I've been practicing more regularly now that the Christmas holidays are well and truly over and that work has settled back down.

Unfortunately my laptop is broken and I've not been able to buy a new one just yet. I've borrowed an old Mac from a friend though, so should be able to post more updates and photos soon.

I've been told I have a good Kamae, and posture, so I'd like to talk about it here!

I've followed the advice of three Sensei for my Kamae in the last year.

Left leg is dead straight and hips turned up to the back. (Akiyama Sensei)

Left and right foot placement is extremely important, place both together, pivot the left foot on its heel to the left 90 degrees, and then on the ball again by 90 degrees. (see pictures at the end)
Tuck your chin in and imagine someone is holding you up by a string that comes from the crown on your head. (Torikai Sensei)

Relaxed arms and shoulders, if they are relaxed you can strike quicker. (Kubota Sensei)

Yanai Sensei has also had a huge influence on my Kamae as he has been tweaking and correcting it ever since I started coming to practice with him in Japan.

I had been holding my left hand just at the level of my navel, and maybe around two fists from my body in imitation of some university students.

Yanai Sensei said that I should instead hold my left hand lower and closer to my body.

Place the left hand one fists distance from your body and at a height just below your navel (belly button).

He said my cuts were a little light and that it's because of the height of my Kamae. With the Kamae held out like I had it, there is not a lot of room to generate power while striking men.

By bring the hands closer and lower, I will be able to use my wrists better and put more power into the cut.

I tried it out during keiko last night and found a marked difference in my cuts. I was able land much more solid hits and made more Ippon during Debanna men practice too.

I've added the photos of the foot placement, this is not an uncommon method of placing your feet, I've been thought it before in Europe, but Torikai Sensei makes a point of doing it every time before he joins in practice

Start with both feet together.

Pivot on the heel the left foot by 90 degrees.

Finally pivot the left foot another 90 degrees to the correct position.

Thanks for reading,
hope you enjoyed my feet!