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!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Training with Tatsuro 1

We practiced yesterday with Tatsuro, a Waseda University student who already visited us once earlier this year. We did the usual kihon-geiko until the last 30-40 minutes, when we did jigeiko.

During kihon-geiko, we did a couple of round of butsukari-geiko (two consecutive sets of men-taitari-hiki-men/kote/do, and finishing with a men-uchi). I was lucky enough to did this with Tatsuro. He corrected me that I should never move as a motodachi when the kakarite execute taitari. The lower abdomen should be pushed forward, and be brought to clash with the opponent. It's one thing training with the others and another thing training with him. It felt like being hit by a bull. So I had to almost exaggerate (from our normal standard here) my movement in order to stop him properly. I tried it again and it worked.

I also practiced sashi-men with him. What stood out from his men-strike is the forward movement of his hip and abdomen. The moment that he seme'd and launched his strike, it felt like he was "falling" forwards onto me. The power and the speed was tremendous.

I was extremely tired towards the end of the jigeiko. Maybe because I trained only once a week in the past month due to various reasons.

Tatsuro gave me some advice after the jigeiko:
  • He noticed that when he seme'd I tended to back out. He told me to have patience and seme back.
  • The distance between the left feet of both players should be kept the same most of the time. The right feet, however, moves forwards or backwards during seme.
  • I pointed out that when he retrieved while I attacked, I tried to do rezoku-waza with men, but I couldn't keep my momentum up. He said the left arm is important, and I should do more katate-men. One should also strike with the hip.
  • He said, in kendo, the body is relaxed, and the hip is very important.
Stephan told me after the jigeiko:
  • My seme leading up to the men-strike is not enough. I have to hold the centre while bringing my shinai up.
Tonight there's the last training with Tatsuro before he goes back to Japan.


HandsomeW said...

How interesting! I´ve done many many times butsukari geiko, but never knew the proper name :)
I trained last year with a few people from Waseda as well...the guys were quite fast indeed. The girls had and impressive technique! Talking with a japanese tomodachi at my dojo, he told me it´s not unlikely for girls to have finer waza to compensate for the lack of physical strength when compared to their male counterparts.I thought it was an interesting statement to think about.

Ivan said...

What you said about girls and their waza is interesting. Kendo is indeed very indiscriminating in this respect. For example, I'm a fairly light-weighted guy (don't want to use the word skinny) and I'm not concerned about this at all.

Tatsuro visited Velancia earlier with other Waseda students, could he be one of the guys?

HandsomeW said...

oh, indeed! It was last year in Valencia so he´s probably one of them. I didn´t quite remember the name because there were many of them, but I would surely remember the face...
...it´s a small world after all ;)

Ivan said...

There're a couple of pics taken last time when he's there, see

If the photos is not clear, may I remind you that, he is the one who looks always tired when he doesn't have the men on. But when he does, he squints his eyes and turns into a fighting machine.