Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2010

High on Kiai

Last night was another endurance lesson.  I'm still fighting with this sore throat and stuff in my lungs (yuck).  It's hard to keep the pace up when you can't breathe very well to start.  Also last night I managed to cut my foot open, right on the ball of my left foot.  After some heavy tape application I was back on the floor, but it definitely affected my fumikomi.  So what did I do to counter-balance this?  I worked on having a high spirit every second that I was out there.  I think that I succeeded, for the most part.  I remember Sinclair Sensei telling us about how our kiai should be pushed out from our abdomen and "center", and I saw a video yesterday in which Sumi Sensei talks about the same thing.  Kiai isn't something that I've really focused my attention on before, it just sort of happened.  What I did last night was let it happen, but to make sure it was happening in the right way by pushing it up from my center.

We went over some new drills la…

One Thing at a Time

This past weekend I was sick.  Missed work on Friday, and carried on fighting it all through the weekend.  I hate being sick.  If I could eliminate one thing from my life it would be that.  I feel like it wastes so much time when I have to recover.  Time I could be using to do other things, like exercise, or Kendo...

Last night I was fighting off the last of my sickness.  Everything felt better, except for my throat and lungs.  I was still coughing and dealing with a dry/scratchy/sore throat and some other issues there, and I could tell my energy level wasn't up to where it usually is.  I took it easy, though.  Stepped out as needed, and made sure to not over-extend myself on the drills, and I was able to stay in the entire time.  Go me!  We also had another "guest" last night.  McNally Sensei, who left our dojo in September for college, is visiting his family right now and came to practice last night.  He will also be with us tomorrow night.  Having him there felt like …

Driving the Shinai

"Who is driving your shinai?"  This question was posed to us at the end of class last night by our sensei.  The answer, of course, is obvious; you are.  Simple as it is, though, it has many implications in our training.  I thought I would expand on my thoughts and feelings on this subject, since most of our drills last night involved controlling and "driving" the shinai in one way or another.

To me, the simplest manifestation of this idea is that you are in control of where your shinai lands, and you are responsible for the accuracy of your strikes.  It may seem simple, but it takes a lot of practice to be able to strike the same spot consistently at higher speeds.  In a nutshell, it's harder than it looks!  Digging down a little deeper, we come to how hard, or soft, we hit.  This is also a demonstration of shinai control, and one that many of our partners will appreciate.  Sensei went over a few drills that we can do on our own time to help develop better cont…

What Are You Working On?

This is a question that Sensei has been asking me a lot lately.  Usually after practice when I step up to bow to him.  The more I think about it, the more answers I can come up with, and the more I think about it, the higher my bar of standard for myself raises.  I've been told I have beautiful Kendo, and when I really think about it, I guess I do considering my level of experience and training (which isn't much).  But I always want to strive for more.  I never want to lose that hunger to keep progressing, keep learning and improving myself.  It's one of the things that drives me in Kendo.  I have a definite passion for it, that much I can say without hesitation, and even though I know nothing I continually push myself to take more steps along this path.

The first things that pop into my head, and the things I'm concentrating on most right now, are keeping a straight posture, and making my wrists more loose and flexible.  Now, straight posture, to me, doesn't mean …

Takado Sensei

This weekend we had a special "guest" with us.  Takado Sensei returned to train with us after being gone for a few months.  I say "guest" because a lot of us still consider her part of our dojo, myself included.  Having her back, even for a short time, was like filling a hole that was left in our training and I think that a lot of people felt it, judging by the level of Kendo and the high spirit that we all had on Saturday.

The main focus continued to be pressing in with our shinai before we strike, and we went over a lot of kihon drills to emphasize this.  First in place, with no Men or Kote on, and we continued from from there into our normal practice.  I, myself, also worked on keeping a straight posture and bending my wrists back and making them more flexible as I began my swing.  I've been too stiff, and I would like to eliminate it from my strikes as soon as possible.  It will add some much needed speed and (less needed) power.  I've also been working…