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, December 08, 2007

First practice in Paris

Yes... I feel so good having practised this morning at the dojo Budo XI, after a stressful day yesterday. Yesterday morning I unfortunately miss my 6 am flight, for which I had to get up at
4 am, but my reflex (in kendo, we'd say the debana-waza) was to grab the clock and shut it off. Only two hours later when it dropped from my hand to the floor did I wake up, like waking up to a nightmare. Finally I had to book another flight from Berlin and a train ticket to Berlin, which cost me almost 200 Euros in total. Bloody hell!! Anyway, so much so for the whining.

Today's training was for everyone. Perhaps due to the Saturday, many people (about 40+) turned up. So queuing took a long time. But I managed to do a jigeiko with Jean-Pierre Labru 6th Dan, who was the instructor today and a former European Champion. At the start he quickly scored two men-strikes. I was not concentrated enough. Then it got better afterwards when I tried to have stronger centre. The best moment for me was when I struck a straight-men cut with very simple forward seme. I crept my right foot forwards like Kuroda-san taught me, and struck. The strike landed perfectly in the centre and my left hand was in control. All of which happened when Labru Sensei was still in kamae. He nodded in acknowledgment of the strike. The motion felt so smooth that I thought, "This is it. This is kendo."

I think as in many good institutions, how the reputation is does not guarantee the success of its members. It still takes a lot of hard work if one wants to compete with the top players from the other dojos. However, a place like this dojo where there are a 8th Dan Sensei and many high grade kendoka means that, one gets very useful advices from time to time. So there is always something to work on, which is fundamental and important. But without the hard work, the advices remain as only theories.

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