Skip to main content

Kendo and me - Darrin

Hi Sam

Over the last few months I have been focussing on trying to improve my stamping and my swing for big cuts.

Jeffrey has told me that I tend to lift my right leg up rather that driving forward when I stamp; also that my stamping is not strong enough.

As well as this, I have been trying to focus on not moving my left foot forward when I am about to stamp.

So I'm trying to co-ordinate my left leg, my waist and my right knee to improve my stamping.

The other day you gave me a really good technique to help ensure that I raise my shinai high enough before executing the cut: this is where you advised that we should swing our shinai forward when we see our left fist reach eye level. Generally, I think the problem is that I rush the cut so am not raising my shinai high enough.

Whenever I train with Jeffrey he says "more stamping"; whenever I train with Leo he says "swing bigger", so one of my goals for the end of this year is for Jeffrey to say "nice stamping" and Leo to say "nice swing"!

These two things have been my main problems I think since I started with Kendo and it is a bit frustrating that I am finding them so difficult to correct.

Also, with stamping, I can not stamp going backwards at all. I hope to be able to start developing this skill over this year.

I can't do taitari (not sure of the spelling) very well so hope to improve this a lot over this year too.

Recently Jeffrey showed me that I need to relax my shoulders after executing a cut so that my cut will naturally bounce up a little ('pang') rather than be just a 'whack'. Actually, when I do cut a men properly like this it is really satisfying to hear the right sound and have the right feel, if you know what I mean.

I am also aware too that I need to focus on ki-ken-tai-ichi and particularly make sure that my cut lands with my foot.

With shiai, one of the key things that I try to improve on is my zanshin and I'm still slowly learning how to do this. Actually, I don't think that I can manage shiai very well at all yet but I have noticed that I have improved quite a bit from, say, six months ago. Hopefully this means that I can continue to get a lot better over 2008.

These are my main thoughts about my kendo at the moment although I'm very aware that I still need to work on all the basic skills as well as starting to develop some of the more advanced skills (small men etc).

Thanks Sam

It's great to have you 'home'
See you Tuesday



Popular posts from this blog

2020 Kendo Beginners information

Our first 2020 training (keiko) starts from Wednesday 8 January
You are warmly invited to join us and 
start your New Year resolutions as a Modern Samurai. 

--- Information for Year 2020 Beginners ---

Starting Dates:
Class A: 1.30 – 3pm Saturday 11 JanuaryClass B: 1.30 – 3pm Saturday 14 MarchClass C: 1.30 – 3pm Saturday 11 JulyClass D: 1.30 – 3pm Saturday 10 October
Note: The Class B is postponed one week (from 7 Mar to 14 Mar) due the the current corona-virus status. 

Course Information:
No previous experience required.Regardless of gender, ages from 8 to 80 are all welcome.First lesson is your Free trial.Fees: 99.00 — 10 weeks course (equipment rental included)Family discounts: the 2nd family member is 50.00, the 3rd one is 25.00, and from the 4th one is free.Full membership after the Beginner Class
Programme Objectives: 

By the end of the course, you will be ready to put on Bogu (armour) and start your Kendo journey as a modern Samurai!

School of Education (SOEGymGate 4, Hill…

Koboitchi – 2019 Yamagami Sensei Seminar in New Zealand

Photo Credit: Auckland Kendo Club
Original text in Chinese by Sam Tsai English Translation by David Pan 

This is the fourth time I have had the pleasure of attending Yamagami Sensei’s Kendo seminar.
In 2016, the seminar topic was about the fundamentals of kendo: The five sections of the shinai – Jin-Gi-Rei-Chi-ShinIn 2017, the seminar topic was regarding the “heart(mind) of self-control”, namely: 克己心 / こっきしん / kokkishin: the mindset of overcoming the self平常心 / へいじょうしん / heijoshin: everyday mind 不動心 / ふどうしん / fudoshin: immovable mind In 2018, the seminar topic is 三殺法 / さんさっぽう / San-satsu-no-ho or San-sappo 「竹刀・太刀を殺す」: Kill the sword 「技を殺す」: Kill the waza 「気を殺す」: Kill the spirit

The topic this year is 攻防一致 / Koboitchi. Most kenyu probably heard of it by the more classical term 懸待一致 / けんたいいっち / kentaiitchi, a realm or level of understanding which we hope to attain one day thru training. That said, how do we actually work on this in our daily training? I think this is a question that many ke…

Do not give up just because something is not going your way - Carl Ann

Best wishes to your anticancer pharmaceutical research project!
Life is full of obstacles and challenges but they shouldn’t stop you from moving forward, meaning, do not give up just because something is not going your way. In fact, they should be the driving forces of your progress. I don’t know everything about Kendo, only what my sensei(s) and my mother have told me. There are some steps which I can’t do but I still train because that is how a person makes progress. You cannot improve if you don’t do anything. Being the person I was and still am (a total weirdo), I never really understood what giving up meant before. I had never so-called given up on anything I started because I didn’t know what it was. It sounded like a silly human sentiment to me. How can you stop doing something that you have not mastered? Doesn’t it feel incomplete? Shouldn’t it motivate you to try harder because it feels good to master something or it enriches your life ie. makes your life more meaningful?