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Showing posts from May, 2012

Pre-Taikai Thoughts

Tomorrow we head out for the Rose City Taikai in Portland, OR.  This will be the third year I've competed in this taikai.  This is also a special time for me.  Three years ago, at this very taikai, was my first experience competing in kendo.  I've never really competed in many things in my life before I started kendo.  A couple of local skating competitions when I was a teenager.  A spelling bee here and there for school.  But other than that not much.  I wasn't big into sports growing up so I never had the opportunity for competition. 

The one thing I've noticed, in my own experience, is that it's not about winning and losing to me.  Don't get me wrong, winning is nice and it feels good to come out on top, but to me that's always just icing on top of the delicious cake that makes up the taikai experience.  I enjoy seeing my friends that I've made throughout the area, ones that I don't get to see or hear from much because we live in different parts…

Behind The Curtain

I've had a pretty solid, and tiring, couple of weeks of training since my last post, and I have to say that working on the little issues that I have is tough!  I've put a lot of focus into those things, and I've tried to keep that focus throughout practice...with varied success.  It's definitely an exhausting, and humbling, experience.  Plus the last week I've been fighting a sore throat and the onset of allergies so I haven't felt like I've been quite at 100%.  Anyway, time to dig into a bit of content from the last week!

On Monday things started off regularly, but after kirikaeshi and a few kihon drills we focused on hiki waza a bit.  During this time Sensei explained a bit about hitting the left kote, as well as when it is considered a valid target.  So, more for completeness sake rather than practical application, we did some work on hiki kote and striking the left kote.  What a weird feeling that was!  I'm so used to going for the right kote that …

Little Things

Lately I've been shifting my attention to try and focus on the little things that need improvement in my kendo.  Not necessarily any big things like trying to master new techniques, but small changes in my current techniques, and also in my body carriage and footwork.  While the improvements may not be as noticeable by themselves, together they will make for better, stronger kendo.

In the footwork department I've noticed (and been told) that I not only carry my back heel a bit high, but also a bit too far out.  So I've taken steps to correct this issue, including turning my foot in a bit during drills and keeping my heel down low.  I try to make it a habit to "feel" where the floor is as I step into the correct stance, so that I don't get in the habit of raising my heel too high.  After I get used to knowing how far down to keep my back heel I'll be able to step into it naturally.  While these changes are fairly easy to implement during drills, I still h…