Appreciation - Nicole's Kendo dairy

Farewell to Gavin, have a good trip back to home. 
We will miss you and see you next time! smile emoticon

Kendo Journal 09/03/2016: Appreciation

Today we were emphasising our training on Zanshin (殘心). Zanshin is a concept unique to Kendo. There's no other martial art that will do Zanshin or have something similar to this. In most other martial art, practitioner is training on how execute the technique efficiently with their physical strength and agility and may the best man prevail in the competition.

Ippon is the Kendo term used to describe when we score a point in Shiai. Ippon can also be view like a "ritual" where I declare my intention with Kiai before executing my attack using techniques and physical agility. Then finishing the ritual with going pass your opponent, reflecting on my own action and appreciating your opponent's sacrifice to make you a stronger Kendoka. To my understanding, the last part is known as Zanshin. To score a point, we need to complete the "ritual" beautifully. Sam Sensei always say Ippon is achieve by having Ki (intention; presence; atmosphere; commitment), Ken (sword; technique), Tai (body; physical strength and agility) ichi- all in one. We apply these attributes to Zanshin too.

We tend to slack off when we finishing our attack in training as we feel like we have completed our attack. But Ippon does not end here. To correct this, we were requested to turn properly after tsuri ashi exercise and Kihon training by Sensei. Marleen Sensei wanted us to implementing Zanshin in our training so it becomes a habit so our Kendo will look beautiful in formal event like Shiai or Grading. Plus finish with a pretty Zanshin also means we are back to Kamai, fully aware of our surrounding and ready to strike again. Sensei wanted us follow Erina san's example, train our "ritual" with 100% commitment!

We given some advice about turning for Zanshin. Firstly there are different direction when it comes to turning. The correct way of turning after Men or Do Uchi is to use the ball of your front foot (right foot) as the pivot point turning anticlockwise with your waist, finish with shifting your left foot to the back in Kamai position. The correct way of turning after Kote Uchi is to use the ball of your front foot (right foot) as the pivot point turning clockwise with your waist, swaying your right foot like drawing a small circle. It should end with right foot at the back, pivot your waist to face directly to your opponent. We should hold our Shinnai at a 45 degrees angle with our hand extended not close to our body. We should be able to turn as quickly as possible so we are ready to strike again. Most important part is that we need to maintain a strong Kiai until we turned and return to Kamai.

P.S This is the last training we have with Erina Hosaya san. We would like to thank her for sharing her skill and experience with us. Your passion and resilience with Kendo has set a good example for all of us!


And farewell to Gavin, the Senpai who have contributed so much of your time and effort in helping to run the club. Unfortunately, I was not able to know you more when you were here but I heard a lot of good things about you. You set a good example to us Kouhai.