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, June 13, 2010

First time at the Taipei Japanese School

On Friday we had a looong training from 8pm-10:30pm, because Ho Sensei wasn't there and So Sempai led the training. The extra time was due to additional program following the jigeiko, which included the kakarite executing kote-men-hiki-men/kote/do followed immediately by men-debana-kote.

  • In order to have enough time to hit the debana-kote, one needs a solid taiatari, which makes the motodachi pause.

At the end I was really exhausted, trying to keep on going. The movement however became more and more proper - always happens.

Saturday morning at the Taipei Japanese School

The lack of sleep didn't prevent me from getting to the Taipei Japanese School (TJS) at 7:30 in the morning. There Kimura-Sensei (now 7th Dan, a former student of Ozawa Sensei) was expecting me.

2007 Autumn - my first time in Tokyo. Ozawa Sensei, Kimura Sensei and me.

When I got there the children were practising kihon without the bogu. Three 7th Dan Japanese teachers and a few other adult ones were instructing them. It was interesting to see how they explained the basics, and of course I got to practise my Japanese listening skills! For almost every item, men-uchi and hiki-men etc, the children had to use the sliding footwork all the way across the hall after the strike. This really trains their leg muscles and fluency to the movements.

Afterwards we put on the bogu and became motodachis to the children. It was a new experience for me to have so many kids coming to practise with me, and to teach them. At the end it was mawari-geiko for the adults.

I got a few insightful advices from Kimura Sensei:

  • Try to communicate with the opponent with kensen from to-maai.
  • When doing seme, no matter how tall you or your opponent are, direct your movement downwards and not upwards.

The second advice I had never head before. However, it solves some of the questions I had in mind. So it was really a unexpected reward of this visit, as well as making a couple of new Japanese friends who are teachers at the school! I think I'll be back there soon!