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!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Taiwan 1: I-Shin Kendojo 一心劍道館

From Taiwan 2008

From Taiwan 2008

From Taiwan 2008

On the third day of being in Taipei, I had my first ever kendo training with the Taiwanese kendo community at the I-Shin Kendojo. The dojo is led by Tsai Sensei, 6th Dan Renshi, who is also a good friend of Ryuzo kun. And Ryuzo's wife contacted him a couple of weeks ago from Paris that I will be visiting his dojo, so Tsai Sensei very kindly drove me to his dojo in case I didn't know the way. The dojo is unfortunately 1.5 hours away from where I live by public transportation, but that's life...

I attended two sessions on the day. The first two hours was for beginners alike, from no grades to about sho-dan level. There were about 25 kids, 10 high school students and 7-8 adults (me being one of them). It was surprising to see the kids doing good and proper cuts, and having such a level of energy!

After suburi, we did a lot of renzoku-waza practice - combinations of men, dou, and kote cuts as well as taiatari-hiki-men/dou/kote. Though my level exceed most of them who attended this beginner's session, it was good to recap the basics, like what people do in kendo seminars.

The feed back I had from Tsai Sensei is that my wrist snap at the end of the strike is not enough.

The second session of the evening is for yudansha. About 15 people attended the class. Tsai Sensei wife Mihara san, 5th Dan, also joined the training as well as I-Chung Lin, 4th Dan, whom I have contacted previously by email. There were also I think 2 other 4th Dan and a handful of 3-2 Dan kendoka.

Not suprisingly, they have solid basics - cuts and foot works. Their taiatari was also solid. One can see these by simply recognising their movement after the strikes. People who have good body posture and footwork moves almost like a bullet before and after the strike - the whole body (especially the hip) moves as one gaint bullet.

We started with small men and kote strikes, and then Waza geiko in teams. Tsai Sensei emphasized that in waza-geiko, the one who executes the oji-waza must apply seme. This doesn't mean simply "stepping in'' but with pressure.

He commented on my debana-kote, and said that I should step in after the kote-cut instead of turning immediately sideways.

We had about 10 mins of mawari-geiko during which I fought with I-Chung and Tong-Fung Li, who I think is 3-4th Dan. I could got hit mostly but could also score a few kote or men cuts.

In the final jigeiko with Tsai Sensei, I didn't feel I was doing my best, because I hesitated too much before striking, which is really a beginner's mistake. I couldn't land any strike on him, and received coutlessly many straight men-cuts from him. He has practised kendo for 30 years, and had truely the level of kendo to match the 6th Dan grade, which I'm very cetrain of.

Feed backs:

  • Tsai Sensei: Think but don't think too much during jigeiko.
  • The left side of my body (left hand and foot) needs to be strengthened.
  • The left foot must follow up quickly while executing tsuki.
  • I-Chung: Good timing with the kote strike.

No comments: