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Efficient Improvement

Lately I've been talking a lot about working on and making improvements, not only in my own conditioning and endurance, but also with techniques such as kaeshi do.  I had a somewhat specific plan of action when I decided to work on kaeshi do, and it's a plan that covers any technique that I want to learn, and it was taught to me by Sinclair Sensei.  Now, granted, I'm sure I took some small shortcuts here and there, but the basic foundation is the same, and it's a way of tearing down each technique and to their core movements and then building them back together to build a strong technique with strong basics.  It really mimics the style of teaching and training that we use, and something that I've been exposed to since day one in the dojo.  It's also been an emphasis in the dojo for the past couple of weeks.  Sensei has been taking time to go over the process with us in detail.  It's something I've heard many times before, but I'm always grateful to go over it again because each time gives me new ideas and new insight, and also strengthens what I already know and practice myself.  I'm excited to put this process to use learning and improving other techniques that I know and use, or even ones that I'm not too familiar with or good at.  I've always been of the mindset that just because I don't use a particular technique that often doesn't mean I should ignore it or not be able to use it effectively when the time comes.  I want to train towards a point where I can be totally clear and focused during practice and just let the movements and the techniques flow out of me as the situations to use them arise, and to be able to do it without necessarily thinking about it.  One of these days...

In addition to our focus on breaking down and building up our techniques, Kuster Sensei has been gracious enough to host a three-part jodan seminar.  Or rather, how to fight against jodan.  We've been going over this for the past two Mondays, with the last part taking place tomorrow, and I have to say that it's been an eye-opener.  I thought I knew quite a bit about how to fight against jodan just from the advice that Billy has given me, but after these first two sessions I've learned so much more that it puts what I did know to shame.  We've gone over everything from the basics of kamae against a jodan player, to how to move in and strike efficiently by using footwork and body carriage and I'm super excited to see what's in store for our last session tomorrow.  I know that next time I face a jodan player in shinsa or taikai I'll definitely be more prepared.

Short post today, for anyone reading, but there's definitely a lot that I was able to take away from all of the teaching that I've had lately, both personally and to the whole dojo, and I am working towards tightening everything up before the next taikai in November.  I might not turn any heads with crazy new waza, but I hope to raise the bar for myself and show some all-around improvement.  If I can do that then I'll be happy no matter what else happens.

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