Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Everything you do is Practice

Earlier on today Bishop at Edinburgh Kendo Club, Scotland sent an email about a radio broadcast at the BBC Sports with Honda-sensei. It was really nice to hear both of their voices again, after 2 months of leaving the UK. (I love technology)

It was the .ram clip at "Listen to the Show" on March 26th here (fast-foward to 0:37 minutes):

The interview ends with Honda-sensei saying, "...Every day in the world is a practice. You wake up, wash your face... Everything you do is practice."

Thanks to the messages from my dear readers. Life is back to normal for me. Although I choose to skip last Sunday's squad training, take some time off to look after my emotionally exhausted grandmother. I suppose NOT being able to practice is also "practice" (quoting Honda-sensei). Even though I like kendo very much, I still have other priorities in life.

Last night I signed up for the squad shiai practice the next Sunday. It has been 3 month since I fought in a proper shiai... That and it has been 14 months since I fought a shiai in Hong Kong (last time being finishing my taisho match 2-0 in 10 seconds...haha). So I am really looking forward for it.

For this week I am increasing a little bit of difficulty to my daily 500 hayasuburi. I will take as little rest as possible in between a set of 100. Today with Stereophonics as BGM, I finished 500 at the fifth song, under 20 minutes! That saves a lot of time.

Heard about Inoue Shigeake-sensei's visit to Hong Kong next week. Seems like there are loads of frequent visits of holiday-makers/sensei from Japan. I haven't decided if I am joining yet - if there are work-related or funeral-related issues (especially it is Chingming Festival next Tuesday - one for the dead!!) I need to deal with, then I can't spend too much time in the dojo...

It's March/April and already 24oC - I am wearing t shirts and shorts at home, but how am I going to survive the long summer..???

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Life-giving Breath, Life-taking Breath

There isn't a chance for longish jikeiko in these 2 months. Most of the time in the dojo it is mainly paired basic practice, with minimal amount of waza and mawari-keiko. As a result I feel slightly lost in touch with the "competition mindset" which everyone says that's the kind of kendo I am having. Next week there will be a shiai keiko at the squad, so maybe I am going to test out how my progress is, when for the past 2 months all that I am doing is simply kihon.

In today's practice I took a lot of time telling myself to breath properly. Hold it as long as I could while doing a series of cuts, etc. And in between when people rotate around, I used that few seconds to take deep breaths. It helps, I reckon. I actually feel like the first person to jump out and have a go again when sensei said "free practice for the last 10 minutes".

In addition to that, I got the demo request for hiki-waza. This is the first time here I did hiki-waza in kihon. Long time ago in Brighton Ota-senpai told me that the only way to learn hiki-waza is to steal it from other people. So I am glad that something I stole from the UK is working here!

When I got home tonight at around 9pm and had a few bites of my late-dinner, my father called from the hospital. A few minutes later, my grandmother there told us how grandfather took his last big breath of his life. In the 2 months I am back here, I have visited the hospital more than I visit the dojo. Eariler in the week seeing grandpa half-sitted in bed catching his breath (as he is 81 and is having major heart+lung failure), when he was spending his entire time doing nothing but lying in bed, I kind of connect this "breath-catching" scene to what happen when I don't control my breathing properly during practice. Somehow I can feel how painful it is not being able to get air into the lungs.

Breathing is one of the most basic human activity, and we learnt it when we were born. If we lost control of it, we suffer. Perhaps being able to breathing properly will lead to a more enjoyable life?

RIP, grandpa.

Friday, March 25, 2005

"Koo Janai"

Today is another day of kihon, with no specific focus - but my priority of getting my breathing right is working okay. Seems like my daily hayasuburi routine is starting to work.

Was told to have bigger step (or, more movement) when doing hayasuburi (just 30 today) and also during kirikaeshi (both attacking side and receiving side).

Also noticed: my kirikaeshi is so sh!t. Over the other side, Leo, who happened to be in my group when I first started kendo 3 years ago, can go fast and sharp. Uhmm, gotta catch up with my dokai!!

..And when I am tired I dragged my left foot too much - especially that last jikeiko with Tanaka-sensei. "Men wo___________, _________. ___________ Awasete__________! Koo Janai. _______ Wakarimas ka?"

Can't get 0.01% verbally but it isn't too difficult to watch. Doing it is another thing though...

There were only 7 people in bogu today. Eda-sensei said the Tanaka couple also live quite far from the dojo, and we should try to attend the Thursday class and listen to his advice. Oops, no more complain about going home late night and have dinner at 11pm again!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Something to read

While the ever-entertaining Kendo World Forums is down (again?!), without getting everyone bored with my suburi schedule, here's some interesting light readings I found...

Kendo Goes Global: Participation in Internationals at All-time High (August 15, 2003)

Alexander Bennett: A Journey to the Heart of Kendo (August 11, 2003)

Mooto News: Is Japan's Kendo Dynasty Indestructible? (July 30, 2003)

* * * * * EDIT * * * * *

Here's a response to an email from reader Andre:-

Just to clarify: "taking one breath on every 10 hayasuburi cuts using two kodachi" is probably my bad exaggeration (uhmm where is my English??)...

To describe it better, I really focus on breath counting today... On the first 30 it's around 8 cuts inhale, 2 cuts exhale. There are of course, moments where I just hold my breath. But this breathing pattern gets messy from the 60th cut onwards - roughtly the time when I feel "lets take a break". However by mentally staying calm while enjoying the music beats, I can actually last the whole 100 hayasuburi, even though the inhale-exhale rate is much faster (yet under control).

Other things I notice on my third day of 500 hayasuburi (I *hope* from now on the days I can't get to the dojo I'll be going through this):-
1) Rammstein isn't playing 1 beat per second - and I am cutting more than 10 cuts in 10 seconds, so I am actually doing 550+ cuts.
2) It's getting like summer here so I need a shower before dinner.
3) I probably need a new CD soon.

Monday, March 21, 2005

"Reise, reise"

"From now on we will focus on developing the following things: stamina, techique, discipline... For stamina, everyone should keep on doing exercise at home because we simply don't have enough time to do that in the dojo. If you don't work on your physical capacity, you cannot build up your techniques."

This is the advice to the squad from Kishigawa-sensei yesterday and somehow I think it is directed to me. I obviously lack some stamina, as it shows when things go intense.

Before dinner tonight while stuck at some freelance work, I fancy doing some exercise for 1/2 hour. The ceiling is low at home and therefore I pick up 2 kodachi for some haya-suburi (no idea if weight distribution is different but the weight is similar to one whole bokuto anyway).

To make it more "entertaining" I put on the new Rammstein CD "Reise, reise" on the Hi-Fi. My goal is to do 100 haya-suburi on every song played. A song is around 4 minutes so I can take a short break before doing another set again.

I have to stop at my 270th cut because I am going too fast, have no ki-ken-tai-icchi and out of breath. Then I think of a better plan. There is a minute-second counter on the Hi-Fi and I should watch it and cut once a second. Also I start taking one breath for every 10 cuts.

So for 100 haya-suburi the counter was going from 0:00 to 1:40 (that's 1 min 40 sec, i.e. 100 seconds, i.e. 100 cuts) ... then I can take a rest and have another go. In the end I finished my last 30 haya-suburi at the 6th song, "Amerika"... Totalling 500 haya-suburi under 30 minutes.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Squad #2

Anyone who attends the Sunday squad training regular enough is already a member of the squad. From what I see this is the deal - once you are inside the dojo, you instantly become part of the group.

Though this is only the second time after that major taikai happened last month, as I only started to belong the group mid-way like a transferred student. So when Kishigawa sensei asked everyone to put comment and suggestions for future squad practice, I was only there to listen. According to fellow attendees, when Kishigawa sensei first took over the squad training a year ago, the practice went so hard that only 10 out of 30+ people survived...

Today's Squad was much more closer than their normal training. At least first off before all these lecturing, everyone was asked to do 50+30 hayasuburi with 2 shinai. "If anyone pause halfway or without enough kiai, we'll do it again." As a group, everyone suffers for everyone, so to speak.

Someone suggested earlier about not knowing what to score in shiai, when to defence and when to attack. K-sensei responded by saying at our stage we can't offence and defence at the same time - it's either attack or counter-attack.

I was with the women group (7 out of 30+) most of the time. Started lightly with men/kote-uchi.

Then it was groups of 3-4 with one person as motodachi. First off, kakari-te cuts men, then motodachi have to move away (by using footwork). Next, motodachi does blocks everything until kakari-te (cuts anything) gets an Ippon. Finally, motodachi has the full counter-attack abled, just like kakari-keiko. Half way through K-sensei shoved me to the "other" female group (there were only 2)... meaning pairing with 2 yondans.. Just totally exhausted with pulled ad-muscles.

The other two just kept on going. I felt such a drag being in their group... One of them told me to control my breath and cut using one breath. But...Apart from that one pananormal time I actually got a kote-men out of nowhere, (is it really what they meant by "when you are tired your real kendo shows?) it was so painful that I can't even stand up straight..

Eventually I got kicked back to my original group. There was shinkokyu time in between (because I finish my Ippon faster against girls at my level) so it wasn't too bad.

After that was series of ai-men from to-ma. I think my waist is not turning "in" enough, as my run-through path is so angled to the right after I got the Men.

At mid-day the el finale was uchikomi-keiko. Pattern: men-hiki-men/kote/do, repeat, kirikaeshi (one string men, one string do), then men. K-sensei again complained, "Everyone is tired. But don't forget your opponent is equally tired. If you can cut when your opponent is tired, you win." ... So while our spirit went a bit up, we got to do that uchikomi again.

The finishing 30 mins was always queuing-for-sensei type of jikeiko. I spent most of the time in the queue (resting) and fought Wong-sensei, who is tall, hits hard, and talks like a bully(!). My entire day focused on using "koshi". I keep telling myself to keep my left foot on the same spot whenever I cut, and when I cut I lift my right big toe up first before pushing my kensen up. Surprisingly, I actually got 2 brilliant kote-men... even though I lost debana-men straight away when he called for Ippon. After class comment: "Good performance today - just keep coming." Phew.

When I was in a queue, I watched a lot of K-sensei against everyone else. Against people with bad kamae, he just stood there, took his time and cut men. Even Tanaka-sensei who moves like a wooden board can't get all his cuts as sharp. Or Agnes-senpai who received a strong harai-waza that sent her shinai flying from one end of the dojo to another, and then received perfect tsuki every time she moves... Somehow I think it is a confidence thing... Against a good sensei you feel crap - and ended up with a crap kamae and crappy cuts. When I foguht Wong-sensei, all I was thinking is to stand upright, koshi, right big toe, left hand. I didn't realize my kote-men went so brilliant until running pass him, kiai-ing on top of my lungs.

Maybe because I can't listen to Tanaka-sensei's Nihongo class yesterday, I have to really LOOK at what he is doing. So I ended up copying him on a positive way. I even start experimenting what he said his tokui-waza was when he was in Shiai - kote-do.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Koshi, koshi!!

After a 11-day sick leave from the far-away dojo, tonight I dragged myself back in there.

I felt I have recovered at least 90%, if not 95% - but it shows after stretching, running around and doing suburi, that my energy level is rather low... Especially there was a short session of Tai-atari: I thought I have been trained to withstand that, but I completely lost my feet when my partner Lo, a big girl, crush into me... x_x Eda-sensei said I should hold my breath when doing tai-atari...

Tanaka-sensei took over the class with bogu (tonight there were only 6 of us?!). We spent quite a lot of time on Kihon. Starting from the natural chudan-no-kamae, to suburi (3-stage: up, cut, zanshin), and then men-uchi, kote-uchi, do-uchi (without men). Sensei emphasized on the position of the hands should be "out, stretched" and not cramped down.

Then in the practice with men on, after 6 kirikaeshi (I sucked), we went through the same kihon men and kote-uchi. Sensei told me to keep the angle of my shinai lower (!)...

There was a bit of kote-suriage-kote refreshment. So far I have no idea why they keep doing men-kaeshi-do instead of do-uchi only. What I learnt about why Sensei can be so sharp at it is that, he turns his waist 45-degree quickly after blocking, to create a big space to pass through. "Koshi, koshi da!!" Tanaka-sensei shouted.

The Kote-men rensoku-waza's aim is not on the kote, but men. I got the "hayaku" comment. Basically in order to create an opening for men, the kote-uchi should be really light and bouncy - so bouncy that it bounces the shinai up for you (instead of you doing big furi-age).

Funny enough the entire class was conducted in Japanese with minimal translation. Personal advice was purely Japanese, yet I managed to catch a few words (just keep on nodding).

The class went quickly and we finish off with 5 rounds of mawari-keiko (really short), and kakari-keiko 2 rounds against Mrs. Tanaka. My fumikomi is shite at that point, so is my breathing.. *cough cough*...

After class the kendo conversation continued (without beer..hmmm). We were given Matcha cakes from Chiba by Eda-sensei where she went last week... While Tanaka-sensei took the chance of having Eda as a better translator, explained to us about what went wrong generally.

My grip is bad... I tend to twist my wrists too inwards, while the radius (hmm the bone on the arm... I need a diagram) should be flat at the wrist joint to the hands. When raising shinai, think about pointing forward, rather than pulling back.

Only with a good kamae you can be ready to get an ippon.

Also that we should keep everything natural. Like, whenever we walk, if we stop and hold our hands as if holding our shinai - we should be at the correct position already. Think about using koshi to talk in order to keep our steps light and quick. Also use koshi to stay square - the same as when we are at kamae, right shoulder shouldn't be pulled forward. When we do men-uchi, if we don't use koshi, it'll all be using arms muscles and we'll start leaning forward...

etc. etc. etc.

Eda-sensei pointed out we can also think about how to stand at kamae when using the train (!)... I thought I am the only person on earth addicted to that point... I was wrong.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Homemade Dojo

There has been another month since I have picked up my iaito again. Just how can I cope with the conflicting training schedule on Sat (iaido class at Kishigawa-sensei's and kendo at Eda-sensei's at the same evening, different locations...)?!?

I was about to hire the community squash court again today, but ended up taking my father's advice and use the living room instead. Just move some furnitures and rubbish around... DA-Da!! I got a 3mx3mx3m space (wooden floor) for 1-hr of Iaido practice before going to bed.

My temporary "dojo" is tiny but hey I find out you don't really need much space anyway. I still can do most Seitei there, with the exception of #7, #10 & #11. Unfortunately most Koryu has steps and movements that for safety reasons... better leave them.

The TV screen is flat enough to give me a good mirror reflection, so I can actually check out my posture sometimes. Because the ceiling happens to be high enough, and that my iaito ain't that long, there is no bulb-braking accidents. Just that once the chiburi got caught at the bookshelf, and the other time when I pull my sword down it "slashed" onto the sofa.

Today's main goal is just to "keep my iaido there". I *know* some of my dokai + kohai in London will be taking their Ikkyu/ Shodan this month. It's a shame that I can't catch up my grading with them (especially I actually started a month earlier than everyone). But I am not giving up (yet). I still want to get blackbelt-ed in a year or two... :'(

Monday, March 14, 2005

Another 500!

Despite a few dry coughs, an hour before dinner today I went thru another 500 suburi. It was 20 on the right knee and then 20 on the left, until the count went up to 100, and then I did 40 sit-ups in one go. So totally it was 500 suburi with suburi-to, plus 200 sit-ups, and today's background music is Dir en Grey (...J-rock, visual-kei). A slight improvement from yesterday.

There is squad late night on Tues (9.00-10.30pm?!) but if I get there 1.5 hr one-way for that 1.5 hr, when I get home it'll be at mid-night. How am I suppose to deal with that once I start working fulltime??

Save that for daydream...

Sunday, March 13, 2005


To my disappointment, I could not attend the Sat practice and Sun squad as I am still sick. Sat was the worst with serious stomach ache that sent me to the doctor. A kendo weekend wasted.

However on Sunday afternoon (after all the kendo hours..) I feel much better and have the mood to grab my bokuto again... But my hands ended up with the suburi-to. Back in my tiny room I find a spot without ceiling bulbs, blasting out Slipknot from the speakers, I did 500 suburi with the suburi-to. With this think piece of wood the only thing I focus on is pulling it outwards using the "tanden" (actually I have no idea if I am using the correct set of muscles, but there we go). For the downward cut, the piece of wood is so heavy that it falls by itself without me putting any force behind it. When I pick up my normal bokuto it is like a toothpick, and I feel like waving it at 3 cuts a second! :D That's gotta cure the too-much-right-hand bad habit...

After the 500 suburi I did another 100 sit-ups.

With a bit of sweat, my only other wish is to put on my bogu and have a bash!!!

Attached a photo comparing my normal bokuto with that thick piece of wood - I am not sure if it qualifies to be called a suburito or something else, but it is double size of a normal bokuto:-

Thursday, March 10, 2005


It seems like sickness comes periodically. According to my diary, in Jul, Sept, Nov 04 and Jan 05, there was a week in which I was "very sick", to the point where I have to skip kendo (!).

This is one of the weeks. At this very moment while I should be at the dojo, I am coughing my lungs out. This is the 3rd consecutive week that I did not show up for a Thurs practice. I must have let Eda-sensei down... :(

Tho this is Hong Kong and I can't really attend the class coughing everywhere. There was this SARS epidemic and I cannot terrorize fellow dojo mates...

To compensate for the missing class, I did 300 suburi today using a heavy suburi-to hidden at home. I think squad training this Sunday should be harder than the previous week. I hope I can be back in shape by then and survive more hayasuburi.


Monday, March 07, 2005

Squad Reboot

Somehow I feel extremely guilty not showing up at my home dojo last Thurs because of an early job interview that Friday. But this Sat + Sun's training I do feel I am improving on certain things. It's not like when people say "I didn't train but I am still good" - anyway I hope when my job sorted I can have practice on a more regular bases.

As in last weekend's Asian Tournament, Kishigawa sensei (Brazilian nanadan, HK Team Coach) specificly asked "Why I didn't turn up to the squad in a month?"... I was just so damn afraid what will happen if I don't this week. Other kohai girls at my home dojo said they watched before and the training is way too hard - though reckon I will probably "survive". Anyway, here I come!!

In between the 10.30am break when those who are there for the squad training went back into the dojo, I quickly greet Kishigawa sensei (and of course saying, "I am joining today!")

There was a bit of lecturing before warm-up. Mainly for those who fought last weekend at the tournament. Time for Hansei (reflection), "why there is no ippon" As a helper/ spectator I must say I don't know how hard they have been working on, but seeing the fresh, younger HK team 2nd Dan & below division at 1st place, the veteran team in the ladies division at join-3rd, I believe they deserve what they have been training for. Sensei finishes by saying (harshly), "You need to know what you want to improve in order to improve. There is no point coming to the squad training thinking you are going to improve just by coming. You are just wasting your time." That was directed to everyone in sight, but that is what I should particularly be aware of, especially this is my first day here.


Warm-up is the same as my home dojo (I guess Eda-sensei just borrow that). Push-up, sit-up, hang-on-bar-and-raise-legs, squad jump, all 20 times, in bogu and with kiai. It wasn't that fun if there was no one else doing it with me. Sometimes I imagine going for men-uchi and it does help. I know I am crap at push-ups, but for sit-ups I can handle with ease (maybe I can go for double... hold on... let me just shut up..)

Forget to mention: apart from Kishigawa sensei, today assisting were Tanaka sensei and also Lai-sensei (thank god some one lighten us up in Cantonese..) At the student side there were around 20+ people, in which there are 5 girls, 2 of them my senpai (at around Yondan level). Many squad members who were fighting last week wasn't there - guess they are just taking a break.

This squad session straight after a major tournament was probably a toned-down version of what normally goes (as I was told..). Mainly it was non-bogu basics. Around 30mins of hitting the stack of tatami and focus on ki-ken-tai-icchi and the use of koshi, then paired practice of getting chu-shin at isoku-itto, and 100+50 haya suburi, before getting into jikeiko for the last 30 mins.

The "tatami hitting" practice totally kills as sensei was not satisfied with any of our coordination at all (including the two yondan female senpai standing next to me)... After the session my right inner thigh all the way to my back was so damn sore.

The 100+50 haya suburi was great. I realize I haven't done any since last time at UCL club..! Tho I was told my downward swing is too low and I should be swinging more outward.

Jikeiko was a little bit too short because I spent all my time queuing for Kishigawa sensei, and as a result I only managed that one. Surprisingly, it went alright. The previous guy got 3 consecutive perfect tsuki (!) so I was quite bothered.. But when it was my turn all I want is to show my best, especially what I have been working on recently: posture, footwork, speed and accuracy.

At 12.30pm we rushed outside the gym and say thankyou to the sensei (and ask for comments). However Kishigawa sensei said nothing in particular apart from asking what grade I am. Experience tells me that is a sign of me being either better than he though or completely sub-standard. I was still with my old zekken (will be changed in a week or two), so in his mind probably I was actually representing British Kendo...!

"I'll be back"... hopefully. I still need to fight Eda-sensei!! People there keep asking where she was, and I was told even if a little sickness Eda will train as usual. Guess she was really sick. But I keep coughing when I got home too.. grrr!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Different people, different places

This weekend I've been helping out at the HK Asian (Regional) Invitational Kendo Tournament, the second largest kendo event that I have ever been to (the no. 1 is of course, 12th WKC).

Before the shiai on that Friday night was Godou Keiko. I got strongly advice by my sensei to "go practice with the girls, especially the university students"... Though it was really crowded and I practiced with one from Shigakukan Daigaku (3 years ago they visited Mumeishi before - but of course not the same group of students). At other times I had a go with boys and girls from Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore at all levels. It was so crowded that I stepped on/ hit on the back of my head more than 5 times... They had 2 gyms for keiko but I chose NOT to get stuck at queuing for 5Dan+ motodachi (because sensei said "go with the girls"...). So that was 6 keiko in 2 hours. Not too bad.

Shinsa was on Sat morning but I didn't go due to some family matters. Tho I heard everyone from my dojo passed - expect a Japanese boy who just happened to drop his shinai in the middle of his nidan shinsa...

In the afternoon there was an over-run referee seminar that shows a lot of interesting things about refereeing - like how flags should be rolled up and stuff (that I usually don't notice much..). The Sat afternoon went the 2Dan & below 3-men team matches. There is no one in particular that I am watching out for. Most of the time I was practising my calligraphy skill with a marker pen on the scoreboard... and taking photos everywhere. There were 30mins jikeiko but chose to watch more and go around for more photos (so that the day after I don' t have to).
At the welcome party buffet with free beer (since all helpers get free accomodation at the same hotel) I had my first decent English conversation in a month with Dr Alex Bennet and Michael Komoto... They came to do research/survey with Uehara sensei about views on Kendo in different parts of the world... If I didn't talk to them, I probably won't feel how hard it is to be responsible for such important research to promote kendo in foreign countries.

Then I moved table and got introduced to the HK team coach, Kishigawa sensei (Brazilian).He does not remember me at all (no one does - since I only practice a few times every year...) but apparently my sensei has been talking about my name a lot. He complained, "You've been back for a month, I don't understand why don't you attend any squad practice!!" I had nothing to say apart from kept nodding my head...

The other morning I got an extra task to "get people on the chartered bus"....!! Everything - everything that happened on Sunday reminds me of the 12th WKC.

Say, the day starts off with 8 girls screaming at their pairs at 4 courts... It was the 5-person team events, with Ladies first. When my court finishes I hopped over to see the HK team A with my sensei as Chuken. In the semi-finals they went to a tie against Singapore A. The Singapore Taisho has brilliant kote-men, but the only point she lost was against HK' s Taisho's nuki-do (timed so well that goes in between her 2 cuts of kote-men)... Tho in the end at "golden goal" HK (A) losted by a point.

Final was Osaka Prefecture Uni vs Singapore.. Level is quite different, and I found it was a lot less exciting than the previous matches. I guess it's the matter of "fighting someone as good will push your skill to the max" type of thing...

I finished with the names of scoreboards early before the pools of the Men's event, so I did get more time to go around the back and watch whatever I like (privilage of a helper). The most interesting people are at the court where Dr.A and Komoto-san went refereeing this day - a few jodan players and also one Nito (!). Also I was surprised that both Beijing and Shanghai can fill up another (strong) team all with Japanese surnames. Unlike HK where you get businessmen mostly, I think at the other cities they do have a larger university student presence (just like London).

At one side of the Semis was Shigakukan A vs B. All 5 matches went really tense. There I witnessed another scored TSUKI (last time being WKC).

FInal was Shigakukan A vs Osaka Pref. Uni's team. Everyone stayed really close and watched breathlessly. On the Taisho-sen, Shigakukan was 1 point up so they hold until the last second - and therefore they were the eventual winner.

At the semi-finals and finals I was really focusing on observing how they all move and do fumikomi. I did not analyse it much but I found the sound they all made amazing. At the Godou keiko I intentionally found Dr. A and Komoto for a bash - and I can feel my fumikomi myteriously went stronger too. I am cutting stronger, responding quicker - even though most of the time I lost 1/100 sec of debana waza, but I can still pop the cut.

Tho Dr. A's comment was that, I am not going 100% into the cut. "You are like a cat that only does things to annoy me. The best thing to do against a cat is to pour a bucket of water!" urhmmm.... Points noted. I got tsuki-ed 3 times as well... grrr.. And I have to stop having sensei or senpai giving analogies using animals!!