Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's all about the follow-through

Practice last night was really good. I paced myself and was able to last the whole time. My mind is totally set on Obukan in June, so everything I'm doing in practice right now has the focus behind it. I want to do my best, win or lose. If I can do that, I'll be happy. Plus it will be fun to test my Kendo against others and see what is good and what needs improvement. I'm sure I need a LOT of improvement. I can see things that are obvious to me, but it will be interesting to be in a taikai setting and see what other things come out to work on.

Kiai: Mine is getting to be very loud and forceful. I was playing with different timings last night, but still it's something that I have to consciously do. If I keep practicing though, using different variations and timings then hopefully one of these days it will just flow naturally, without thinking.

Fumikomi: I'm getting a lot better with keeping my foot down while doing Fumikomi. Sensei said that he didn't notice me lifting my foot way off the floor anymore, which is good. I'm getting to that point where I don't have to think about it as much anymore, which is really good. It frees up my mind to focus on other areas that I need to improve.

Follow-through: Sensei pointed out an interesting issue that I have now. He says that after I make a hit, on my follow-through steps the first few are ok and then my left foot starts going way out in front of my right foot. I've never noticed this before, and it's never been mentioned to me before, so I can only assume it's a new issue that's popped up. I'll need to work on keeping my left foot from going in front of my right foot while stepping through, up until I turn around.

Men: Not a big deal, but Sensei's wife pointed out that when I was doing Kirikaeshi my Shinai was not in the center when I did my Shomen strikes. I focused on that for the rest of the drills and was able to bring it back. But it's something to be mindful of for the future.

I felt really good during Jigeiko practice, too. I was moving around more, I had more of an aggressive approach to it, compared to before when I was more defensive and reacted to what my opponent would do instead of initiating attacks myself. I could be totally wrong, though =).

I had a very good Men strike on one of my opponents. No tricks, no nothing, just a beautiful Shomen strike. his shinai tip left the midline for just a second and I sprang forward. I felt really good with that one. I know that I still need to work on openings for Men, and for Do, but this one little strike made me feel good, and hopeful for the future.

Current at-home Exercises:
  • Walking - 30+ minutes, 4 - 5 times/wk
  • Suburi - 30 times each, 3 - 4 times/wk (not including normal practice)
  • Core exercises - 3 times/wk
  • Metal bar - 3 times/wk

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