It's Saturday. I have practice this afternoon, last night, and on Wednesday and wanted to jot down a few thoughts and things to work on so that I can refer to them later and check out my progress. Of course anyone reading is more than welcome to sort through my thoughts and notes, as well!
Fumikomi: I am currently working on snapping my left leg up as fast as I can, and I've found some creative opportunities to work on this, not only in class but outside of class. I began snapping the foot up during hayasuburi and other drills that we do, at times that I usually don't even think about it. I think that this kind of mindset is also helping me in other places, and I'm beginning to notice things that I didn't before. I've also taken to doing this at work, when I walk down hallways. I'll fumikomi forward a bit, and then snap the left foot up as fast as I can. You'd be surprised at how many times I can do this walking down the halls of my building!
Wrists: The wrists are feeling better these days, more flexible (at least to me). I am going to have my valley sensei watch and see if I'm improving any. Now I just need to watch out for dropping the shinai tip down too far. I don't think I do this, for the most part, but I will have to be more careful of it.
Debana Kote: In my quest to become faster with this I developed a bad habit. I tend to start turning as I fumikomi forward, and this isn't good. Sensei pointed out that I should still step and my hips and everything should still be facing forward as I hit, then immediately turn and step back afterward. I'll have to keep this in mind in the future when we go through these drills and as I use it in jigeiko.
Harai Men: My small Harai Men is passable. I absolutely suck at it when doing a full swing, though. I can feel my timing screwed up a lot, with my foot landing way before my strike, or with me trying to rush my strike to catch up. I'll have to work on this one, as well, to be able to do all of the movements as I fumikomi forward.
Jigeiko: I stayed late after practice to watch the team training jigeiko, and picked up some valuable information that I can start using in my own training. This is a method that I've read before, but it was really cool to see it in practice. Sensei talked about pressuring in with seme, and then when you are in your correct hitting distance to either explode and strike or make your opponent explode and strike, but some kind of explosion should be happening. He says that you don't just come into that distance and hang out there, you do it with purpose and I should remember that. If you pressure in with the intent of making the other person move and nothing happens, step back out and try it again, don't stay in that distance and risk getting hit because you weren't thinking.
He also talked about recognizing openings, and seeing the openings behind the obvious ones. He said that there are always one or two more openings beyond the obvious one that you are striking at in that moment, and we should be thinking about those, as well, not just about the one strike. When we first start we tend to hit once and go through, reset, and try again, and I know that I do this, as well. But I should try to shift my mindset to one that is always looking for an opening. If I don't hit that Men or Kote the first time I can come to tsubazeriai and try to hit again, or immediately turn after I pass my opponent and attack while they're turning and not paying attention. The openings are there, I just need to look for them.
Just a few pieces of info and thoughts, but all are very good things that I will try to work on and incorporate into my own training.