I fly out to Italy on Tuesday next week, a mere three and a half days ago now. Am I ready? To be honest, yes and no.

I’ve practised my nuts off for this. In that sense, physically, and technically, I am ready. I’m in pretty decent shape, I’m very happy with the general level of my kihingeiko, all positive.

Mentally, I think I’m ready. Not quite so confident there due to a massive attack of the nerves at the last taikai I went to, but on the plus side I learned a phenomenal amount about my approach as a result, which I think is probably going to be vital for me in performing well. I’m not going to go into details (because it’s lunch time now, and I don’t have masses of time!) but the upshot is that I put too much pressure on myself before I had even swung a shinai. I had a lot of good advice on the day, and it had immediate effects, but still, I did not get the results I wanted. The plus side is the advice that I got, and the immediate results from changing a couple of minor things have put that episode firmly to bed. So, I *think* I’m ready….. shall we see?

All that is left now is one more light practise in Saturday, plenty of rest apart from that, and packing stuff up and getting ready to roll out. I am really looking forward to this one….