A whir of motion as sparring ensues.
Areas for improvement were swiftly pointed out and promptly rectified as we worked through our usual routine. Having observed our sparring rounds and pinpointed the problem, namely that the frequency and speed at which we attempted our techniques still had much room for improvement, 野瀬師範 then proceeded to impart to us a drill designed to help us overcome these particular weaknesses.
Making reference to the iai (sword-drawing) technique in which a swordsman's weapon is kept sheathed till the split-second before he attacks, at which point he unsheathes his sword, completes his slash, then resheathes his sword in rapid succession, 野瀬師範 communicated to us most vividly the paramount importance of being able to speedily attempt an attack the very moment one moves into position. This is especially key keeping in mind how when you bring your opponent into your range of attack, you are yourself entering his or her range of attack at the same time: the deciding factor, therefore, is speed and accuracy not just in initiating the first contact, but to keep up the offense and transit into a slew of linked attacks.
田沢君 getting ready to pounce as part of a drill to up our speed and accuracy.
松本先輩, who took time off his busy schedule to participate in today’s training alongside us, also indulged us with much meaningful and inspiring advice before we closed the session for today. Indeed, I have come to realize that knowledge might very well even transcend being ‘just another public good’: the classic example of a public good, street lighting, boasts huge positive externalities and fits the typical non-exclusive and non-diminishing profile characteristic of public goods (save for perhaps, the occasional maintenance and servicing); knowledge, on the other hand, does not only not diminish, it is continually added to and enriched greatly by the wealth of experience that one accumulates and passes on selflessly to the next generation, much like what our coach and OBs have been doing for many years now.
There are many years ahead before we even come close to becoming veterans, of course, but I believe I speak for everyone in our club when I say, that it will indeed be a great honor to someday contribute back to nurturing the future pillars of our longstanding Judo tradition here in Hitotsubashi University.