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!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Debana techniques

Ho Sensei gave some useful tips for doing men-debana-men/kote.

  • Debana-men: when doing seme and fighting for the center line with the opponent, try to put the shinai slightly on top of the opponent's shinai, so that it takes a shorter time to strike his men.
  • Debana-kote: similar in the case of the debana-men, this time try to put the shinai slightly below. By doing so, one also lures the opponent to strike men.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2011 Taipei Chung-Cheng Cup

This is the 3rd time I participated in the Taipei Chung-Cheng Cup, since I came back to Taiwan 3 years ago. It was the toughest competition experience for me so far, as I fought about 8-9 matches with my teammates.

The competition was teams-only, no individual matches. I was the least experienced kendoka in the 7 men team representing the Taipei Kendokan. However, my sempais continued to encourage me to fight, even though at one point I really wanted to give up, and wanted to let the other team mates to take my place.

The pressure built up tremendously as I got more and more tired, and seeing my teammates scoring points, while I could only drew the match or sometimes loosing one point. In my mind, I felt like a failure being the one who pulls down our overall performance.

Su Senpai, our Taisho, looked at me and asked if I wanted to stay on and fight, I was really hesitating. Then he said, "I'm not sure what your problem is. But if you don't want to fight because all your teammates are winning, that is because we have at least 13 years of experience, much more than you have. If you are getting tired, we are getting tired, too and so are the opponents. Of course, if you are injured, then that's another story." Hearing his words, I felt there's now no reason for me to back down. So, I continued to fight on until he asked me to take a rest in the last match.

We obtain the 3rd place in the end.

There are so many other things I learned by fighting alongside my teammates.

  • Strategy and controlling the mental pressure. Apart from fighting as the senpo in the first match, I fought as the jiho for all the other matches. What I did well (apart from a couple of times loosing) was to draw the match, or if loosing, try not to loose the second point. This maintains a neutral mental pressure for my teammates.
  • I need a stronger will to win. Ozawa Sensei's saids once to me, "Never giver up." I now realise how difficult it is when you have to fight the whole day.
  • When attacking, move the body first and then the hands. Otherwise, it is easy for the opponent to strike debana-kote.
  • Move faster.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Developing one's own style

Ho Sensei said at the end of today's training, that as we advance into higher Dan-grades we should start to be more aware of ourselves, and at the same time develop our own kendo styles. It will come naturally with the personality and the physical conditions. 

Below is the video from Monday's training between two Senpais (there's HD version if you click on it)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Training video

A little thought: In Kamae, if I apply equal force on both hands to grip the shinai, I tend to strike with the right. However, I found that if I grip harder using the left. I naturally use the left hand to strike, which evidently much more powerful.

Now this is a video in yesterday's training, between Chang senpai (5th Dan on the left) and a visiting Ogawa Sensei (7th Dan) from another dojo. Good kendo and a good fight!! Enjoy!!!