The main things that I want to work on (and am working on) right now are moving from my center and being more explosive. I believe that I'll have to put in a lot of work to move with my whole body before I can start making it faster, but that's ok. I want to be able to strike with everything, not just my hands and upper body, and I want to be able to do it in a split-second. To go from relaxed and pressuring in to striking and flying through all at once. The first step in doing that is to change my mindset. Sinclair Sensei put a big emphasis on changing my mindset to begin to improve the rest of my body. If I want more speed and explosive movement, I need to think of myself as faster and more explosive. He said to imagine myself as a "small, wiry guy." For me that is going to be a chore, as I am anything but small and wiry, but after trying to keep that focus the last week I can see a slight hint at improvement already. So there's step one down, as long as I can continue to keep that mindset.
I've been doing a lot more running lately, since it's warming up outside, and I've also been staying on top of my at-home exercises, doing them just about every other day. Over time I've noticed an improvement so I'll continue to do those. Sensei gave me some new variations to work on, as well, so I'll change up my routine and start using those. I also have some new footwork drills to work on to help with creating more power in my fumikomi and my follow-through. I just received the new drills last night so I'm excited to try them out. I just need to remember to start out small and build up to more reps with each one.
Another point that Sensei made was that my shinai speed is already pretty fast. I shouldn't concentrate on that so much at the moment, and instead shift my focus to proper distance and timing. Again I will take this to heart and begin to make it my focus. It's going to take some time, and a lot of practice, but I'll do my best to keep on these two points, as well.
What will all of this add up to? A stronger, faster, better me! I not only want to be healthier (with all the exercise and running) but I want to be able to always give 100% every time I train and compete. As long as I'm doing that I feel that I'll never have a regret concerning my kendo. I also want to be able to give my best to each of my dojo mates, and to push them and encourage them all to improve, as well. I have a strong desire to help our dojo be the best it can be, and I can do that through my continued support and help when needed, and also through my willingness to give everything I have for each of my partners during training.
Hopefully over the next few months I'll be able to really focus on these points during my training and begin to transform my kendo into something more than it is now. I feel that I have a good foundation to work with and now it's time to begin shaping my kendo into what I want it to be, and what I want is beautiful, powerful kendo.