Hello all! I wanted to perhaps start a discussion and learn others’ experiences on how they practice with various opponents. This of course includes bus is not limited to practicing with people of different ages, physical fitness levels, kendo rank, and of course gender.
We all have or might be working on some kind of technique that has helped us overcome challenges or figured out what works for us over time. Perhaps hearing each others’ experiences will bring insight into new ideas!
I personally feel like my kendo has adapted over the years, and I’ve only learned with time that you need to be really attentive to your body. It’s of course important to strive for improvement, but everyone comes from their own place and it’s important to know what your body before pushing forward. For example, I’ve gotten physically slower in my 30s than when I was in my teens. However, that slowing down forced me to improve my timing, which in turn helped me understand the concept of seme on a deeper level. So that’s helped me learn about control too, and I try to use control+timing more when I’m up against someone who has a different physique than me.
Excited to hear what others have experienced and have to say!
I have encountered something similar too. I find that it my level of fitness has really changed from when I was in my 20s and my 30s which has also affected my kendo. What I’ve done to compensate is to try and find marginal gains wherever possible. Such as doing weightlifting, plyometric, sprints etc.
I’m still trying to learn about the timing and seme. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
What I find really useful was to keep practicing the basics over and over again so that I do not need to think as much about it during a jigeiko or taikai.