|From Japan 2008|
Since coming back from Kyushu I have been training everyday apart from the weekend. The training time in Kobukan is temporarily shortened to just more than 1 hr due to neighbours' complaints. Hopefully after putting on sound-proof walls the training time can be extended to normal length. For this reason, training in Kobukan is not enough, I feel. Fortunately, I have also been to Nittaidai (Nippon Sport Science University) and Rikkadai (Tokyo University of Science) about once a week.
Up to now I have received much more advices and instruction from Ozawa Sensei and other Senseis on Kihon and Waza than last year. Footwork is the most urgent thing I have to improve. He told me that one should attack from the lower abdomen. One should tense up the muscle when striking and stomping. He made me feel his lower abdomen when he struck. Indeed, the muscle tensed up rock-hard momentarily and relaxed.
On kirikaeshi, I practised with Kaji Sensei in every training when he was present. First time he told me to swing the shinai up and down along the centerline. And to extend the right wrist more when striking sayu-men. On the second time, he asked me to relax me shoulder more. On the third time, my strikes slid off sometimes. It's hard to be perfect indeed, but I'm on my way...
On our way back from Rikkadai Chiba Campus to Tokyo, Suzuki Sensei looked at my left and right palms to inspect the calluses. The right one should not have any callus, as for the left one she said the following. "The sides of the thumb and index fingers that touch the shinai grip should not have calluses," she said, "because they are not used to exert force. The important part is the muscle below the thumb. This part is used to grip the shinai when doing tenouchi. " "When gripping, the thumb wraps the shinai in the direction of the middle/ring finger, and not the index finger, which is a common beginners' mistake."
Are you making this mistake?
I will write about my trainings in Nittaidai and Rikkadai in the next entry.