. But this time I asked very one to start from toma, where they should kiai and move their feet, before taking one step forwards to take the centerline with the tip of the shinai, and strike. After the strike, they should push their body diagonally to the left of the opponent to go through.

Then we did like this for kote, kote-men (motodachi stay still), and kote-men-men (motodachi take one step backwards after each strike). I emphasised that distance and footwork are the key points in these exercises. At the kote-men it is a common mistake to take too large a step at the kote-strike, so that the men-strike is too close to the motodachi. At the kote-men-men, the point is that because the motodachi is going backwards, one must draw his left foot quickly forwards to prepare for the next strike, at the same time maintaining a good posture.

I'm glad to see they take kendo seriously with lots of intention to improve themselves. It's very important to train yourself as well as to think of exercises to do so. I'm glad to see two of them stayed after the training to do even more exercises themselves. They obviously care about their own kendo.


HandsomeW said...

Hello Ivan.I´ve been lurking around the blog without posting for quite some time.
Nice to see you training again after your neck injury. The class you gave sounds pretty logical to me, which is the best thing to say when one isn´t used to teaching.
There´s one thing I really envy you, and that is being able to practice a bit after the training session ends.
Last year I took a trip to Japan, and some of the people would stay after the training for a few free geikos. This is impossible at the dojo where I train, as we rent it on an hour-basis so we have just 5 minutes after the training to pack the bogu and hit the showers...

...I want my after-training too! :p

Ivan said...

Hi HandsomeW, welcome! I hope you will leave often comments in the future as this will definitely encourage the development of this blog!

We do have the choice of staying on and train, but people seldom do, since the training time is usually late enough. I always try to exhaust myself completely during the span of the training time, especially in ji-geiko (lots of strikes, and lots of hiki-waza), so that the only thing that comes into my head afterwards is to catch my breath!

HandsomeW said...

So true for me as well, but even then, there´s the typical situation when the number of people training is n´t even and you have to wait and try to do some mitori while the rest do a final geiko, for instance.
I would also love that after time to do some "mirror", even without bogu, and try to fix those little mistakes one always has. It´s true you could do that anywhere, but during training my mind seems so much more receptive...