So let's do a quick reflection about my kendo thus far. In Japan this Summer I was focusing on how to move more like a Japanese kendoka, just because it looks beautiful. Yes, it is probably also more efficient and effective, but hey ... details.
Kendo = Kufu: experimentation or self-discovery, long road
So I think after a while I was getting more used to it, and I have to start focusing on actually hitting stuff again, rather than my lower body + legs. My accuracy has been rubbish and I havent really hit sweet sounding datotsu. This was clearly evident at the central region taikai I participated in Thailand. I was too busy trying to be a dragonfly rather than getting them ippons. I lost all my matches, bar the one I drew. Fuck that! Time to turn it into something useful for my kendo, because it so can be.
To do that … I must focus on my kenzen. Sounds easy enough, and even obvious you might say. Not really. Like shooting, if you don’t use the aiming thing at the end (I swear there’s a more professional sounding term for it) you’re likely to miss 8 times out of 10. You get cocky, and you start just aim in a general direction. Big mistake. It is imperative that you don’t make it bleeding obvious though. I do know of someone, a certain kendoka, who before hitting a target, he would literally look. Thus you can see it coming from a mile away.
Unpredictability is very much an important aspect of kendo. Using a timing or waza in which your opponent does not expect. In the words of Miyamoto Musashi (oh lord, I did not just use his quote in my blog … I swear it’s pertinent!): “You win battles by knowing the enemy’s timing, and using a timing which the enemy does not expect”
Lastly let’s talk about distance. John has said to me that whenever he gets into tohma, I can already hit Men, which made his life difficult. Well I’ll have you know that’s going exactly according to plan. One of the most influential jigeiko I’ve had this year was with Osato sensei after the shiai I mentioned earlier in Bangkok. All we did was work on my timing and distance. I would get ready for debana men, and the moment he moves in tohma, I will have to strike. If he doesn’t move, I should seme for him to do so. Logical, but it was so good. Also, if I go in and he blocks men, change to Do! A simple enough menu. It required so much concentration though. It just had a huge impact on my kendo …
16 Oct 2010
Having not been in a competition since August in Thailand, ok that was only 2 months ago, but it really felt like forever, I was looking forward to the British Open. (was there a kendo event that I haven't looked forward to?) Shiai is certainly one of my favourite aspects of kendo, so as you can imagine I was really happy to get into the shiai-jo once again.