Monday, March 02, 2009

T-5 Days Till Testing

This coming Saturday will mark the third time that I will attempt the Shodan exam. Ever since I didn't make it in Detroit a few weeks ago, I have been doing all that I could to prepare myself for the testing to make sure that, truely, the third time's the charm. I would also like to thank everyone I have practiced with thus far with helping me out as the encouragement and practice is really uplifting.

From what I have been told, there are some physical things that I need to work on, such as keeping my balance on the back foot, relaxing my shoulders and strengthening my hits but the mental aspects are the things I might need to work on the most. Due to the advice from Takano Sensei, I have heard some new terms that are probably not discussed that much or just described mostly in other terms.

Tame (溜め) - According to the Japanese/English Kendo dictionary on Kendo USA, tame is a moment of mental and physical preparation, accumulating strength and spirit, before starting a technique. In other words, it's like constantly holding back a spring and letting it go whenever you're ready to attack. So whenever I'm fighting, I constantly need to be in that state of preparedness by looking at and sensing the opponent. Then, when I'm ready I literally go from 0 to 60 in a mere fraction of a second. This involves a lot of me keeping my left heel down more than usual, but I also seem to need to work my muscles down there to get the response I want out of it. But the whole thought process of the concept seems to help quite a bit for the time being.

Yoyuu(余裕) - According to an essay named "Space in Time in Taido" by Robert Norris and Rob Delicata, yoyuu can be interpreted as the space that a taidoka creates by means of
movement in order to gain a strategic advantage. While the article is for the martial art of Taido, just substitute taidoka with kendoka and the definition still applies. What I seem to need to do on this one is utilize the various kinds of footwork in order to achieve the proper ma-ai so I can attack most effectively to get that point. I have noticed a tendancy to have some hesitation about moving in to what I percieve as too close and/or extending properly in my strikes. The hesitation makes me lose opportunities to attack and the lack of extention makes me miss otherwise great opportunities. I guess it might have to do with the fear of going too soon and possibly getting tsuki'd or something, but I have been trying to work on that by forcing myself to move and working on getting the opponent to move when I want him/her to do so.

As always, there are many things that I need to work on, but I also need to be careful to not overload myself. From what everyone has been telling me, I seem to be okay with my skill set, I just need to make some yuko-datotsu next time and I should be set for the first part. If I make it past that, then there's the kata, which I would like to discuss at a later date. Kata is something that's rarely discussed and I was given some interesting tips on kata that I honestly never heard of before so I'd like to get that recorded on the web somewhere. There's also the whole biiru-geiko that I need to work on, but maybe my tolerance needs to go up before I attempt that one too hard.


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger