Andoru's Kendo Blog

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The show continues...

I was relieved when the Han Rim Won competition ended last Saturday. In truth, I didn't prepare for it. All these times since the nationals, my focus has been on overall improvement. Vivian has already written a post about the competition so I won't add much except a brief commentary about my matches.

I was quite shocked to see the draw - I'd drawn Jackson from UNSWKC, a tall and solidly built guy who is also a good friend of mine. He's senior than me, about 2.5 months shy of testing for shodan. Really nice guy and an absolte joker. We've trained together, have jigeiko-ed a few times and one impression that really stayed on my mind when I first jigeiko-ed him was that he could hit my men from toma. Yup he's that tall. I've never played him before in a shiai and deep inside I sorta knew that it was going to be a tough fight. I was determined to try my best and to show good kendo anyway. When the match started I sensed that alot of people were watching our match. A giant versus a 5"5' almost-midget shiai must be an interesting spectacle. I was very calm in the match, much to my surprise. I tasted first blood (kote) which kicked him into gear. As he initiated a men cut I struck debana-kote before his men cut just to see the flags go up in his favour.. 2 of the shimpan came to explain after my match that they thought my kote lacked zanshin, so they let his men carried through to score. Fair enough. I reckon I played well and didn't lose my composure, but things were really rough at tsubazeriai making it very hard for me to wriggle out of tight corners. I ended up losing ippon to him by jogai - I think that's one of the worst way to lose. T_T. I beat the next guy 2-0 next but couldn't make it out my pool because of my loss to Jackson. Interestingly, at one point in our match, I saw him rolling his ankles which seemed like he might have hurt it. I pulled away from tsubazeriai and verbally asked if he was alright!! LOL! Well no more such compassion next time.

I haven't trained since the competition thanks to an array of work and deadlines. Today's training was good - I learned alot. Sano sensei explained to us about the action that is required for nuki waza. He said that we should wait for the downswing before initiating nuki action. Easier said than done!! It's a good point though. He asked us to think of nihonme and how kote-nuki-kote is performed.

I played Isaac next because I really wanted to play tall people and I really wanted to work on men cuts against a much taller opponent. He pushed me hard and it was so difficult to hit his men since he moved back when I initiated cuts. Yet I tried really hard not to hit kote coz today's focus was men. I tried seme to see if he flinches (not!) and ended up compromising maai and opening up my men for easy taking. He asked me to "switch on" - I really like that term. I did try my best though. I felt really confused afterwards but I have faith that whatever happened was good for me in the long run. I picked Payne sensei next and it's always fun to jigeiko him. He's on fire today! Then off to practise against my sempai Catherine for a few minutes and that's the end of the training! I was disappointed because I wanted to train more. My heel is still not 100% and that limited my training somewhat but the heel pads from Chibabogu should arrive soon.

I asked Payne sensei later on for advice about playing against tall people. He said that I should focus more on waza, waza and waza. He said (and showed me) that "big attracts small, and small attracts big" which was a lightbulb moment for me. When an opponent initiates a big cut, you can counter with a small one, and vice versa. Never let them intimidate you, sensei said - you control them! Never give up and just keep working at it, he added. Thanks sensei!

And guess who came to my dojo this morning? Kanyi from Kendo World Forum!! He called me on Thursday to confirm the dojo location etc but I was under the impression that he'd be coming in June or July. I was very surprised (pleasantly of course) to see him! Too bad I couldn't drag him to Sydney Uni dojo for the afternoon training - apparently there is no training today. He'll be flying to Brisbane on Tuesday so I'm going to pull him to the Pyrmont dojo for about 30 mins of non-stop jigeiko then drag him to UNSW dojo for more jigeiko straight after that.


  • Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for having me, and sorry to surprise you like that.

    The UNSW training was brutal! I strutted around Sydney CBD like a duck before getting on the plane today due to sore muscles.

    As I said before, I never knew I can have so many cramps at the same time, and it's amazing how I manage to have further cramps while in bed.

    Sorry that the totoru tenugui was slightly "pre-loved".

    Hope to see you guys again soon!


    By Blogger Kihon, at 6:02 am  

  • Lol..sounds like and interesting weekend!

    By Blogger Paul, at 2:22 am  

  • hi andrew dont know if you rember we fought in the nationals and iam on kendo world sometime, sounds like your really working hard on the training front and i might not be so lucky to bet you next time in perth i think i will hafta pick up the pace in my training anyway good luck y with it,
    p.s only just found theses kendo blogs.

    By Anonymous ace, at 8:17 pm  

  • Hi Andrew, how are you? This is Jinan Bouya. I am 2 years old but my Mom is going to send me to Kendo when I turn 5. I find your blog thru Oni-san's blog. Please pratise your kendo, and also visit my blog soon.

    By Blogger JinanBouya, at 2:18 am  

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