Saturday’s class was great and started off with a nice surprise: our friend Sebastian, who departed for Germany a few months after I started kendo, came to visit for some jigeiko! In the absence of Ton-sensei and Hillen, Kris-fukushou led class with kihon and jigeiko.
Many things were said and done, some important pointers being:
- During suburi he noticed that many people have a sub-optimal strike. After the upswing, there are many different movements shown ranging from a slow strike, from a jerk followed by a strike, to a wide arc straight down from jodan. The proper strike is of course hard to describe in words, but he demonstrated what he’d like to see from us.
- In suburi he also admonished us for being so slow and messy on hayasuburi. Practice at home!
- For the footwork practices he again warned us to not keep our feet too narrow. You keep your balance by keeping your feet at shoulder width. Anything narrower will make you wobble about.
- For the suriage techniques he once more impressed upon us the need to stand our ground. Preferably one should move forward towards the opponent while deflecting and striking, but in the very least should you strike and fumikomi on the spot. But whatever you do, don’t move backwards. Stand your ground and be proud.
- After class he warned all of us that we should not only listen to explanations and warnings, but that we should also integrate that message into our practice. More often then not he’ll explain something, which we will then do a little in the following exercise after which it’s completely gone again. Instead you really should be aware of your body: listen to what it’s doing, compare it to what it should be doing and adjust for it. Be aware of what you’re doing.
Ingmar-sempai also reminded us all of the upcoming, annual students kendo tournament in Utrecht. Next weekend Sakurakai are holding the annual kendo competition for all students from the Netherlands. If you’re in high school, college or university and if you train in bogu, please sign up! There are contestants of all levels and it’s always a fun day out. Sign-up is through the NKR website.