First of all, let me wish everyone a Happy and Successful New Year!!!
I had done so much in 2011 - making a lot of new friends, founding a rotary club, starting a new blog, finding a new direction in career, while maintaining regular kendo practices. Sure, I cannot say that I achieved a great deal in kendo last year, but overcoming obstacles and attending practices required a lot of self-motivation in my circumstances. I am glad that I was able to do it.
My kendo level has gone from kihon-only style to a style involving more wazas. Putting pressure and creating "false openings" to lure the opponent in striking. This requires very good timing and attention on the maai, as well as a full concentration.
However, I still need to make more effort on my practising kihon and suburi at home. My body condition has declined due to the long commuting everyday, hopefully I will be able to switch my job later this year to somewhere closer to home.
Ozawa Sensei visited in December as usual. I told him that I kept loosing in competitions in recent times, and I haven't been able to overcome this problem. And the thing is, sometimes I do not know what the problem is, that my performance in competitions is so much worse than in the normal practices.
He told me that, if only I give out 50% of my performance in practices, I would win. And the most important is to keep the fighting spirit high, and never give up.
He also said that the kendo in keiko, competition and examinations are the same. I should not do differently. I should always keep this in mind.
Below is a clip between Ozawa Sensei and Tokura Sensei (7th Dan, former national team coach of China)