Wow...been a while since I last posted...
-Harai-Kote: Figured out, after some pointer from Mark B, that I was "flourishing" my shinai too much when coming around to the left side. He pointed out to try doing a kind of sideways "Z" movement, where I move down and to the left, then up and to the right (knocking the opponent's shinai out of the way at this point), and then down again and center to hit Kote. I worked on this quite a bit and was actually getting pretty fast with it. Sensei says to knock the opponent's shinai out of the way a bit more, but other than that my technique is looking really good.
-Kiai: Sensei pointed out today that my Kiai is very even, which is good for hitting and going through, but he said to switch it up a bit before I go. I have a tendency to fall into a pattern, and he said that can be harmful if I start doing it in tournaments. I will have to work on changing up my Kiai a bit (adding different ones, being longer, shorter, spacing out times from when I Kiai to when I strike, etc). I'll be sure to play with it in the next practice.
-Footwork: Need to work on my footwork for Kote-Men. With as tall as I am, and my reach, I need to do the first Fumikomi in place, and then a short step into the Men strike.
-Strikes: Sensei says that big swings are too basic for me at this point. I need to start incorporating more small strikes into my practice, so I get used to them. Also during Kirikaeshi, remember to shorten up my swings a bit. It doesn't feel like it, but he says I'm going all the way back on my swings. need to go back just far enough for my sword to be parallel to the ground.