Next Kei came to train with me. Of course I was delighted. She has a stong centre that was hard to break, and did very well suriage. During our Ippon-Shobu, however, she didn't use it, which suggested that she's not very confident with it. It was a tough one with occationally one of us landed the shinai on target but denied a point by oneself. At the end she got a straight men-cut, because my, also men, strike could not hold the centerline. Good match!
Then a Czech girl Denise (I think it's her name) wanted to geiko with me. I feel important now having people queuing up for me! She is a strong kenshi, and I used this opportunity to practise holding my centre. It was therefore a nice match for me. In the Ippon-Shobu, I landed a harai-men to claim the point.
More people waiting. Misha from Berlin whom I promised to do jigeiko with yesterday came. He had a blitzing attack but I didn't feel very pressured because I think he didn't bring he whole body forwards. It might be due to that he is tall. However, he ducked very fast so my men-strikes missed because of that. I should have tried to do nidan waza, but it didn't come across my mind at the time. Finally I won the Ippon with kote.
I then jigeiko'ed with Kamemoto-Sensei from Austria. Very interestingly he used jodan-no-kamae with switching hands. He would suddenly swap the upper hand and the lower hand. I guess his opponent must be confused by that. But to me who is really no match to him, he used Chudan. There wasn't too much to note from this geiko, in fact except a good work out.
My last opponent was Kenji. I was keen to see what he thinks of me today compared to yesterday. Feed back from him was:
- Improved. My kensen is now more in the centre.
- Have no fear. Don't always walk back. Keep the pressure on.
The organizers brought us with the Senseis to the Italian resturaunt where we were yesterday. As soon as I walked in and said hi to the people who had already arrived, I saw Meguro Sensei waving at me and pointed at the seat next to him. So I sat next to him and chatted with him during the lunch. He went to Taiwan some years ago for tourism and like it very much. I told him that his suriage just kills me and my harai-waza didn't work at all. He said the best is to just go straight in with seme and strike men, and that from 6th Kyu to 8th Dan one should always try to acheive this. "Kendo," he said, "should be simple, and beautiful. Simple and Beautiful."
I'd be forever grateful for this advice.
After the lunch we said farewell in front of the resturaunt. When I said goodbye to Ozawa-Sensei I looked firmly into his eyes and said "See you." He responded with the same firmness and a nod, "See you."