Today’s training was again about seme and the special feint kote-men technique.
After the warming-up that was conducted by Makoto-sempai, he kicked off the training with a few rounds of kirikaeshi. By then Heeren-sensei had taken over the training and he had us do kihon. Like previous trainings the waza became progressively faster and smaller. The kihon proceeded from ookii men to seme-men and finally feint kote-men.
Some pointers for the kihon part of the training:
- Make sure to turn correctly. After you attacked and have passed your opponent with suri-ashi, bring the tsuba to your mouth, pull your hip around and immediately end up in the correct chuudan stance in order to be able to attack again.
- When you do ookii waza it doesn’t mean you also have to do them slowly. Strike swiftly but keep your move large.
- For seme-men, bring your kensaki almost to your opponent’s navel. And then continue for a men strike.
- For feint kote-men, try to hit between your opponent’s kote.
- Because feint kote-men requires one suri-ashi and then basically two attacks (a feint and a real attack) the fumi-komi for those two attacks are almost in exactly the same place to keep the correct distance.
- The objective of feint kote-men is to startle your opponent because an attack on the left side of your opponent should be unusual. The consequence is that he might open his men for you to strike.
After kihon there was a long period of jigeiko.
At the end of the training Heeren-sensei explained about the correct way to tighten the men himo for safety reasons. This was because he saw quite a few people had their himo wrong. The parts of the himo that go from the chin to the back of the head should be tightened first. It is very important to make sure your chin is firmly placed in the part of the men that should hold your chin. If this is not the case there is a risk of serious neck injury. Heeren-sensei said that the more difficult it is for you to move your jaw the better.
Then, while holding that part of the himo taut, grab the part of the himo that are hanging down the front of your men and pull them backwards. Finally tie your men firmly on the back of your head. If you feel your men is too tight, pull at the upper part of your shoulder flaps behind your ears to loosen it slightly.
At the end Heeren-sensei also told the kendoka that all those who wear bougu must apply for the upcoming national Dutch kendo championships early November. And that all those who are ready to take their first exams will be supervised and that they should participate in the central training next Sunday.