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  • Preparing for taikai

    Hello guys, I'm in a need for advice if anyone feels kind and willing. My team is preparing for a shiai competition we attend on a yearly basis. We have around one month till it happens. The thing is, our leading sempai thinks that the best way to prepare for competitions is by doing a lot of suburi, kirikaeshi and uchikomigeiko/kakarigeiko and next to none (10-15 minutes once a week) jigeiko. We tried this last year and it didn't work out very well. What do you think?

  • #2
    "Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."

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    • #3
      sounds fine to me.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by culage View Post
        "Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."
        That is an awesome thought, but in the context of the question, what do you mean by it?

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        • #5
          I think it would be useful for you to have a few practices with some mock shiai. Get familiar with the etiquette, commands, possible penalties and what comprises a point.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
            I think it would be useful for you to have a few practices with some mock shiai. Get familiar with the etiquette, commands, possible penalties and what comprises a point.
            We did that a lot in the past and I don't think anyone attending from our club is unfamiliar with at least the basics of these things. I was more wondering about this last month before the competition. How much percent of your practices would you commit to keiko if it were you club. (Most of the people I'm talking about have been practising for some two to five years. ) In which way do you organise your practice sessions in the time before taikai?

            I'd like to hear your thoughts because I know your word has some weight on this forums and it seems you have a lot of experience.

            Thx

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            • #7
              In general, we increase kirikaeshi, kakarigeiko, etc and do virtually no ji-geiko. We do however, do a fair amount of mock shiai. (Usually ippon-shobu, winner stays).

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              • #8
                meh, kirikaeshi and some death camp kakari sets. mock shiai is useless against people you have been practicing with for several years, you already know their patterns and habits and will likely have some sort of muscle memory ingrained to react to their tokui waza and particular style. That does you no good in a shiai against an unfamiliar opponent. The thing it may help with is judging chances, and knowing when to hold em and when to fold em so to speak. Depends on what your group needs practice with. I would leave it to your superiors to make those kind of judgment calls.
                Last edited by ender84567; 27th April 2010, 02:53 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ender84567 View Post
                  meh, kirikaeshi and some death camp kakari sets. mock shiai is useless against people you have been practicing with for several years, you already know their patterns and habits and will likely have some sort of muscle memory ingrained to react to their tokui waza and particular style. That does you no good in a shiai against an unfamiliar opponent. The thing it may help with is judging chances, and knowing when to hold em and when to fold em so to speak. Depends on what your group needs practice with. I would leave it to your superiors to make those kind of judgement calls.
                  Yeah, the thing is, my sempai ain't in this much longer than I am. I have been practising for five years so far and the highest ranking person in the club has been doing it for some seven years. I'm asking here because I don't think my sempai would mind me doing it and might in fact accept advice if they thought it came from credible sources.

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                  • #10
                    meh, in that regard, the kendo world forum is the least credible source in the universe.

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                    • #11
                      Typically, our practice is 30 minutes milling around, warmup, suburi, 60 minutes basics and technique practice and 30 minutes jigeiko. We're not really a tournament-oriented club, so heavy prep isn't something we do. We run a few mock shiai before our annual tournament because every year we have a few new people who are unfamiliar with the rules and etiquette. I would disagree with ender that mock shiai are useless. The flags help people get more in the tournament mindset - you've got to up the intensity and get out of the rut somehow.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                        I would disagree with ender that mock shiai are useless. The flags help people get more in the tournament mindset - you've got to up the intensity and get out of the rut somehow.
                        Depends on what you are trying to get out of it i suppose. I find jigeiko and mock shiai with people i've been practicing with for the better part of 5 years to be a little unhelpful, obviously with people far below ones level is equally unhelpful. It depends on an individual, and the makeup of the group, you cant really have a cookie cutter regimen. If I had a choice in a 2 hour practice It would be 30min warmup activities, 1 hour footwork, 30mins man in the middle waza practice. But then again my footwork tends to be sloppy and lazy, and my handspeed during waza tends to be slow, so those are the things I would want to practice and 'level up'. Other than familiarizing new people with tournament mechanics I cant think of a single thing you get out of mock shiai that you wouldn't get out of properly done kakarigeiko.

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                        • #13
                          This is kind of a vague answer, but I think you have to focus on what your club needs. That might be little jigeiko, or it might be a lot of jigeiko.

                          Most college clubs that I have been personally involved with are more lacking on the "spirit" and fitness aspects than technique, so I think they would generally have more to gain from well structured kakarigeiko than jigeiko.

                          Look at how people are playing with a critical eye and make an honest assessment of what is going to make the most difference in your shiai performance. I can think of very few times in my past where simply more jigeiko in the current club was it, no matter what I might have thought at the time. I think ender has a good point about getting used to other people. I don't know if it hurts mock shiai, but i think it definitely makes "normal jigeiko" as part of your shiai preparation less effective than a lot of other things. On the other hand, people can almost always use more fitness and spirit.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                            I would disagree with ender that mock shiai are useless. The flags help people get more in the tournament mindset - you've got to up the intensity and get out of the rut somehow.
                            I understand ender's point, but I agree with Neil...

                            For the most part, we don't change anything about our normal practice leading up to a taikai. We will do a couple of mock shiai, and will also use that as an opportunity to let 2.dan-level folks get some shimpan practice in...

                            The good thing about mock shiai is that even if I get in there and fight a guy that's been there as long as I have, we both know when one of us has scored a point, but it's a real wake-up call when you both know it and the shimpan DON'T score it... or when one of us gets a touch and flags go up to both players' surprise.. Most of us understand how this can be fairly common at a taikai...

                            As Neil says, it helps get people more into a taikai mindset .... and I agree with that. Rules and etiquette reminders are good... and it's nice to start getting used to a defined time limit for a match, as well as defined BOUNDARIES for the shiai area. Those kinds of things are pretty much out the window during regular jigeiko.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ender84567 View Post
                              mock shiai is useless against people you have been practicing with for several years.
                              I disagree. If you do it in front of everyone, it creates an outside pressure that's normally present in ji-geiko and you can further tweak it, by giving objectives.
                              ("You're up a point and got 1 minute left. Defend it!"...or the other way around)
                              One of my current favourites combos is : Kirikaeshi, kakari-geiko (run the kakarite out of breath, not into the ground) and then ippon-shobu.
                              The kakarite will be starved of oxygen and still have to at least hold back a fresher opponent. It's really hard to maintain focus in those situations.

                              I personally find that one of the hardest thing in shiai is maintaining focus. In the month before shiai you can do little to improve peoples core techniques, but you can improve fitness a bit and focus quite a lot. This is where shiai-geiko and related exercises are really useful.

                              Jakob

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