In the absence of Heeren-sensei, class was led by Tsuyuguchi-sensei with Ran-sempai handling the translations. And with Kiwa-sempai gone for the day, Loek-sempai took care of the warming-up. Emphasis was placed on basics: kirikaeshi, oki-men, hayai-men, hayai kote-men. We also practiced intervals of men-hiki-men men-hiki-kote men-hiki-do. Tsuyuguchi-sensei impressed upon us the need for:
- … striking the men in the proper place. Too many of us strike the mengane instead of the top of the head. This does not count as yuko datotsu.
- … holding the center. Too many of us swerve left/right on the upswing, thus losing the center. When striking, go up through the center and come down through the center.
- … feeling maai. Before attacking, build tension between the two of you. Try to sense your distance and feel when you’re at the right point to make a strike.
- … proper receiving. If motodachi does not receive well, then one cannot properly practice. For example, in kirikaeshi hold your shinai vertically and snap it side to side. Don’t hold your shinai diagonally as this completely misses the purpose of it all.
After a further twenty minutes of jigeiko, class was closed with parting remarks by Roelof-sensei.
- In jigeiko he saw many people struggling, or being too focused on scoring points. Remember that jigeiko isn’t necessarily practice-shiai. Jigeiko is meant to practice techniques you have learned. Don’t focus on not being hit, instead do your best to try the things you learned in class. And if you’re too tired, talk with your partner to make arrangements over who gets to try which techniques.
- Left hand, left hand, left hand. Too many people still over-use their right hand.