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

How do you practice seme?

Kobayashi Hideo Sensei – How to Seme (w/English CC)  小林英雄 先生 - 攻め方 How do you practice S eme ?   Very early on, I have heard of the “Three Opportunities to Strike”: strike when your opponent’s technique is about to start, strike when your opponent’s technique ends, and when the opponent is mentally and physically depleted. Since then, this line of thinking has given me a direction in how to train. In 2017, Utsunomiya sensei, 7-dan kyoshi, came to visit us and taught me the concept of “okori”. That reminds me of the conversation that happened 8 years before that in 2009 with Morioka sensei, also 7-dan kyoshi, who asked me: “What is the timing or reason of your strike?” I think most people are familiar with the idea that you should “ seme then strike ”. However, when do you strike after seme has been a source of struggle for most kenyu. That’s why when I saw the video from Kobayashi Hanshi where you seme for the purposes of creating “okori” , I felt this added a whole other d

Ji-ri-ichi - practice & theory combined into one 事理一致

Wednesday 19th April 2023 Keiko Reflection by Janet Tonight’s Keiko is a timely reminder of the importance of training in Ji-ri-ichi (事理一致, practice & theory combined into one). While we are constantly receiving knowledge & theory passively from Senseis, one must also be actively applying the theories learnt into action to make it their own through repeated practice.  We must also be proactive in our own learning by actively seeking more knowledge such as observing other kendokas keiko ( mitori-geiko ), reading books, asking questions when in doubt, & constantly reflect & ask ourselves why do we do this? what are we doing wrongly or correctly? This way we can better understand our bodies, the mechanics of each movements & the purpose behind each individual action, therefore maximise our learning outcome by improving productivity & quality of our practice or Keiko.  Remember Kendo is a martial art that descended from Japanese swordsmanship or Kenjutsu, so it’s no

Happy Rabbit Year 2023

We wish everyone have a Happy Rabbit Year Saturday 21 January 2023 Keiko Reflection - Janet As lunar new year of the rabbit arrives so is our Dojo welcoming new beginners to get a taste of what kendo is like. While the beginners learned brand new ideas, the senpais were reminded of the basic purpose of Kendo, which is self discipline, development & improvement of our body, mind, & spirit. Constantly striving for a more perfect & beautiful cut rather than being just a form of self defence or stick fighting. Ashi-sabaki or footwork ( Kouda sensei demonstration ) is very important in Kendo particularly Suriashi or sliding steps as it not only look more graceful & elegant, but also would reduce noise when moving on wooden floors & reduce likely injury from stepping onto hidden weapons or obstacles on the floor in medieval Japan. We were also reminded of the basic sequence of engagement during a kendo duel: 1. Holding good Kamae (on guard position, Kouda sensei demonst