2008 NZKF Seminar Reflection - Clark

Hi there,

Here are some points from this year’s camp:

Firstly, in the Kata session, before Uchidachi and Shidachi physically cross Bokudos, both of them should rise up Ki and try to feel the tension and fight between Ki.

After that, Inoue Sensi pinpointed several detail points in Kata one and two:

1. In Kata one, when Shidachi moving backward (Nuki),we should use okuri-ashi (sliding footwork) instead jumping backward.

2. In Kata two, both of Uchidachi and Shidachi should not just finish the sequence. From the beginning, Uchidachi should fight for the central line, (either push opponent’s shinai asides, or try to do Tsuki), at the moment, Shidachi should push back to keep own shinai at the central line. Then the timing for Kote will emerge.

In the kihon training, between the Seme (with Kiai-yaaa) and actual attack (men, kote, or do), we should not have any pause or hesitation. Besides that, we should be ready at all time. Once the opportunity comes, we should show our Seme and initiate our attack fluently and as soon as possible. Furthermore, in the continuous cutting, the movement should be smooth, too. For example, in the practice of Kote-Men cut, there is no pause between Kote cut and Men cut. At the same time, the Kiai of these two cuts should also be combined together.

Some suggestion from other visting Sensei:

1. When opponent’s strikes come, do not be afraid. Because this always shake our minds and destroy kamae. Such as, some people always raise shinai when they saw opponent’s Men cut is coming. Therefore, as training all attack and defense techniques, keeping good kamae and be ready at all times are also critical.

2. In the initial level, we should cut bravely, if we do not dare to die, we can not make opportunity and can not beat our opponent.

3. Always cut correctly and cut forward are the most important things. And after we can do correctly in every cut, we can achieve real “fast” in the competition.

4. Several Senseis taught us: if you can take the reins of Big Men cut, you can cut Kote and Do automatically. As we know, Men cut is the fundamental of many advanced kendo techniques, be familiar with big man cut is the only way and is the “shortcut” for improving our kendo.

From the mental view, as Inoue mentioned,always opening our mind in the kendo training and our daily life, because it can help us adopt good attitude. Only if we have right attitude inside, we can show our respect and correct our movements and cut outside. Finally, we can improve our “kendo-mind”, not just improve our “techniques”. Kendo is a kind of life.

Finally, as we can see, Sam and Marleen have already taught us those tips and ideas in our regulate training. Therefore, train regularly, taking notes after every training, reviewing and practicing what we studied and learned are the only way to develop our Kendo.