[Insert cliched apology for stretch between posts here]
So a few things have happened since the last post.
first there was Hizen's Kangeiko, which was just right for getting back on track after all the holidays. It certainly felt like it was needed! During this time was all the huge snowfall in and around london, so the week was an exercise in logistical perseverance alongside the actual kendo practice. Overall it was a great way to get back up to speed, and was a good challenge. Managed to make all days this year, which always feels nice.
Then there was the Hizen winter taikai. It was my first taikai I've fought in since returning, and it was nice to get in the shiaijo again. I lost in encho to a hiki-men, to they kendoka who then took 2nd place in the tournament. It's always nice to win, but I'm happy that it was a good, hard fought match, and will take the experience with me.
Ok, back to the point of this blog after a brief catch up, day to day notes.
Last lesson on thursday was entirely motodachi queuing practice (with some jigeiko in the end). we started off with some kirikaeshi, which for me still feels like a dyslexic octopus having a siezure would be better at. I got some on the spot advice regarding the cut, lots about using the left arm (though I'm not applying any pressure with my right and was practically doing the practice left handed, whatever I'm doing must look like I'm using too much right arm force, so I'll need to sort that.) I also got a more audible explanation in the pub later about the use of the wrist and the ;eft hand in general. Specifically the axis of the rotation of the shinai is too far from the end of the handle, and it thus looks weak, so the advice was to work on that and also to relax more (this is something that people have mentioned to me for years, though hopefully my new perspective and ability to at least recognise what 'relaxed' feels like).
In addition we also did some uchikomi geiko, and in it I got some very good advice about posture and focus, which felt very useful during the rest of the lesson, and I can remember vividly what the feeling was like so should be able to hang on to it in subsequent lessons.
Something weird was going on in my left leg, the left calf was feeling very tight and sore near the end, so I think I need to pay attention to keeping it straight and watching the height of the heel. we'll see.
We finished up the night with some jigeiko, which felt well enough. was a very middle of the road quality it felt like, not bad but not great either. This I believe should improve with consistent practice and attention.