Last Thursday I finally handed in my project report for my Masters... Time to take a break from fixing computers (as my laptop broke down 2 days before the hand-in day...argh) Anyway I was back in Wakaba for 4 1/2 hrs of Iaido + Kendo, and on a Sunday we mass-crashed to Mumeishi, because there is a famous kendo high school from Japan visiting the country.
Usually the day start off by FLOOR-CLEANING --- the old wet-towel, hips-in-the-air method. I discovered the trick to go really fast like Formula 1, which is to put all your body weight forward to your arms. Proven to work and I can go for two return trips without resting. But this week I was too eager to "display my youth", probably, and ended up pulling my right thigh after cleaning 1/8 of a basketball court (which is really big!!)
For my first hour of Jikeiko I gave up Seitei competely, as I know now the pattern of the class is to have Seitei twice before getting anywhere near Koryu. After warming up with the 4 Kihon, I tried my best to recall the last 5 koryu Sahla taught 2 weeks ago... Well my conclusion is really - I need to practice more.
In the next hour of taught practice, Sahla switched us into Shiai mode after going through Seitei x 2. What I learnt was about the way of judging -- in my point of view it seems to be more about "how many mistakes" then "how good is the Iai"... Sahla points out that both Helena (my opponent) and me made the same amount/level of mistakes, but because Helena's cuts are a bit too soft, therefore I won my match. Sounds a bit funny... I was the first one up and I was really shaking...
Other general comment is more about people messing up with the To-rei in the end. I only really start to learn mine 2 months ago. So it does help doing it correctly in Shiai/Shinsa.
For the Kendo Kata session, we were all forced into Bokuto Kihon (!!!). Spending 1/2 hour on Kihon 1 - Men, kote, Do, Tsuki... Sorry zzzzzzzz
Was up to be Motodachi for the beginners again. I suddenly enjoy pushing beginners through after their Men cut (because they are not going through!!). Maybe I did scare them away - my queue was always the shortest!!
While in the Mawari-keiko in Kendo, I wasn't as good as on last week due to the muscle pain on my thigh (yes I am getting old... I have some kind of injury every week!!) But I did run to Fujisawa Sensei at the beginning - like, this is the first time I have come up against him since I moved to Brighton 10 months ago!!
Then I fought Sahla before some skin on my left foot went...
For the above 2 practice, I wasn't as sharp - my Debana waza come a little bit too slow. A few times I had Fujusawa going for my kote, missed because I went for de-kote-men. But the other times he just got a lot of Men... In Sahla's case it's the same, apart from one of the kote I got wasn't deep enough (I just touched it with the tip). I think it's the problem about not twisting my left hip INTO the opponent. Besides, Sahla's tai-atari is really strong that sends me off balance a couple of times...
I fought my Senpai A Jones. What annoys me is he can time my kote so well, just dodging it, and then cut my Men (kote-nuki-men). HOWEVER, I really realize what they meant by "bendy kendo" now -- when I missed my kote I ducked down sooooo much that he is hitting the side/back of my Men. Ouccchhh.
Fought J Schmidt and he went into Jodan for a while. I counted similar # of cuts we get from each other. Although after one of his Men cut, his Do bounced against mine, sending me on the floor. My kamae must be crap... Totally off balance...
Ota came and we chat for a bit, didn't practice with him but always enjoy watching.