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Kendo is a funny thing to me sometimes.  It's a constant battle with myself, and I tend to fluctuate wildly with my training.  Some days I'm on top of the world, and other days I'm at the bottom of the barrel.  I think the only consistent piece throughout it all is my ability to keep going.  Last night I didn't have any super highs or lows, but I did have quite a few fluctuations between the start and end of class.  Some things I did great, others not so much, but I kept pressing on and kept giving all that I had.

After helping out with the beginning class we started into our advanced class.  Warm-ups were the usual, and I tried to focus on keeping my connection with the group and making each strike a good strike during suburi as well as during Hayasuburi drills.  After warm-ups, we worked on flexible wrists and took that into work on Kote, specifically hitting from an angle like we've been going over lately.  I can feel the potential with this variation of a regular Kote, and I can also see where it's rooted in being able to do a good basic Kote strike.  I want to continue working on this technique and see where it takes me.

After grabbing the rest of our bogu, we went into hitting drills interspersed with Kirikaeshi.  Men, Kote, and Do.  Again, we focused on striking on an angle and used that when transitioning into our Do drills.  It felt good to do Do strikes, since we haven't done much of them in our drills lately.  Afterward we went into Debana Kote drills.  I have to be careful with this one as I have a tendency to hit too hit and get the knuckles or the wrist instead of the actual Kote target itself.  But when I do hit it I can definitely tell from that satisfying POP that it makes.  Hopefully that means I'm putting a little more power into that strike so it's more forceful and not such a light tap.

We continued on with Waza Geiko, and I took the time to concentrate on Kote-Men.  During this time I tried striking Kote on an angle a few times, to see how it felt and how it would affect the Men strike itself.  I also played around with hitting Sayu-Men a couple of times, with some rather satisfying results.  I want to be able to branch out with that technique so it's not always a straight, predictable strike.  Given enough time I think I can make this a very valuable weapon in my arsenal of techniques.

We ended the night with Jigeiko, and I tried my hardest.  I think my hardest opponent of the night was Finn.  He is an older gentleman, but there is no disadvantage to be had by that.  He is very quick and can spot my openings so easily, it seems, and I also have a hard time getting through his kamae and his defense to attack him.  I think I got a few hits it, but I had to really work for them.

We were also given some good news.  Last night was our last night at our current location; next week we move into our permanent dojo (at least, I think it's permanent).  I, for one, am excited about this new location and the possibilities that it presents for us, and am looking forward to seeing it in person next week!  We have a short break due to the holidays, but we'll be back in full force again next Wednesday!

A few thoughts:

Ando Sensei - He pointed out that I have a slight bounce before I strike, so he can see very easily when I'm going to attack.  I will work to eliminate this so that I don't have any "tells" about when I'm going to strike. 


  1. Word on the roller coaster that is Kendo. And commitment is what keeps us on it! :D

    Tells are fun to try and work out. I shift my left foot ever so slightly forward before a strike. My senpai used to glance right with his eyes before striking, but then I pointed it out and he has since stopped and is now even more difficult to beat in keiko. Ha.


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