Happy New Year everyone!!
I've been to every training in the past month. Not for any particular reason, just because I enjoyed it. There have also been a few realizations of my own kendo lately.
- When cutting: One thing particularly important is that, raising the shinai higher and strike down brings more power to the cut. This way I don't loose ai-men easily.
- More successes at nuki-do and kaeshi-do: Timing is critical. And to have the correct timing, one should seme until the opponent launches the attack. I found that smooth and slow seme works the best. For example, sliding the shinai forwards against the opponent's just a couple of inches from the issoku-ito-no-maai distance, if the opponent raise the shinai to strike, then execute the kaeshi-men. If the opponent shows no movement, then back out and seme in again.
- Kamae: If I have a good kamae then I become confident with myself. Maybe it's the reverse, I don't know. But for sure to check for is if I am holding my kamae correctly, and build up the pressure against my opponent from there.
- Kote-men moments: The moment to execute kote-men is rather interesting. Very often the kote gives the opponent a signal to defend and then he blocks the men. The solution one is, to have a blitzing fast kote-men technique, but then the opponent is still be able to block. I think the best way to solve this is to catch the right time for kote-men. One of these moments is when his kensen is low, especially when he is about to attack (debana moment).
- Concentration: There is a common problem to everyone, and that is the temporary black-out of mind. If this happens one basically falls into any trap set up by his opponent. Fake-men then striking kote is one of the most effective tricks. So concentrate!!