I had to take a week off from Kendo to let my body heal and go through some hell at work. But I did my best to start up again as good as before. After Saturday practice in Dayton, I had a minor headache, experienced a small cramp in my left calf and some plantar fasciitis. Despite all that, I felt so alive after practice to where going through the pain during and after that was all worth it.
Ever since the tournament and after some suggestions by Ariga sensei, I have been trying my best to bring my Kendo to the next level by trying to do what I can to create openings on the opponent and getting them to move the way I want them too. This is easier said than done cause I also have to get over the personal demons that cause me to hold back and hesitate and correctly use the openings to my advantage.
I have also been trying out various other techniques to see how well they work. I seem to be belting out the Gyaku-Dou (dou strike on the left side) pretty often since after the tournament. It's nice to use, though I'd like to know the best way to score with it. I have also been trying to work with hiki-waza and all the elements that deal with that.
The main motivation for this was after participating and really paying attention to the shodan/nidan division at the Cleveland tournament. It's one thing to see people do well in certain divisions, but it's a different matter when you're trying to pay attention to everything to see what needs to be done to even have a chance at the top spots. I knew that my ikkyu kendo wouldn't be good enough, but it was great to get a perspective for what I need to do to do well.