As far as actual practice goes, we've been working a lot on kodachi kata 1, breaking it down to its basic movements while also getting used to handling the kodachi. It's a very awkward feeling for me, going from my bokuto down to the kodachi. The way you hold it, the footwork and kamae all feel weird to me right now, but on the other hand I'll have plenty of time to practice and improve! This bit of time with the kodachi has been the main focus of our practices lately (for the yudansha, at least). I love learning new things, especially when they're related to kendo. The rest of practice has been a mix of kirikaeshi, uchikomi, jigeiko, and endurance drills. One of the main things we've been told to focus on there is making our practice count. In other words, make our uchikomi drills feel like our hits in jigeiko, or in shiai-geiko. They should, ultimately be one in the same, which goes along with our motto of "Train like you fight, fight like you train."
Ever since I got the news that I can test I've been trying to actively step it up at practice. I don't know why this would have been the catalyst to start me on my way, but something inside me said "Ok Chris, this is starting to get serious," and since then I've been trying to keep that a focus as I'm out on the floor. What I want is to bring together what I know at this point so that it all works together, and keep building from there. This goes along with my goals of refinement and beauty that I set for myself at the beginning of this year. So far I feel like the quality of my practice has improved and I'm not only doing better with the drills and with jigeiko, but I'm also pushing myself to improve, even if it's just a little bit each practice. It's definitely an exciting feeling. I still mess up all the time, but the focus is there, and so is the determination.