Fourth Dan Grading Diary - 2

November 25th - 30th 2014

Tuesday 25th we had some guests from Europe, two sensei trying their 8th Dan tests. After kihon we had a nice Keiko, I ended up being one of the motodachi and had 4 short Keiko with my dojo mates vwofre going to sensei.
The Keiko with my dojo mates was very relaxed and enjoyable. I was having fun more than trying to go straight. Lots of gyaku do and kaeshi kote!
Keiko with sensei was fun, it's been a while since I practiced with those sensei and it was nice to try and show how much I have improved. Both sensei took some nice debanna and kaeshi waza from me and I tried my best to go straight and take centre before attacking.

Thursday 27th I switched to a thick grip Shinai just to see how it felt. It was too cumbersome and I felt stiff and slow to react. I am still yet to find "my" Shinai!
Keiko was a bit worse this evening, I was caught many times by my dojo mates.
I am focusing on moving forward and receiving attacks rather than stepping back when my opponent moves in. I have gotten very bad at stepping back recently and need to get rid that bad habit.
Obviously the best solution is to attack or to not get caught out.  But for now I need to build up the natural reaction to move forward.

Saturday 29th. I practiced in the evening and had a generally good Keiko. I tried to be relaxed during kihon, enjoying rather than thinking too much. Sorry to everyone for the bruises from over ambitious dou or kote! I just feel like I have been too stiff for ages and need to let loose!
Advice from one sensei was that I was building good pressure before attacking, but then I'm doing things like dropping my kensen, or feinting to try get a reaction. Sensei's advice was to instead go for men, take centre, make a slight movement, or step in to distance and try to strike debanna men. He said I need to be a bit braver and just go for it.
During Keiko with him I noticed he was really trying to upset my kendo by attacking quickly, while I was busy thinking about what to do next. My biggest problem this year has been over thinking. Every mistake or missed opportunity feels like a lead weight.

Sunday 30th. I skipped Keiko for house work and getting stuff ready for the week ahead, lunches, ironing, shining shoes etc.
Instead I did 500 suburi. 200 shomen, 100 kote, 50 dou, 50 katate (one handed) 100 kirikaeshi, 50 sayu-men and 50 left and right dou.
Blisters. :)



  1. Lehmann-sensei and J├Ąttkowski-sensei??

    1. Hi Mateo. It was Lehman Sensei and Tzcherter Sensei from Switzerland.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Haha,
    I hope you had a lot of fun with him ;)