I have not always been so mindful of my own kamae. Sure, I know how to place my feet into a proper stance and keep my body upright in a good posture and how to hold my sword correctly, but after that I've had a nasty habit of forgetting about it and letting my muscle memory take over. Kamae is not only a physical position or stance, but also a mental one, and I need to remember this and improve it so that I am always ready to attack an opening or counter-attack when someone moves in to strike. Also being more mindful will help me to keep my kamae from collapsing while also making it stronger and more effective. I need to have that heaviness translate into all of my drills and jigeiko. I believe if I can do this I'll see a lot of improvement in my own kendo.
I might have mentioned that recently I've felt pretty good at practice. It feels like things are finally coming together and clicking, and that techniques I use are working better and better every day. I'm on the edge of a breakthrough and just need to keep pushing myself to get there. My posture feels a lot better these days, as does snapping up my back foot after fumikomi. They still need work, but I can tell I've made improvements recently. I'm also still working to eliminate the excess movement in my strikes, especially my men strike, and again it still needs work but it's coming along nicely. As far as actual techniques I've been working on kote-men a lot lately, trying to polish it up and make it not only usable but effective. We'll see if I get a chance to use it later on down the road.
Just over a month until I test for nidan. I'm definitely super-excited for that opportunity, and I hope I do a good job on that day. If I keep practicing and pushing myself like I have been I'm sure things will turn out well for me.