Sunday, April 17, 2005

Squad #5 Survived!

This weekend has been sooooo tiring for no reason. That rope-jumping session killed my thigh muscles for Sat, and then on Sun I don't have enough sleep (there was no seats on the bus either and I was standing for an hour... blahblahblah)


I managed to last the whole 2-hour sessions. Well, the practice was slightly easier with some watch-your-mates periods. So it wasn't too damaging to my tired body. Also I really stopped checking the clock (I already have a problem of checking my watch too often...!!) which actually makes the sessions feel shorter as I have been more focused.

Today's Squad waza keiko was more about "seme" - to make your cuts less predictable, and attack when your opponent can't. At the Squad waza was not demonstrated repeatedly, so most of the things are left up to our personal understanding.

There was 7 girls and I was the "singled out" one who got paired up with Horibe Shingo, a Japanese youth who happened to failed his nidan a few months ago. But the waza keiko is, in my point of view, still good. Pairing with someone at my level (finally) gives me more confident, even if it's just cutting men - despite Kishigawa-sensei's " good, so predictable" comment...

Towards the end there was short rounds of ippon-shobu keiko, with the loser going for kakari-keiko. Somehow I cheated by running for Men straight in ... so I ended up doing ai-kakari keiko with my 4 opponents (who was all around my level or less) - until I get to the final one with Eda-sensei again. That was probably the only moment when I tell myself "uhrggh its too much" and lost a Men. Something to reflect upon. Lastly that's 2 rounds of uchikomi keiko as last week before jikeiko. I am surprised how my mental state has kept me going (especially my pair was right next to K-sensei...) and have kiai-ed all the way.

There was some surreal moment this weekend where I feel the POP sound with some senpai/sensei during Ai-men rounds. My most recent discovery is to slide in with my right foot (seme-no-ashi, if I have captured the essense properly) slightly before raising my shinai. It works so damn well that I popped 9 out of 10 of the Ai-men against Mrs Horibe yesterday and Uncle Horibe today. (Note: there is this Horibe 7Dan sensei, Mrs Horibe is the wife who helps out at the kids class at my dojo... and there is Uncle Horibe - whose son is Shingo...) I m not 100% sure whether I got the cut but I certainly popped their men.

At yesterday's mawari-keiko it was even more surreal... I got everyone's shodachi with Men, and then the second cut also with Men... I slowed down after the 2 cuts. The kihon certainly helps in these 2 months, but I am not sure if I should start concentrating on my waza a little bit more, now that I've got my men slightly sharper.

The worst bit is stil what every senpai is trying to tell me, that i haven't push out my kensen when I lift the shinai up. Also on the impact I have to bend my wrists more. The feeling is like turning in the left wrist, while pushing the tsuba out with my right hand with the four-fingers close to one another.

There is a girl I haven't seen before and she is called Fanny. At the jikeiko session today, after one round against Uncle Horibe, I was asked by Eda-sensei to do more waza-keiko with Amy and Fanni (one side Men 5 times, other side waza, etc., just like what we just did in the squad). It was a great thing to have some female kohai finally, and doing yakusoku-keiko (instead of jikeiko) really make me feel like we are helping each other out.

The other complain was from Agnes-senpai who said I did not have enough focus - I know now!!! I just have to remind myself about it.

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