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  • #31
    I tried something interesting last keiko. I am someone who normally does a lot of attacks, people often tell me to attack less. I guess Im kinda trying to control the opponent (or to make seme) through attacks. Its hard for me to take me back here. So what I did is, I resolved to not make a single attack during ji-geiko. I tried to control the aites, to do seme and also to prepare for chances to hit but not execute these hits. It was interesting, how strong my seme got. And it was also a hard practise for self-discipline on one hand and for the ego on the other (for when you have the chance to hit, your ego really wants to prove that to your aite...).

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Robobob View Post
      I tried something interesting last keiko. I am someone who normally does a lot of attacks, people often tell me to attack less. I guess Im kinda trying to control the opponent (or to make seme) through attacks. Its hard for me to take me back here. So what I did is, I resolved to not make a single attack during ji-geiko. I tried to control the aites, to do seme and also to prepare for chances to hit but not execute these hits. It was interesting, how strong my seme got. And it was also a hard practise for self-discipline on one hand and for the ego on the other (for when you have the chance to hit, your ego really wants to prove that to your aite...).
      that sounds challenging, I think Im giving it a try.

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      • #33
        very interesting.... i will try it too... but just in chudan... hahaha

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Thunder View Post
          There have been a lot of posts about physical conditioning, waza, form etc...

          But here is a question.

          How do you prepare yourself mentally for a life as a Kendoka. Since this is a mental discipline also...what is your training or focus in/out of the dojo?
          Kendo is part of my life just like all of my important commitments. On a tactical level, every night before I fall asleep I envision myself doing kendo. Not just basics and keiko but bowing correctly, doing sonkyo, etc.

          I believe very much in the power of visualisation.

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          • #35
            I recently gave a presentation at the university about the power of mental practice in enhancing performance. Mental practice is a fascinating and exciting technique. One of the major explanations for how mental practice works is using the neuromuscular hypothesis.

            When you mentally imaging an action without active physical movement, it actually triggers physiological response in the body. One of the way to measure this is using EMG (Electromyography), which measures the muscle activities.

            Researches have found that during mental practice WITHOUT any active physical movement, the brain actually sends electrical signal, through the neuromotor pathways, to the effecting muscles. The researchers were able to record spinal reflex activities and also EMG activities in the muscle groups responsible for the particular action you are imaging.

            As a result of this priming of the neuromotor pathways, mental practice can help establish and reinforce appropriate coordination, and ultimately enhance performance.

            Quite an interesting explanation to a fascinating and mysteriously powerful training technique.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by vyung View Post
              I recently gave a presentation at the university about the power of mental practice in enhancing performance. Mental practice is a fascinating and exciting technique. One of the major explanations for how mental practice works is using the neuromuscular hypothesis.

              When you mentally imaging an action without active physical movement, it actually triggers physiological response in the body. One of the way to measure this is using EMG (Electromyography), which measures the muscle activities.

              Researches have found that during mental practice WITHOUT any active physical movement, the brain actually sends electrical signal, through the neuromotor pathways, to the effecting muscles. The researchers were able to record spinal reflex activities and also EMG activities in the muscle groups responsible for the particular action you are imaging.

              As a result of this priming of the neuromotor pathways, mental practice can help establish and reinforce appropriate coordination, and ultimately enhance performance.

              Quite an interesting explanation to a fascinating and mysteriously powerful training technique.
              Very interesting. Thanks for the info.

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              • #37
                i heard that all olympic competitors in multiple countries use visualization as an active part of their training...even track & field competitors. hmm maybe I'll pick up a book on visualization.

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                • #38
                  A few years ago, I bought a book called The Mind in the Martial Arts: A Key to Winning (Info here), and in it was a very well-written section about visualization. Although the emphasis is on Karate, there are still some good lessons to be found there.

                  I'll post some sections tommorow, if anyone's interested.

                  Well, I'm done being intellectual for now; I'll let Old Warrior, Neil, and the rest of you smart old folks (nothing personal ) take over.

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                  • #39
                    To borrow a few lines from the great Lawrence Peter Berra:
                    "Kendo is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical."

                    he also pointed out:
                    "You can observe a lot, just by watching."

                    and, of course:

                    "If people don't want to come to the dojo, nobody's going to stop them."

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Bokushingu View Post
                      i heard that all olympic competitors in multiple countries use visualization as an active part of their training...even track & field competitors. hmm maybe I'll pick up a book on visualization.
                      That's right. Many Olympic teams have special coaches who work purely to enhance the mental performance of the athletes.

                      In several major experiments on the topic of mental practice, researchers have found a couple of very interesting points, which we might incorporate these ideas into our own kendo training.
                      1. Internal / external imagery - internal imagery (imaging from 1st person point of view) is better than external imagery (from an observer point of view). More electromyographic activities are recorded during internal imagery.
                      2. Behavioural vs Environmental Focus - focus on behaviour (such as muscle tension, palmar sweat) elicits more physiological response than focus on the physical environment (such as where things are).

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                      • #41
                        So, wait - seriously, should I go somewhere quiet, close my eyes, and imagine myself doing men and kote for a while? (Something I often do while trying to fall asleep, by the way.)

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Charlie View Post
                          So, wait - seriously, should I go somewhere quiet, close my eyes, and imagine myself doing men and kote for a while? (Something I often do while trying to fall asleep, by the way.)
                          To be effective in mental training, you must be quite focused and aroused to get the maximal benefit.

                          So if you are half falling asleep, you may not get the maximum benefit of mental training. To get a good result, you should be quite focused and mentally aroused to 'feel' how your perfect ippon is like - how the tip of the shinai transmits that really nice feeling to your arms and body, the feel of that strong and beautiful fumikomi, the loud and spirited kiai, the perfect ippon BAMMMM sound on the target, the fluid motion of your cut, the perfect zanshin after the ippon. These are the things you may like to try imaging yourself, and best when you set a nice and quiet place to allow you to focus on it.

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                          • #43
                            Meditation, basically, only instead of blanking out like in zazen, it has a focused purpose. (For me, would probably be more beneficial than zazen, which I do not practice with any kind of discipline.)

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by vyung View Post
                              To be effective in mental training, you must be quite focused and aroused to get the maximal benefit.

                              So if you are half falling asleep, you may not get the maximum benefit of mental training. To get a good result, you should be quite focused and mentally aroused to 'feel' how your perfect ippon is like - how the tip of the shinai transmits that really nice feeling to your arms and body, the feel of that strong and beautiful fumikomi, the loud and spirited kiai, the perfect ippon BAMMMM sound on the target, the fluid motion of your cut, the perfect zanshin after the ippon. These are the things you may like to try imaging yourself, and best when you set a nice and quiet place to allow you to focus on it.
                              Arrgh, your wonderful poetic discription make my hands and feet itch and long for doing kendo. But theres no training in the area today...

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Robobob View Post
                                Arrgh, your wonderful poetic discription make my hands and feet itch and long for doing kendo. But theres no training in the area today...
                                Hah, so may be this is the perfect time to try mental practice.

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