Saturday Keiko Reflection for Beginners & Kyu grades - by Janet
As one of the five virtues or moral principles of Bushido (way of the samurai) derived from Confucianism, & represented by one of the five pleats on the front of the hakama, Jin (仁) means benevolence, compassion & mercy, & the kanji 仁 symbolises 2 people coming together. In other words we need to treat others kindly with respect & courtesy like how we would like to be treated.
Therefore, we need to associate with others with sincerity. So come to each keiko giving your 100% to help others train, be mindful to help others avoid injuries & be thankful for each opportunity to keiko together.
In kendo, it takes two people to work together maintaining good mental contact & building up pressure to strike when the opportunity arise. We need to learn to observe & feel each other’s cues, & work out the correct timing & distance to initiate or anticipate a strike.
Learning to be an effective Motodachi is an important part of kendo training, & is a hard task to do correctly. As a Motodachi we need to remain attentive while applying pressure & provide an opening or showing the target only when the Kakarite is ready to attack within the correct range. Then we need to be ready to receive the strike followed by moving out of the way & stepping aside for the Kakarite to move forward smoothly with their Zanshin.
As Kakarite, we need to learn to get into the correct distance of Issoku Itto no Maai, before initiating the strike. Focusing on Kihon movements, getting into good Kamae, footwork, Kiai, then using our shoulder to raise the shinai & then back down with shoulder, elbow & wrist respectively. Concentrate most power on the left arm, wrist & hand while swinging down & cut forward before performing correct Tenouchi (the way to complete a cut by squeezing the Shinai handle with the left & right hands as it makes contact with the target) to aim for a Crisp (Sae) strike so that the tip of shinai slices through and bounces up from the target without being too heavy or hard to cause pain & injury to your training partner. Remember we are extremely privileged to train with a living person & not just any object.
We also need to think about how to maintain our breathing & stamina during repeated strikes while maintaining Ki-Ken-Tai-Itchi at all times without losing the tension or pressure midway to not give the opponents opportunity.
Many thanks to Marleen sensei’s guidance for us beginners & Kyu grades, you’re truely an inspiration ❤️❤️❤️ And thanks for Sam sensei’s philosophy teachings😊 sensei please help make correction as required. I’m sure we all have learnt a lot🙏🙏🙏
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