Last weekend I was in London for the OG Single cell sequencing meeting. On Thursday I had the opportunity to practice at Kenyukai dojo with my friend Young Park. As usual it was a very nice evening with basic suburi, basic techniques with full bogou and finally jigeiko.
I had keiko with Sudo san and Park sensei. I was not satisfied of my jigeiko both in chudan and in jodan, and my feeling was confirmed by Young. My kamae was not strong enough and my seme was ineffective. At the second dojo we were discussing on the rising difficulty in passing exam getting older. Regarding this I found very interesting two articles of Geoff Sensei, which unfortunately pass away last week, and, since I am now near the 60s these phrases inspired me and made me thinking:
- Kendo – More a marathon than a sprint!
- Mochida sensei said - When one becomes 60 years old, the legs are not as strong as they once were. It is the spirit that overcomes this weakness. It is through a strong spirit that one can overcome the inevitability of the body becoming physically weaker."
- Grading examinations for older kendoka.
- and "Geoff sensei said - I was fortunate to receive some concerted coaching from Chiba sensei when in my mid 50s that made me realise that I had to adapt my kendo to my age. The key points were that you needed to find your own distance, keep your footwork light, but still forward, and use your opponents’ movement to your advantage. Rather than making your attacks bigger and harder, they should be smaller and lighter. The more you advance in grade the more important seme becomes. This does not mean that you should constantly push in to take shikake waza, but you should also use hiki-dasu to make your opponent move towards you so that you can execute debana and oji-waza. The logic is that when your opponent steps towards you, you need only take half a step to reach the target."
The above phrases agrees with the Young indications suggesting me to use as my reference old kenshi with level greater then me to focus more on spirit strength than on physical strength. So now I have an other little piece of the puzzle for next exam and I have to find the right place where to place it in the full picture.
Although my weird Japanese knowledge, I also found very interesting this YouTube video