Skip to main content

No Need to Rush; No Need to Compare

2022-05-28 Saturday 

Confidence comes from discipline and training.

Saturday Keiko reflection for beginners & Kyu grades - Janet

During Saturdays keiko, sensei emphasised the importance of learning Kihon basics for strikes in the following order:

1. To go Big (such as big Men & Kote, to ensure we rotate our shoulders fully and correctly during each strike)

2. To go Strong (using predominantly the left arm to generate enough power)

3. To go Fast (connect all the movements from shoulder rotation to extending elbow and wrist into one: Ichibyoshi)

4. To go Light & small (such as small Men & Kote, & have more control of the strikes using correct Tenouchi to retain power while making it crispy & not heavy)

Another emphasis today was on making the correct Kote strikes in particular the Harai Kote waza.

In Harai & Suriage waza, we sweep or deflect the opponents Shinai off the centre with our Shinai to make an opening before striking.

But remember we must keep deflection movement short and sharp using the wrist & with correct Tenouchi to prevent your Kensen from moving too far away from the centre making ourselves vulnerable also. When this is done correctly, after deflecting the Shinai using Tenouchi, our Kensen should naturally be positioned near our opponents Kote so minimal movement should be required for us to execute a quick and sharp Kote strike using Tenouchi.

The sweeping or deflecting movements may be similar in both Harai & Suriage waza, but the difference is Harai being a Shikake-waza, so basically the user initiates the strike. While Suriage is an Oji-waza, so the user counters or respond to an attempted strike from the opponent.


These days we can often become too self-conscious of other peoples critiques & tend to think too negatively. The abundance of social media presence in our everyday lives also doesn’t help as it often promotes individual ideal & self-image, creates peer pressure & encourages perfectionism or following trends.

Through Kendo, we are reminded that no one is perfect nor the same so there’s no need to compare ourselves with others, we just need to be ourselves & love who we are. Kendo focuses on cultivating our own individual mind & body as well as developing a vigorous spirit, so that we can overcome challenges, doubts & fears face-on & never look back & just keep going forward. Learning to recognise & accept our own weaknesses is an important step to learn from our mistakes & failures to become a better person.

Through Kendo Reiho or etiquette, we are taught humility & dignity, & are encouraged to show respect & be considerate for each other. Having just the right level of friendly competition amongst our peers is a good thing as it helps to keep us stimulated & encourages us to become better together in the right way, with a common goal in mind, that is to become better in our own kendo & to nurture a humane character that we can all be proud of. However, we shouldn’t dwell on the results. Be humble of our failures & achievements & always be thankful for the opportunity to keiko with each other as we go on this kendo journey together. Setting a goal or aim is great to keep us motivated to learn & improve, but no need to be too critical of ourselves or set the bar too high as we can all be our own harshest critics sometimes.

There is no need to rush as kendo is a way of life. We just need to follow the correct training plans & schedule prepared by sensei step-by-step by coming to keiko regularly. Be willing to listen & learn from sensei & senpais’ guidance & receive any feedback with a positive attitude, then our kendo skills & experience will surely improve with time. 

Many thanks to Sam & Marleen sensei & senpais for your guidance at keiko. We all have learnt a lot๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™ 

Also thank you Val senpai for leading our minute of silence to remember those that perished in recent mass shooting. May they RIP๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How do you practice seme?

Kobayashi Hideo Sensei – How to Seme (w/English CC)  ๅฐๆž—่‹ฑ้›„ ๅ…ˆ็”Ÿ - ๆ”ปใ‚ๆ–น 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 ไบ‹็†ไธ€่‡ด

Wednesday 19th April 2023 Keiko Reflection by Janet Tonight’s Keiko is a timely reminder of the importance of training in Ji-ri-ichi (ไบ‹็†ไธ€่‡ด, 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

Kendo Journey: A "Travel Guide" from Shodan to Godan-and-a-Half

Waikato Kendo Association Grading (2009)   Kendo Journey: A Travel Guide from Shodan to Godan-and-a-Half ( ไธญๆ–‡ ) by Sam Tsai December 27, 2017 Those that know me should know that back in 1998, Marleen and I moved to Hamilton, New Zealand and ended up being the only two people that practiced kendo within the 100 kilometers radius. In the following year, the stars were aligned as we formed the Waikato Kendo Association and I found myself shouldering the responsibility of being a kendo instructor. Practicing kendo myself and teaching others how to do kendo are totally different things! About half a year after we established the dojo, Hsu Heng-Hsiung sensei , coach of Team Taiwan, led a delegation of more than 20 kenshi to come visit us in New Zealand. About a year after their visit, I was in Taiwan visiting sensei. The first thing he said to me was, “Tell me, what are you having trouble teaching?” I could not help myself but laugh out loud as I replied, “Coach you are wise