Friday, May 27, 2005


Another day of normalty (!) - apart from being 5 mins late soaking in the thunderstorm walking to the gym... and also at the end got told "when you cut your left foot is still behind you" again (this is so typical...)

To beat the boredom - I spent an hour making this training schedule review for the past 10 weeks. I am not very good at info graphics. But anyway...

Deep blue: Team training / hardcore yukusoku keiko
Baby blue: Kihon at my home dojo (Seishinkan with Eda + Tanaka sensei)
Orange: Hayasuburi x 500
Pink: Rope-jumping x 500 + Sit-up x 100, usually

The week of Apr 4 was a sick break.
May 8 was the Taikai.

So there was 13 days I did nothing - which is 2 weeks out of 10... which mean I only "did something" 80% of my time...

My attendance at my dojo is 12/14 (85%), but the squad is only 9/13 (70%) - I only decide to take part on Tues, and not going on Sats a few weeks ago.

I don't know what all these means. But maybe I'd review once more in another 10 weeks.

Also on record is my daily weight change, but it was proven to be a waste of time since my weight is 99 lbs 10 weeks ago and now it's 97 lbs. I reckon the scale is broken!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My Way, or the High Way

Whoa. A day not checking this thing... and it was exploded with comments...!

To my disappointment, I completely skipped the squad training last night, which is the second consecutive squad I've missed. The first punishment comes from my own bogu - sitting right next to a window for 5 days has mysteriously molded it up!! Arghh...

For twice I skipped training is because of workload (until 4am!!) Especially this week I am trying to land a job in a massive company. If you are interested to know what I am doing - go check instead...

So, to further our discussion about self development, let's start from Iustin's response from last round (Sorry I do not intend to turn this into another forum, but I felt like clarifying):-

...if someone is good, she/he can train for national squad - a worthy goal. If, as you say, someone is in the 30's and not fit, its another thing. But what about the middle road? When I go to training, I try to give my best, I try to do everything as well as I can, not sparing myself. I take training seriously, and I feel bad when this or that doesn't work. But I don't always have time to go to all four sessions a week, nor do I have much time to train extra.

I just wanted to point out the middle road - training hard for self-development. It seemed to me that you consider self-development a little bit a 'soft' target.

That's what separates who's in the squad, and who's not.

It's all about the following:
1. Skill - are you good enough?
2. Devotion - how often do you train?
3. Sacrifice - can you train every Tues 9-10.30pm, and Sun 10.30am-12.30pm, while the travel time to the dojo is 1 hr one-way?
4. Opportunity - are you born in a country without a lot of people doing kendo?
5. Finance - can you afford the expenses?

There is no "pro" kendo outside of Japan and Korea. There is definitely people who just turn up for fun, occationally for a sweat, and people who are more serious. I belong to neither of these two groups...

More importantly, in my case, I am already a squad member (because I train there?)... Unlike those in the US or Canada where places for the squad is dominated by nikkei, I consider myself as "lucky" - not something particularly being proud of tho. But to be selected into the 13th WKC team, it's another question.

To put myself forward for selection, I have to have a high-ish attendance, and of course my kendo (especially in shiai) has be of standard.

I do feel that, especially recently, that my concerns are based upon responsibility to train, and not particularly that I wanted to train. Especially going home on a Tuesday midnight, or waiting for a bus at 9am on a Sunday morning.

Oh well, it's all part of my training! T_T

Friday, May 20, 2005

Response to Reader #1: Self-development?

Finally I stopped scratching myself after some medication, and have the mood to write a post in response to an email I got from a reader earlier this week. Abstract as follow:-

... How do I take in the “win, win, win” pressure, from teachers/sensei and partners? Nowadays I do it in a different way: I DON'T!!! Yet I do take it as “advice for my development”, when I can, or dismiss it entirely when it is nothing but “winning advice”...

...Train, practice, exercise, fight, compete, work and live for the only right reason: SELF-DEVELOPMENT. This one will lead to all of the other ones... when they are not excuses or simply convenient...


First of all, I don't win much in shiai - despite the fact that I love it and have been to a lot, chances of me NOT even getting through the first round of fight is more than 60%. So to say that I am a "shiai kendo"-oriented person, is not very correct.

Though I would not dismiss my "goal" of getting into the 13th WKC team Hong Kong. It has been one of my aim for practice since... probably the last WKC - or maybe as early as since I got into bogu..!!

This situation is something that I think a lot of people will not understand. If I were a fat guy starting kendo at my 35 - I probably won't be thinking much about shiai or the squad, and will agree with that self-development bit. But the more I realize that I love kendo, I am young, fit, "have potential", "not many dedicated girls", and really wanted to train, then kendo isn't just a personal activity for leisure, but rather responsiblity of fulfilling expectations from everyone else.

That goes back to my personality really. Maybe because I am a graphic designer relying on visual communication, and not a self-expressionist abstract artist..?

Outside of Japan, kendo is a small world after all... As long as you fit in the criteria of being in the squad, it becomes the scenario of Red pill vs Blue pill. Adding to that, I don't like the feeling of being pick "because I exist", but more "because I train hard". Therefore I have to keiko 2-3 times a week, plus the secret training at home (Eda-sensei goes to 6 sessions a week..!!).

So when being asked "why did you lose so fast at the shiai?", it comes to me like a slap on the cheek. Squad member and you lose? To a junior? Yeah, you trained, but why should we let you go to the Worlds and lose?

If I am just a regular guy then losing out at a shiai doesn't bother me much. You know, 50% of people lost at the first round. Shiai is a part of training. Losing shows you your weaknesses, etc. But as a potential squad member, it's not just another day any more. Makes me question if I really have what it takes to be fighting at international level.

But the other stuff at the squad is useful to anyone. Like that "Make Ippon" comment that still echoes in my mind. If I stop thinking about it, even in kihon or uchikomi... Ill end up hitting at random timings - which isn't going to help my kendo much. Be it in shiai or shinsa, or even a regular keiko. It's a matter of fighting with the heart, rather than just getting to the dojo and have a sweat. So the things I do at the squad is in the least sense of shiai kendo, or winning advice, or whatever - it's still just the basic concept.

In return this attitude does take away a lot of joy and fun in kendo... I am not saying I don't enjoy kendo now. Being serious in keiko every second really helps a lot in learning and understanding. It's physically and mentally a lot more demanding - but I prefer the tougher way than the relaxing way... [and I am so sadistic!]

PS - Last night at dinner I heard Eda-sensei briefly talked about the 05/06 kendo schedule. Something like Inoue Shigeaki sensei visiting HK again in early Aug, Furukawa Kasuo sensei (Eiga Naoki's sensei) visit in late Aug... Then there is HK Open Taikai in Oct (special funding from local government)... In Dec Sumi Masatake Sensei will visit... Jan 06: HK Asian Tournament... Mar: Squad visit to Fukuoka Edu Uni (Sumi-sensei's)... Summer: Squad visit to Korea/Taiwan... and in Dec, 13th WKC!!

An Itch You Cannot Scratch!!

Since I put up this blog with my photo site, the nature of recording what I learnt has occationally turned into some sort of social chat... I am not sure if going reader-oriented will make it more interesting. Typing "my kote is so sharp today" isn't as exciting as trivia like "Ando Kaigo (50th AJKC Champion) passed Rokudan at Nagoya last weekend (not in the same court of course) - so did my sensei"

Anyway.. Editorial decision is mine. I rant on whatever I like!!! (HAHAHAAA)

Something funny happened today. I was thinking about 100% focus on the practice from warming up to final seiretsu... I don't know what I ate wrong but there are MASSIVE itchy skin inflammation developed on different parts of my limbs... Take my arm and thigh for example:-

(See the white-ish patch on my thigh is bigger than my hand!! That's 4pm today.)

Arggghh I kept scratching myself at home and in the cinema today (Star Wars!!), and it has obviously become reaaaally difficult to not think about it during keiko. But I did manage - if I focus more on my kendo - the rashes disappears (and then another patch starts getting bigger)...

At kirikaeshi we were told that for advance people, motodachi should only move the blocking from one side to another when the cut arrive (and not to put it there and wait for it) - New stuff I learn to help kaeshi waza...

Eda-sensei pointed out to me after keiko that my left hand did not raise high enough for a cut, plus my right fist punches too much going downwards... Also I have a tendancy to hit an inch short (!!)... And this is because my stance is too wide, back foot not keeping up. These days I am trying to work on seme-ashi, but I should also work on drawing my back foot forward too!! Adding to that, another senpai points out that when I hit I pulled back my upper body (previously I pulled back my head - which is worse...)

Sometimes I focus on one thing too much and ended up over-doing or over-compensating for it... I need to bring balance to the force!!

Gosh... So itchy - how can I sleep???

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Squad #10 Thought of Rokudan

Tonight's squad was kinda quiet... 3 pairs of girls and 2 pairs of guys + extra dude.

Nevertheless the jikeiko is accompanied by a whole lot of local rokudans - with the two new rokudan sensei - Yung-san and Eda-san (that's how locals call them too), passing their shinsa in Nagoya last weekend. Whoo-hoo!

They were made to give out small speech before class, and the speech was BILINGUAL... which took up quite a long time in seiza...!

E-sensei pointed out that the training helps not just in shiai, but also in her shinsa. Because afterall, kendo is to "make that Ippon". The exam duration is only 1 minute each. The shinsa is to demonstrate what has been learnt over the past n-years of training times. So there is much more pressure to get that perfect Ippon than in shiai.

Yung-san said in his previous attempt some sensei comment about his shinsa being too overconfident and not serious. Sometimes going to practice a few ties a week, lasting that one or two hours in the dojo isn't going to make anyone improve. To effectively use the time in keiko means focusing on what to do facing any opponent...

With that in mind I felt today's training Kishikawa sensei's words keeps echoing in my mind,
"Make Ippon!"

At the begining it was so-so, but mid way thru from the "men-degote" sequences onwards, I got so warmed up and keep on making (IMHO) really good cuts, either men or degote.

There were 4 rounds of "ai-men from to-ma"... I missed 2, got hit twice... Meaning I won 8 out of 12 Men..!

Keiko-ed with Yu-sensei and also Tanaka-sensei. In chudan I was mostly thinking about:-
1. Taking the centre line
2. Right foot steps forward whenever I sense my opponent is coming - then lift left hand asap.

So - I am finally hitting *something* at those Ai-men moments with the sensei!!! The last Ippon-shobu I've actually really cut osae-men on T-sensei....!! But gotta think about it, my left hand pressed down a little bit too much, so when I cut men it wasn't 100% straight. Grrr.

The last 15 mins tonight I queued for Y-sensei (had been in the UK for the past 2 years)... Until at the last minute, Agnes jumps my queue. "Sorry, but there's no other chance for a friend!" Argh. So it's mitori-keiko for me...

It's 1.5 years away till my next grading. Only recently that I feel like a Nidan finally. Sandan is still a bit far ahead. I heard the next WKC will be in Dec 2006 - that's also the closest shinsa I can get to. Will I be ready by then?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Squad #9 Enjoy!

Here I sum up the routine procedure for the Sunday squad training. It has been like this for weeks, not sure if it will change soon, but meanwhile...:-

1. Warm-up: Push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, squatting... all 20
2. Suburi: Oki-suburi with 2 shinai = 50; then Oki-hayasuburi with 1 shinai = 50
3. Kihon: a couple of rounds of men, kote, kote-men - all with the use of seme, not just go in random timings
4. Waza: One side cut men/kote, the other side goes either anything, or yakusoku (eg. de-kote, nuki-waza, etc.) - Either side has to make ippon, so it's not really a motodachi-kakarite thingy
5. Ai-men from to-ma: with rotation
6. Ippn shobu: loser gets kakari-keiko, and if no one wins when sensei calls for Yame... ai-kakari-keiko...argh
7. Strings of uchikomi: men-hiki men/kote/do... one string kirikaeshi... one string do-kirikaeshi... one string of men/men-do/do - finish by men. Usually doing 2 strings of these

That's done in 1.5 hrs with the final 30 mins for jikeiko (sensei-queuing style)

Some points from today:

1. When we were warming up, Kishikawa sensei said one thing quite important - that we have to enjoy doing push-ups and suburi, and apply these into our kendo. If it is such a chore doing push-ups, then even shomen-uchi (using some of the same muscles) will be a chore later on in the training.

This is very true that now I kinda like to finish the cardio workout ahead of anyone, and enjoying that bit of successful secret training at home...

2. My left hand grip is terrible. Wrist is not turned in... Making my kihon cuts not strong enough.

3. Today's theme is: when to cut, and how to find the opening for a cut. Of course this is up to us to find out, but I am quite inspired, and really takes my opportunity at yakusoku waza-keiko, taking at least 75% of my cuts

4. Before the Ippon shobu rounds, K-sensei said, "It's okay you lost your match here and only do kakari-keiko... If you lost your match at the Championships, your whole team will lose!!"

5. It's either K-sensei explaining too much or we finished the training slightly eariler, or I am getting better. It's the first time I still stand up properly when I do the last uchikomi-keiko string.

6. And also I had 4 jikeiko, although 2 keiko are quite short. But I had some enjoyable keiko against Yoshioka-sensei, Agnes, Leo, and, K-sensei... If he only cuts men I think I won't enjoy it as much. But I find myself successfully blocking "some" of his cuts finally, and countering (although my cuts are not 100% on the spot). There was a bit of fun moment at the final Ippon... like, "pong pong pong pong pong BANG!!" thing (which reminds me of my fights with Matsuoka-senpai in London). Though the last Men was from K-sensei, when I was not in the position to block or do anything.

Funny enough when we go bowing to the sensei afterwards, K-sensei said "Don't give up that easy!"... Matsuoka said the same comment to me before... Am I really such a loser?!

A few corrections of my entries:

1. "Kishikawa" spells with a k not a g (d'oh!)
2. Got the Kendo Nippon 2005.6 issue, but the article about "Asian City Friendly Taikai" tournament is actually the one held in Taiwan... Sorry for the wrong info. But I still wonder how people heard about the one in Hong Kong.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Training Valley

Following days of depression, today's keiko has been decently enjoyable. I have never felt so focus in class from the warming-up push-ups right to the end at mokuso...

Apart from the fact that I cannot escape from the sensei-nagging. The first thing Eda-sensei said when she saw me in the changing room is - "Jenny why did you lose so fast last Sunday? Were you daydreaming?" The conversation went on to about how players should cope with physical incapabilities on the day (since hardly anyone can be 100% in shape on the day due to various factors), and how the sensei have the fear that I'll lose just like last Sunday at the World Championships (isn't it too premature to express this concern...?!?).

I found out possible reasons why my tokui-waza (tobikomi-kote) doesn't work -
1. No seme, as of my other cuts... argh
2. Wrong distance. I tend to fight from way too far and ended up striking empty air..!!
3. I haven't sort out the center before I strike, because today when I did osae-waza (either side) it popped so much
4. Left foot too slow going forward. Some kote-men I did today is brilliant when I am more aware of that.

Also, earlier in the week when I did my 500 hayasuburi using only 1 kodachi, I noticed how the path of my kensen looks like when use the correct arms > wrists > te-no-uchi. In keiko today I re-created more than a handful number of really straight shomen-uchi (in my opinion only).

In the next few weeks I hope to work on:
1. seme-ashi (when cutting the first thing to move is not the hands but the right foot)
2. hiki-waza (I got it for a while but suddenly it doesn't work much recently..)
3. nuki/kaeshi-do (more waist-turning needed to show better zanshin)

All of a sudden I felt the responsiblity of improving my kendo, is afterall, on myself. I can't afford to play anymore...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

How I Lost My Match... Twice!!

So... that was it.

I have literally spent more than the past 48 hours just to think about how my tokui-waza (tobikomi kote) malfunctioned so much on the day. I also thought about NOT putting anything down... But the best way to handle a mistake is to solve it, not to pretend it didn't happen...

First match: Ladies Open Grade (16 participants)
Mingshi vs Lisa

Everybody thought I am going to win this one and had more worries about the Round 2 opponent Miss Shimizu. So did I. But I also reminded myself that at the last squad she got Agnes's kote in the middle of no where...

Me and Lisa was the first match of the Ladies division. So a lot of people were watching closely - adding on the embrassment. But I wouldn't really say I was not prepared enough (ah, com'on... I have been waiting for it for so long)

I *knew* there was something wrong after the Shodachi - tobikomi-kote didn't pop!!!

Neither is my hiki-waza.. I can't seem to be able to make it work...!!

Ok... Mid way though, I scored first with Tobikomi-men. Which is encouraging because this is something I have been working on in these few months. Somehow that made me so (over)confident to chase to 2:0...

I went for kote-men and Lisa got bloody NUKI-DO in between. Flags up... argh she didn't even show zanshin... I have never had anyone scoring dou on me - so that was a complete shock..!!!!!!

Not recalling the correct time, but I think it was somewhere at the very beginning of Encho that, I thought, hmmm, let's just jump for kote again. "Ko..."when I didn't really reach it Lisa went nuki- "Men". And that was it.

Off court a number of people (dokai and sensei included) all told me that I thought from too far. Utsu-ma is incorrect - according to Tanaka-sensei. My bad habit of fighting from too far away is not corrected - it was last Sept at the British Open that I knew about it... Yet...

Plus as I missed I opened myself up, so even if my opponent isn't going full-on with 100% zanshin, hitting on my opening will get Lisa Ippon. That kind of opening is as obvious as a beginner went all the way to the end of the court and turn around. You just wait for that moment to see an ippon.

This is lesson #1 here. On Round 3 Agnes (to-be-godan) vs Jane (my kohai at shodan) - Jane popped TWO MEN just because of that. In a shiai no one can argue about opening yourself and inviting a cut - even if the cut is just a hit. Agnes was properly feeling even worse.

Mingshi 1 (men)
Lisa 2 (do, men [encho])

Side note: Miss Shimizu fought Mrs Horibe at the Finals. I think neither of them is undefeatable though (maybe it's the loser mentality). Winner Mrs Horibe spent the rest of her day looking after her two babies..!!


Second Match: Open Shodan-Nidan
Me vs Bau

Bau is from Vajra Club. According to Fanny (dokai at squad) she is the only girl in that dojo, and I was told girls are the biggest fear for their members...!

Anyway, Bau also attends the squad so I have seen him before.

Shodachi (kote-do) didn't work and we went straight into tsubazeriai. I felt kinda strange because I haven't fought a guy like that for quite a while (being forced to be with girls most of the time). Bau is typically solid, medium-tall, and pushy. I spent a considerable amount of energy to hold myself together. Attempt a lot of hiki-waza but maai is wrong and no ippon... Until at one point I got jogai from a push... Exhausting but then I thought, I have to stand up straight!

Encho. It was a really long one as I was told later on. And it was quite frustrating that most of my energy was wasted on pushing, making me forget to push and cut with the left hip. There was also the kind of fear of losing out to a hansoku if I fall down again, holding me back from going full on. Once we started moving together with me going "Ko..." but missed (definitely not having enough koshi), and then Bau just went "MEN". Bored shimpan gave him the flags.

Mingshi 0
Bau 1 (men [encho])

After this match I have serious doubt whether a girl can ever be stronger than a guy. Most of the really good kendo girls I have seen, are of the "meaty" type. But does that mean I can't be as good..?


Third Match: Hong Kong 10-person vs Macau 5-person team
Mingshi vs Lei

It was the finale event of the day. Macau (the neighboring casino city) sent 5 people in and there was time for a friendly team match. I'd already took off my bogu, and spent the rest of the afternoon in mitori-keiko - until someone told me to armed up asap as my name is on the list..!!

Anyway, it is a brand-new experience for me to be at the Team HK side - even thought it is in such a small scale. I suppose they made it a more even match (as the representatives from Macau are not as strong) so everyone on my side was all under Nidan. I fought the 7th match against Lei, a girl. Watching the 4th match with Amy vs Lei, I could see Lei is not terribly "active"...

At sonkyo Wong-san (shushin) actually talked to Lei about "don't just stand there"...

My shodachi failed the third time and so were a lot more of hiki-waza. But my opponent is just... so not doing anything at all. Once I did seme-ashi > tobikomi-men... No Ippon. Another go... Three flags up..!! Phew!!

Straight after Shushin said "nihonme" I replayed my move the third time - BANG. Three flags up again.

Another point worth mentioning is that, for the first two matchs I was using the 38 shinai Agnes gave me weeks ago. On this third match I thought hmmm for a change lets use my new Tozando one... And it was MAGIC!!

Mingshi 2(men, men)
Lei 0

There isn't a chance where I can watch other people I train with at the squad actually fights. At mitori keiko I kept watching two guys: Lim and Angus (both ended up at the finals). For Lim it was because a few weeks ago Kishigawa-sensei said "Lim has improved the most - his seme is good". As for Angus, who I haven't met before but he was wearing my home dojo's zekken(!?), I like the way he did seme-ashi and also his hiki-waza - reminds me of 2 senpai from London.

Even though no medal for me this round, last but not least, the most satisfying thing I did was the last Ippon at godou keiko. I grabbed Lim for rematch (he was in the UK 2 years ago). He wasn't at 100% as he had spent much longer time in the shiaijo. But I had got from him the BEST, STRAIGHTEST Men I had ever done. That's what I learnt in a day, and I had to keep recreating that moment for the rest of the year...

[edit: I have spell-checked again because I skipped squad today - no excuse but am too busy!!]

Friday, May 06, 2005

Not so Kendo Maniac

Last night Tanaka-sensei's comment from the shiai keiko was: "Jenny no kamae wa a little bit better, but need snapping." Seemingly, having a new 38-joshi (woman) shinai does help!!!

So today (Friday) I went to my exercise space again with it and my new rope. I think I need to get used to the lighter weight before Sunday's taikai to avoid disappointment.

That's 300 haya-suburi + 300 rope-jumping.

For my new rope - this gadget is so cool! The joints at the handles rotate by itself, thus reduced a lot of friction. Also the rope is rubber-coated, so when it hits the ground it will bounce back. I swing it so fast today. Without looking at the counter (attached!!!) the first stop I made was at exactly 100.

Here's a pic of my old and new rope. I know the colour looks crap - but hey it's great. Besides it costs RMB 10 dollars (GBP 0.75?) from my dad who got it from Mainland China last weekend... The counter actually reads 323:-


Flashing back to last night at the changing room...

Eda-sensei said she just came back from Kyoto (!) and has been there for only a few keiko in that 2 days (!!!).

The embrassing tale of getting the judo-knockdown from Sumi-sensei was told... "I am wearing that Hong Kong zekken. I haven't jumpt back right up that fast ever!" And then got dragged to practice with some lady from Yamaguchi, as people have recently read that Asian Tournament article in Kendo Nippon, and showed great interest coming to Hong Kong in the near future.

Anyway, she will try for her 6th Dan next week (in Nagoya... Japan again!?) so she took the opportunity of godo-keiko around the Kyoto Taikai/ Embu period and seek advice from hachidan sensei...

So just when you think you are doing too much kendo - there is ALWAYS someone else nearby having a much higher level of addiction.

I don't think it's a matter of money here (although it helps). But some people would have used that same amount of $$ for better bogu and stuff. Eda-sensei spent all that + time + energy on her kendo journey - which is a completely noble act.

I wish her luck at the shinsa. As for myself I don't know how far I would go. When I first started I don't even know I'll get as far as Nidan... Back then Eda-sensei was the first female sensei I know of, and the most hard-working one.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Squad #8 How's your shiai?

As there is no pub session after keiko, I walked over to the nearby 7-11, grabbed a pack of milk, and get on a different bus then my usual one (I am experimenting with new, faster routes home - but I find out now that both methods takes 1+ hr...) "Jenny!"... argh, that's Kishigawa-sensei on my bus!!

Adding to that, he actually lives right across the river from my home... "Come to practice with me," he said, "we can have extra class". No kidding please!!

Anyway, today's squad is a lot more enjoyable because there is only 30 mins of the usual stuff before getting into shiai-keiko in 2 courts. 5 Guys in one court, 6 ladies in the other!

"So, how's your shiai today?" asked K-sensei. Uhmmmmmm it took me a long time to verbalize it (my oral English is somehow fading..) Nevertheless:-

Mingshi: I can see them coming, I can block but can't really counter-attack.
Kishigawa: You don't have to move every time your opponent moves. You can block, and also move away, watch the maai.
M: Erhm, I am not very good at moving. A lot of times I am so off balance and can't counter because of that...
K: You need to be more stable. I saw you hit Jay's men twice - but no Ippon. You need to move in more with your body. You need to be ready to make a good cut. Make the Ippon.
M: Hai...
K: And also, don't waste your energy by cutting too much. The 10 cuts you made, next time you only need 5. It's a shimpan mentality to not give out Ippon if you hit too much. BANG! That's clearly Ippon. Pong pong pong pong pong is not ippon. Wasting energy.
M: uhmm... yeah.
K: Watch more seniors and observe how they fight. They don't need to block to avoid an attack. Sometimes it's just little bit of movement, manipulating the maai.
M: Good. I still have 2 more keiko before Sunday's Taikai.
K: Just practice your keiko like shiai. Seme, seme... Don't get hit. Do your waza. Cut when you are ready.

Yooooshi! Sunday!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Mitori Keiko

Following a mad drinking session without enough sleep, I find today's practice terribly unenjoyable. Even I arrived right on time, with the massive hangover I can't focus at all...

There were 2 visiting sensei so today's session was quite crowded - on the queuing side only..! I had twice attempts queuing for a sensei and then when it is my turn, that sensei gave me the "da me" hand signal!!! Yikes!!

In return there is a lot of time watching other people fight.

Recently I became a big fan of Kishigawa-sensei's kendo. He made every other sensei ever so frustrated. Actually, he made everyone frustrated. He is not the type of sensei who just hit you men, men, men, men and finish. He picks every opening off you using any waza I can think of. And every time he does that, it makes people says "....DAMN!!" on their face.

Because he is so difficult to fight with, every time I approach his queue with the mentality of "okay.... time to fight the boss". And because there are loads of people queuing and watching, it makes the keiko with him like a challenge in a boxing ring with a lot of spectators.

Today my only fight's highlight includes staying in chika-maai in long periods, getting tsuki twice (argh), cutting his men in between his makiotoshi-katate-men waza (sensei' s waza choice of the day).

Probably not a good thing to do, but I "escaped" from today's squad because my contacts are so falling out...