Friday, October 29, 2004

The Dance of Kendo

Earlier in the week Blake asked us "seniors" to invent a way to teach beginners about "ki-ken-tai-icchi". IMHO they should have been working more in their feet rather than their hands. But anyway its quite hard for me to convey the idea of NOT using muscular strength. Practically nobody seems to understand.

At Thursday's UCL practice - technically a new university club filled entirely by student membership - Matsuda-sensei-in-charge (since Gibson is away) taught about ki-ken-tai-icchi as well. The few of us from Nenriki was assisting, as in "run around correcting little mistakes". They did a bit of fumikomi. Then without shinai in their hands, Matsuda taught them to clap and stamp with their foot together.

To me it looks like a dance studio with teams of dancers clapping and tap-dancing (in a violent way). But we do find that clapping helps a lot with the speed, because we are getting to be more "on the beat" now!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Feels like Ikkyu

Yes I passed Nidan last weekend.

That day was long and boring. When I got home at 6.30pm I went straight to bed.

I woke up a few hours later and loaded the photos I took into the harddrive. That included the video of my grading fights.

My kamae looked absolutely horrible. I knew it looks bad. But now I know it was THAT bad.

... and I keep wondering why I passed...? Yeah I passed. But not happy at all.

Last Sat at Wakaba I queued for Fujisawa sensei. When we got up from sonkyo, I did my kiai to keep me in focus. But Fujisawa sensei walked over to me and said, "oh congratulations!" Apart from saying thank you, I was lost. I don't even remember I am Nidan.

My men cut sucks so much. I had my Shodan shinsa on video as well. God I cut so much better last year in front of Miyazaki Masahiro at the 12th WKC grading. What happened???

There isn't a proper taikai I am going for in a few months. I have been working on my job-hunting a lot lately, so there isn't much to think about in kendo. Now I need to work back my Men!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


This week is a bit too busy to write things down. When you have more important stuff to deal with in your life, such as job hunting... You don't want to sit in front of the computer typing stuff about kendo!!!



Just when you think you can get away with 7 months not training regularly, and go for your Nidan after 15 months of Shodan--- you realize the most important waza of Nidan, a Kote-men, is not working properly!!

The more you do it, the worse it gets!!!

Adding to that is a blister developing between my left thumb and index finger. Sign of a bad grip -- I have been having a bad grip for 3 months without realizing!!

I am still fighting too far as well. Last weekend at the Squad training, my uchikomi keiko and kakari keiko were sh!t. I still hit with the very tip of the shinai, instead of the pat closer to the nakayui. Thats why it doesnt give the pop. Thats why I was vvvvv frustrated!!

At the squad we did funny waza-keiko. Select a type of cut for your motodachi, and then you do your counter attack. We pair up, go on for sonkyo, stand up and walk to the middle, saying, "Hello, what do you want?" Even more interesting is, everyone wears a big smile in their face (despites being tired and out of breath)

"Big, slow men please." We did that 4 times and swap around. Sounds like hungry customers ordering food from waiters.

My de-kote went great. But my kote-men sucks. Really sucks... Especially when I paired up with Fisher, who I KNOW will be fighting me at the grading next weekend!!! God... why am I doing this?!?!

One great thing I did was to fight all the girls!! It was much better than I expected, with 6 other female kendoka around.

The most stupid thing has to be the public transportation. One section of the Underground wasnt running and we have to take replacement buses. That made a journey of 2 hours going out and 3 hours returning. The squad training was only 3 hours... How should I weight that?