Another good technical lesson last night. We began with men/kote off, and broke the cut down into its conponent arm movements. So for awhile we were cutting moving nothing but our shoulders, and then nothing but elbows, and then nothing but wrists, doing a number of repetitions of each. Its nice to be able to unpack the cut like this, it makes it so much easier to assess the quality of one's cut when doing it in realtime.
After awhile of doing this we went on to do much of the same in armour. Smelled a lot more burning bamboo than normal during these exercises. We eventually put some more footwork in like simple fumikomi, and had some good instruction from Satoshi about keeping the weight on the left foot, allowing proper fumikomi for quick attacks in succession, which is something I had been wondering about for some time, and this helps put some sense into thinking about the normal cutting step. There was also a lot of emphasis on moving the body in and not trying to cover distance with your arms insted of the feet, and it was also noted that when you're doing that you give your opponent a great handle to swing you around with because your momentum is far too invested in your arm/shinai's direction, forcing you to follow where your opponent sends your outstretched shinai.
I feel I need to work on this quite a bit. Over the course of the evening, I ended up with a sore mack/neck telling me I'm a bit head down, and a bit too forward. Something to pay attention to during practice. In addition, a bit more explosive left leg will help, if not solve, the arm forward thing. If i'm launching properly then my arms wont need to 'reach'. To help solve this I've decided to take the stairs instead of the lift at work (work being 6 floors up from the ground floor) doing that once each morning and once at lunch should help get some kick into the legs for almost no time investment. Especially on armour carrying days.
The remainder of the practice was repetitions in pairs of: step in - men, opponent steps in - men, and harai men. again there was huge emphasis on wrists, and relaxed shoulders etc. For some reason I seem to have been hitting a lot of mengane last night, rather than that clean connect i've been getting lately. I reckon it means arms not coming up enough. Will have to watch that over the next few weeks.