Friday, May 26, 2006





Last weekend we had Chiba sensei from Tokyo Met Police coming over. Mainly kihon stuff as expected, with shiai keiko and such. Overall it gets people rather excited to see some 8Dan Jodan kendo. No one fought him in Jodan apart from our "Oni Kantoku". Rumors said that Chiba sensei cut kote twice without blinking time for K sensei.

It was rather rainy that Sunday, and I was literally forced to get home by train with K sensei, as he was about to tell me things to improve on! I still have that grip problem that didn't quite click. He also recommands a "kamae check" every time going from sonkyo to before kiai.

We also talked about the running route. Apparently, he and is wife also run, but on the opposite side of the river and their route is so damn faaaaar. They can go on for an hour... amazing. Just that there's been heavy rain over the week, and my plans are disturbed (with not much time left). That very Sunday when I got off the train, it was pouring and as usual I've no umbrella with me. When I got home my jeans turns from light blue to dark blue.

But now it's sunny and 29oC.

Other times Eda sensei was telling people what the training camp at Fukuoka will be like. Seems like Sumi sensei has something special on his mind... I heard different things for the girls will happen when we get there. Everything else is still a mystery.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Run Jenny Run

This is my neighbourhood. Just thought that I need to know how far I've been running in these few days.

Today after Inoue-sensei's seminar in the morning, I went home, got some rest, and in the evening started my 20-minute run as advised by our dear kantoku. I ran the purple route as indicated on the map. A return journey took 17'08" running time, with once a 1-2 minute break time in between. That's 1250m x 2 = 2.5km in 17'08" minutes. Big thanks to the person who teaches me how to run long-distance. The way I used to run 800m in 4 mins is too fast for this.

The ideal route should be the green line which is a full riverside one-way run. At least it sounds better telling people, "Yeah I do a full circle along the river every day!!"

This morning when I got to Inoue's seminar, they were doing a lecture. Sensei talked about a lot of kendo philosophy and concepts. We moved on to bogu next and did some kihon. We only did 3 types - sensen no sen, dai no sen, and go no sen - and then jumped straight into shiai-shimpan practice.

I fought Xixi first round and lost two ai-men 0:2 in 2 minutes, both times having one flag up on my side... Argh. Last Thursday I changed my timing by floating my right foot in before moving the hands. It worked but not today. Need to get used to the hand-foot coordinations...

More people turned up at this time which made this session particularly long. No one sitting down did the usual cheering (I don't know why...) And because the matches where so short that a lot of people went hikiwake. Until me went up for 2nd round against Tsoi from Sekishinkan. It was a MM:0 match again, but no surprise too as the boy was definitely my junior.

In jikeiko things went rather quick, but I did fight Wong > Yamada > Inoue > Yu sensei. My habitual cuts from too far and heavy right hand still exist. Anything new? I don't think so.

Strange but K sensei wasn't here today...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Oval Hand

First squad after the taikai. It is no surprise at all that the "warm-ups" get more intense. By that I mean for the usual 200-hayasuburi + 50 katate-hayasuburi, tonight it went

D O U B L E ...

K sensei points out what we've been doing wrong and we went for it again. It doesn't take too long to realize - hey, I managed 200... and suddenly - whoa, there goes another set...

Then I got dragged to "demonstrate" katate-hayasuburi on the dummy, and turns out to be that my grip is not "oval" enough, hence the tense-up arm and shoulders, leading to a big waste of energy... blah blah. This issue has been up since the very first day I joined the training. Not happy.

My new partner in the Ladies group, Xixi from Beijing, actually hangs on really well. She does great hiki-dou. It's good that she's around my age, and is going to stay for another 1/2 year.

... I, on the other hand, broke down after "jikeiko" is called. Previously taken an elbow-dou cut while daydreaming, and with the throwing-up feeling, I just sat that and watch for the entire 1/2 hour. Apart from another guy with a swollen ankle, everyone was still in there, fighting. I have no idea what I was thinking at that time. Maybe I was just wondering how I would survive in Fukuoka, being not able to withstand 1 hr of keiko here.

No surprise, K sensei gave me the "lecture" after class. "You need to work on your body condition"... Problem is that I've been jumping ropes and stuff over the days, worrying if anything like running along the river side (as suggested) would do any help.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


It feels like soemthing as expected that I lost in my pool (1st round) at the Ladies 0-3rd Dan division today. I had good sleep the night before, ate enough and arrived early... And being back at the tuesday squad for last month, plus the regular exercises, the only thing there is to blame is myself. Do I have the correct mindset to win? Or, as K sensei repeatedly pointed out, "What are you doing?"

I fought Takahashi-san who is an a-bit-older nidan from my own dojo (yet I rarely go to Saturdays, hence not practiced with her a lot). Pre-fight we both looking forward for a "good match".

Until I lost the first ai-men kind of debana-men at about 2 mins, followed by a men-kaeshi-do (zanshin was good, as I was told, but she actually didn't go through...). I finished my 2nd opponent with MM-0 in 10 sec (I raised my shinai 3 times.) That was a beginner from K sensei's dojo - and I don't need to comment further.

I am not sure why I am so bothered by it for the whole day (even now), despite the fact that about 2/3 of the population will lose in their first round.

The rest of the day was spent cheering for whoever that steps into the shiai-jo. That were some brilliant matches, such as Leo in very neat Nito fighting Leung (Macau) in Jodan, and Vins/Yip/Ng's pool with 1 win-1 lost on everyone. It was fun looking at other squad members fighting.

But at the end of the day, my dojo grabbed the majority of today's medals. Countless ones went to the kids. We also had 1st+3rd at the Ladies (Amy, Takahashi), 1st at the 0-1Dan Open (Naganawa), 1st+3rd at the 2-3Dan Open (Angus, Michael who were also on my dojo team at the last team taikai). At least there is something to cheer for.

Now is the time I need to adopt the correct attitude at shiai. No matter how proper my posture is, or how many hayasuburi I can do, in the end it all comes down to shiai. Looking back I do identify myself as an "Event" person rather than a "Shiai" person (look at my pics). Somehow I need to twist it around. Overhearing the plans for the squad's visit to Fukuoka, I'll either throw-up every hour or die on the spot. Time to fix myself.

Thank you readers for reading to the very end. Here's some eye candy for you.

Me in Chatuchak Market, Bangkok. A plastic veggie background included.:-

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Here We Go Again

(Me in Pattaya, Thailand, Day 1)

Back in business.

It's nice to stop worrying about everything for a few days and play hard.

Now there is a taikai coming next Sunday (individuals). Oops. I need to get back into the mood.

Travel pics to come later...