Yesterday evening 7 people turned up for the training, and I led the session. As always an extensive package of kihon-geiko was on offer. After about 300+ suburi swings, we did 4 x kirikaeshi, 2 x do-kirikaeshi, and few rounds of big men and middle men strikes to practise the wrist snap. Then loads of kote-men and kote-men-men strikes.
We also practised seme and men-strike starting from to-maai when the tips of shinais just touch each other. And by moving both feet inch by inch whiling maintaining a good kamae, the kakarite reaches the isso-ku-itto-no-maai at which point he strikes. Just before extending the arms to strike, the left foot is kept still while the right foot glides forwards.
Some 15 minutes were left for jigeiko towards the end of the training, which is rather short. Next time hopefully I can control the time better so that we can do 25 minutes jigeiko.
One difficult thing for most people including both advanced kenshis or beginners is that, many bad habits show up in jigeiko: upper body leans forwards when striking, constantly moving backwards, blocking, jumping backwards/forwards or evening sideways (which is back footwork).
It seems that for most people, the motivation to win overcomes far more than to do good kendo in jigeiko. There is a very good article on the Attitude to Jigeiko by Sotaro Honda Sensei (click). There are plenty tricks that work when fighting against players of relative low grades (including me) but they are useless against higher grade kendoka. If we indulge ourselves into these temporary moments of victory, the road to obtaining a good kendo would only be made longer and more difficult. Because these habits will become harder and harder to correct, and after one has corrected them, he would realise that much time has been wasted.
I constantly remind myself of this.