We had the KenVO (Eastern Germany Kendo Association) squad training with Miwa Tomomari, 6th Dan Renshi, in Dresden on Saturday 12th.
What can I say to summarise the squad training? My shoulders, legs, forearms are sore; my left hand looks like a mess; I could hardly walk properly.
Last squad training I attended was more than a year ago! Then I embarked on a coaster-ride with my study trying to finish the thesis. Two months before it was turned in, which was three weeks ago, I trained only once a week. Now resuming 3-times-a-week training is what I'm trying to do. More than that I can't manage either.
The morning session was devoted entirely to Kihon. We had N x kirikaeshi, N x men-uchi, N x kote-uchi, few rounds of kote-men and kote-do. For me, it was nice to have an extensive session on kihon, since that's the best way to get back to more frequent training. I also improved my men-nuki-dou. But I need to practise more to really say what's the best way.
Miwa-sensei asked us to do a lot of big men-uchi, faster and with more wrist snap. Incidentally, it's something I'm currently working on. He also stressed to do fast cuts, fast footwork is also very important.
The morning session was finished with ooikomi-geiko and kirikaeshi. Half-an-hour before the end he said, "Now everyone is tired. It's when we really start trainng." I bet everyone was cursing. I certainly cursed, in my mind, almost every living beings between the sky and the ground. But at the end of the day, it's true.
In the afternoon we had extensive practice on hiki-waza. We practised not only going straight back but also going sideways.
There are much more variations one can try, but the below is a list of what we tried on the day:
- In tsubazeriai, press downwards the opponent's tsuba using one's own tsuba. The reflex of the opponent is to lift his hand up. This opens up his right side of men. At this very moment strike his right-men, using yoko-men technique.
- In tsubazeriai, step to the left and the right, etc, to confuse the opponent. Then step to the right quickly with a strike on the opponents left-men, and quickly draw your body in the backward-right direction. The footwork of the right foot when striking is like during the nanameburi, which is twisted inwards to that it is in the direction where the body will go after the strike.
- When the opponent uses hiki-waza, one should follow on to keep the pressure on. Sometimes if he doesn't go further enough so that he can return to kamae, he would walk forward to return to tubazeriai. At this moment he is off-gaurd, and you can strike hiki-men.
We finished the day with kakarikeiko with Miwa-sensei. No jigeiko - a pity, but I was exhausted, fortunately there was the next day to rest!