Friday, May 23, 2008

Training Notes: 6/22/08

The practice last night was pretty intersting. Nagata-sensei came to visit us about halfway through practice to teach us quite a few basic points:

1) When you are about to push off, do not move the left foot forward. It's something that's quite natural if you aren't confident in the power of your step, but all it does is telegraph your movements to your opponent.

2) Pay great attention to your maai. There's a fine line between being too close and too far, which can mean the difference between making a successful strike or not. This practice for distancing really made me pay attention to the huge importance of all the elements of the stance to achieve optimum ability.

3) When cutting men, better power can be achieved by hitting through to the ear instead of tapping the top of the head. It gives enough power to be strong without overpowering your hits. This is something that could definately help me out since my hits tend to be on the weak side.

Paying attention to these basic points made the practice a bit difficult by trying to approach things in a different light. Of course, it wasn't the hardest part once things got moving with the jigeiko with Nagata-sensei. It was more of the usual in the fact that it's an exercise in physical longevity while keeping your spirits up. He has to be one of the toughest sensei out there, but it's something I appreciate since his methods tend to make me REALLY see what's going on with my Kendo.

Well, tomorrow is the joint practice at Pittsburgh. Hopefully, things should go over pretty well there.


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