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!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Squeezing in a practice

These past few weeks I have only managed to practise once a week. But it has to be this way unfortunately because this is a really critical time for me, finishing my thesis. Recently, I've also started learning Japanese, partly for the Tokyo trip next month, and partly just because there are so many Japanese things that I do, read, and listen since my childhood in Taiwan. I mean, for god's sake, my grandparents spoke better Japanese than Mandarin Chinese!

On Tuesday I went to the training at the uni. Warming up with the basketball game. It's fun, though sometimes I feel that people can be a bit too absorbed and it can be a bit too long.

We practised suriage-men and keishi-do. I haven't practise keishi-do for a while, so it didn't go that smoothly. I need to speed up the action between blocking and striking.

Suriage-men is something I've never quite got, and I still haven't got it complete. More practise!

Good thing was that I felt I really pushed my hip forwards while striking men. The way I distributed my body weight led to this improvement I think. I'll try it again next time.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tsuki as defending technique

Ok.. I don't mean when the opponent launches his attack, you should just do a tsuki and poke his brain out along with his adam's apple. The situation which I'm talking about is, when the opponent's seme is strong and one feels threatened. I realised that when this happens, I could extend my arms slightly towards the opponent's tsuki-tare. This action simultaneously protects the kote (since I twist my wrists inwards slightly) and the men (since I have the centre). Now, the subtle point is that, if I stretch my arms fully it would leave no further possibility for me to attack. So the best is to send kensen towards the tsuki-tare before the arms are fully stretched, and see what the opponent's reaction is. If he attacks my kote, then a kote-suriage-men is easy and fast, because the initial preparation is already done. One just need to twist the wrists slightly counter-clockwise, to wade off the attack. But even without this, most of the time it lands on tuba anyways. If the opponent decides to go for men, then debana-kote can be done quickly, again because I have prepared for this action already by putting my kensen closer to him.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Tsuki with kensen, not fists

Originally I intended to go to kendo on both Tuesday and Friday, but Tuesday's training was missed because I realised that I didn't have my contact lenses on in the last minute. The disadvantage if you combine a heavily short-sighted person with a mega forgetfulness. Nonetheless, I didn't miss yesterday's training, though turned up late due to work.

I tried to shift my weight more to the left foot, but it's still hard to do.

I noticed that when my tsuki worked, it's due to these few reasons:
  • fully committed
  • a good control of the kensen
  • pushing the hip
The second point might seem obvious, but very often when it fails, I realise that I'm punching forwards with my fist. My fists might be going in the direction of the tsuki-tare, but the kensen not. My concentration should be put on the kensen.