Training Schedule on Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Well, I'm back in training. Carefully, of course. The bad news is that I wasn't able to completely note down what was taught today. So it'll be mostly from memory...and please tell me if I missed anything important. Haha.

Training Schedule on Tuesday, 29 January 2008
  • Briefing
    • Benji visited! With his girlfriend too.
    • Certificates and DVDs from Saturday's grading are ready
      • If you attended the grading and haven't sent the required reflection email, please do so to get your certificate.

  • Warm up
    • Normal
  • -Break-
  • Discussion
    • Received certificates
      • Anyone who graded and sent in the email but hasn't gotten their DVD can contact Omar to get theirs. Note: He doesn't actually have them...but you can ask anyway :D
    • - Beginner's Cup
      • 5th of February...that's next week, folks! (and right between my essay and assignment due-dates! Gah!)
      • Anyone from any of the three 2007 beginner classes is eligible
      • Register to Clement, and don't forget the $20 registration fee.
    • Goodwill Cup
      • 12th of February - exactly one week after the Beginner's Cup!
      • Will have four categories - dan grades, kyu grades, youth/under 16, female-only - if you're eligible for more than one (e.g. female, kyu-grade, and under 16) you can enter all of them if you want.
      • Register to Omar, registration fee's also $20.
  • Suburi exercises
    • 100x shomen uchi to relax shoulder muscles
    • Jumping suburi (not haya suburi) - similar to what we did during the Winter Camp last year.
      • Type 1: Start with raised shinai and feet closed -> jump and hit men, land in normal kamae (right foot in front) -> jump, raise shinai, land with feet closed -> jump, hit men, land in reverse kamae -> jump and repeat the first step.
        • Did this 4 times - hard at first, but becomes more natural after doing it for a while. Surprisingly, I could feel that having tennouchi made it easier to pull up the shinai for the next cut.
      • Type 2: Same as Type 1, but add - jump, hit men, land with legs apart -> jump and repeat - after the second land-and-raise phase.
        • Did this 4 times - also odd at first, but gradually became easier. - kendo calisthenics?
      • Type 3: Jump as high as possible, hitting men at the highest point of the jump
        • A lot harder than it looks
  • Stamping exercises
    • Stamp, follow up with jump and a few steps forwards - 6x
      • Use the natural momentum from stamping to propel self forwards, landing with the left foot roughly where the right foot was when stamping.
      • Don't 'add' the jump - it's more of taking a long step rather than pushing vertically off the floor.
    • Fast kirikaeshi practice - 4x each, no motodachi
      • No big men cut at the beginning
      • Rather than taking steps, 'hop' forwards and backwards to increase speed
      • Don't sacrifice correct cutting and posture for speed, though.
      • When going forwards, push from left foot; when going backwards, push from right foot.
        • Quite difficult to raise the shinai any higher than eye-level in order to deliver the cut fast enough, while maintaining footwork and correct posture.
      • During bogu keiko, motodachi should encourage partner to be faster by moving backwards and forwards faster.
  • - Break -
  • Bogu keiko
    • Small men (static) - sets of 5x each, partnered.
      • Don't pull arms back or extend them too far, as it exposes kote.
      • Raise shinai slightly forwards and push left hand forwards, then cut by pulling it back and letting the cut 'fall' into opponent's men.
    • Small men with stamping (static) - sets 5x each, partnered
      • Same points as previous small men exercise
      • Raise and cut simultaneously with the stamping motion - raise shinai when going into stamp, cut as you make the stamp.
      • Has to be fast and precise.
    • Small kote (static) - sets of 20x each, partnered
      • Same as points as first small men exercise
      • Use small footwork to coordinate - when raising slightly lift right foot, when cutting raise left foot - almost stamping
      • Start slowly, then gradually pick up speed
        • Kind of like tapping to a metronome which is continually speeding up
        • For kote cuts in general, height that shinai should be raised depends on the target - e.g. if the opponent's kote is high after blocking, shinai can start cut from the same height
    • Kirikaeshi - sets of 1x each, with motodachi
      • Using the same principles as earlier 'fast kirikaeshi' - hop rather than step
    • Full kirikaeshi, with big men cuts.
      • Sensei: Kirikaeshi should be seen as warming up - if not feeling warmed up after doing kirikaeshi, better run 100 times around dojo.
  • - Break -
  • Discussion
    • On competition
      • Practice so that we can win with good kendo
        • Victory is only temporary and within that one moment; fortunes can change in an instant
          • Remembered something Sam-sensei said last year: You can train up to become the best, but you will inevitably lose to an unknown challenger.
      • The amount of real practice done is often reflected in performance during shiai
    • Strengthen both mind and body
      • When facing someone of equal skill and at a stalemate, having the strongest will to win could shift the balance and cost you the match.
        • Especially true if moving into overtime matches - if a 4-minute jigeiko already feels like an eternity, how would a 15-minute extension to a 5-minute match feel?
    • The upcoming cups will be a good place to test skills and resolve
      • Tip: time in a shiai should be used to the fullest. Use the first two minutes or so to study the opponent for strengths and weaknesses, then use the remaining time to experiment whatever waza may work against him/her. Scoring ippon early in the match may not be the best thing; you may have already shown your strength and weakness in that one cut, which the opponent has had time to study.
  • - Bow off -
Well, that's all I can remember. Thanks to Clem for reminding on some of the points.

Fun session, though not as hard as we usually do. Definitely getting a bit nervous with the prospect of two shiai practically back-to-back, but looking forward to testing my own limits (at the same time realistically keeping in mind that it may take up to five years to actually start win :D). Until Thursday, then!


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