Ben - The start of a long journey

Suriashi すり足 - focus and balance

The start of a long journey – my Kendo pathway by Ben Albany March 2021

Focus. Discipline. Fitness.

Why would a 45-year-old, with a hectic life need to add more things to do in the week?  The answers are above. I am work for a company designing powerlines and assisting in operational matters. Stress level 100%. I started studying business through Massey University as a distance learner last year, so more challenges and stress. Lastly, having injured my back around a year and a half ago I had been doing next to no exercise, so the weight was piling on!!!

I have, some would say, an unhealthy fascination with blades – I have way too many knives and a Katana with a live blade. I Google and Youtube to distraction and last year I started viewing a lot of Samurai and Kendo videos. The time has come to learn the craft, to learn the way of the sword – Kendo.

I found Waikato Kendo web page. I contacted Sam Tsai (Sensei), he provided me with some great information and opened the dojo door, figuratively and literally.

So now I am learning to walk the Kendo pathway. Remember I mentioned focus, discipline, and fitness, who would have thought that an adult would trip over their own feet by simply sliding feet back and forth on a wooden floor?  Suri-ashi is the one of the basic methods of Kendo footwork, it requires focus and balance.

Suburi is the large swinging movements of the shinai (bamboo sword) and daily practice has improved my discipline and fitness.

So now as I start on my journey to learn the way of the sword, Kendo will show me how to Focus, improve my discipline and has already helped my fitness (I have lost nearly 5kg already!!!).

I know there will be many teachings to come, and challenges that I will need to overcome, and friendships that will be forged. I will take the challenges one step at a time (or sliding trying not to trip up anyway) and will welcome the new friendships in the spirit they are given.

Focus. Discipline. Fitness.