Skip to main content

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 it's my first reaction, so I really had to force myself to hit the other one.  I don't think I did that well with it, but I tried my best.  Being on the receiving end of this drill made me realize just how much of a tolerance to pain my right forearm has built up, because every little strike to the left side was pretty harsh.  I toughed it out, though, although I now have a nice bruise on my left forearm.

Sinclair Sensei talked to us a bit about multiple strikes on Monday, as well.  Not just kote-men or kote-do or strikes like that.  What he talked to us about were the openings BEHIND the initial attack.  Being able to see those openings that we create and capitalize on them.  The example he gave was a curtain that has been blown open briefly.  At first all you see is the curtain itself, but for the brief instant that the curtain moves you can see what's beyond it.  Likewise, with our kendo we should be able to attack and immediately recognize the next opening and attack again.  This is definitely a weak point for me, as I'm used to seeing the first opening and taking that one.  I've also noticed that this is a big difference between myself and the nidans in our dojo.  They tend to attack and then immediately follow-up afterward with another attack.  Try as I might during jigeiko that night, I was pretty unsuccessful with trying to see and attack the opening that I created.  But I'll continue to work on it.

Last night's practice was a lot of fun, although it seems that everyone was pretty tired out by the end.  We warmed up a bit, went through kirikaeshi and a few kihon drills, and then immediately went into jigeiko for the rest of the time, which amounted to about a full hour of jigeiko. I was able to practice with most of my dojo mates at least two or three times, and as I went I really tried to focus on what Sensei told us about the curtain.  Again I was not that successful but practice  makes perfect, right?

As far as work outside the dojo, I've been doing a lot of running and core exercise to build up my stamina and endurance.  I've also been focusing heavily on the footwork drills that I was given to help improve my explosiveness.  It's a long road, but I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable using both of my legs during fumikomi, instead of just one like I had a tendency to do before.  While this is all definitely beneficial for me, I'm also usually pretty tired afterward.  But it seems that, little by little, I'm able to push myself a little farther each time.  I'll hold onto this and use it as my motivation to keep going strong!


Popular posts from this blog

The Ups and Downs of Kendo

Anyone that knows me knows that I love kendo.  I don't think I could do as much as I do with it if I didn't.  But loving kendo doesn't mean that it's easy.  Far from it, in fact!  If anyone says otherwise I would honestly question if they're doing it right.  From the first day where everything is brand new, to years down the road where you're trying to figure out the mental side of things, it's a challenge.

I've often had times when I just wasn't getting something.  Whether it was a new waza, or a new timing for an existing waza, or any other number of things that came up during training, sometimes things didn't click with me, and I would have many, many practices that felt fruitless.  It seems that every time that happened, though, If I kept at it and practiced, it would eventually click with me.  I'd wake up one day and "get it".  Not to say I'd be perfect at it, but the overall shape or timing would suddenly be there.  It r…


I've joined an online club.  Many of you, if you are reading, may have seen it or are even members yourselves.  It's called the Hundred Suburi Club 2018, on Facebook.  Check it out if you'd like!  This may be a shameless plug for it, but that's ok, it's my blog.  It's been fun joining in with other like-minded people around the world to share this experience.  I didn't necessarily join for the suburi itself; I've already been doing that consistently on my own time anyway.  For me it's more the community aspect of it, and being able to cheer on and motivate others, as they do the same for me, and share our stories back and forth.  Kendo really is a friendly group, and this gives me another way to meet and greet new people.  With that being said, though, it does make me think of my own suburi and practice and small tidbits of info that I've collected or realized throughout the years.  I want to present some of that, BUT please please please, if y…

Return to Form

It's been a while.  At first it was because I was just busy with work and life and training (always training!) but then I let this blog slip away from me and it kept slipping and slipping...and here we are, a full year has passed without any new entries.  It's time to change that!  I have always loved not only reading blogs myself, looking for little pieces of info or advice or a new take on something to give me another perspective, and I've also enjoyed sharing the information that I have, as well as the experiences and the ups and downs of kendo life.  I'm not perfect, it's definitely not high-level stuff, but I have a passion for it.  And hopefully I can keep that going for many years to come. So today it's time to get back to it!  I'll do my very best to keep this updated regularly with new entries.  This is also a perfect chance to reflect back on the last year.

2017 was a HUGE year for me, kendo-wise.  So much happened that I'm actually pretty bu…