Skip to main content

Having good and strong Kiai is essential

Wednesday 12th April 2023 Keiko Reflection by Janet


Following several weeks of absence from Keiko while travelling overseas, it was great to return to keiko tonight. Thank you to both sensei, senpais & everyone who turned up for a great Keiko πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

I could tell my body had lost some muscle tone as well as muscle memory, which will need more time & practice to regain & re-adjust.

As always Sam & Marleen sensei have thoughtfully adjusted the Keiko menu to suit the needs of every member that are present in order to accomodate every skill level from those who just started kendo to those that had a break from kendo as well as the senior Dan grades to maximise the learning outcome for everyone. 

It was designed to help us systematically learn & rebuild our fundamental Kihon skills (such as footwork Suriashi, Fumikomi, Tenouchi, Big & Small Men, Kote Taiatari, Kiai) as well as reconditioning our bodies to minimise injuries, before progressively introduce more in-depth concepts & skills/ wazas such as Seme, Tame, & the more advanced Oji wazas such as Kote-Nuki-Men.

The word Seme in Japanese means to attack but for Kendo we can interpret this as showing strong determination & intention to attack by applying pressure to try break through opponents Kamae physically to take centre as well as trying to unsettle the opponents mentally by exploiting the four kendo sicknesses (Shi-Kai): surprise, fear, doubt, & hesitation in order to create opening or find the right opportunity to attack.

Having good strong Kiai is essential to develop good Seme as when Kiai is performed properly not only will it will help improve upper & lower body coordination using the core muscles to generate more power & speed, but it’ll also help with developing proper kendo breathing regulation from the Tanden/ abdomen/ diaphragm to build up tension (Seme) while holding the pressure in (Tame) before committing to a strike when an opportunity arise.

Sensei also gave homework for everyone tonight to help us develop a more stable lower body so that we can handle more advanced techniques later on. We are asked to practise doing Men with Fumikomi then stop & hold this position with deeper forward lunges with both knees at 90 degrees. 

Special mention to Ben who showed great Kendo spirit by attending tonight to do Mitori-geiko despite a calf muscle injury. His attentiveness while watching from the side as well as taking videos & giving us feedbacks from another point of view was commendable & very helpful for us. Wish him a speedy recoveryπŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How do you practice seme?

Kobayashi Hideo Sensei – How to Seme (w/English CC)  ε°ζž—θ‹±ι›„ ε…ˆη”Ÿ - 攻め方 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

Happy Rabbit Year 2023

We wish everyone have a Happy Rabbit Year Saturday 21 January 2023 Keiko Reflection - Janet As lunar new year of the rabbit arrives so is our Dojo welcoming new beginners to get a taste of what kendo is like. While the beginners learned brand new ideas, the senpais were reminded of the basic purpose of Kendo, which is self discipline, development & improvement of our body, mind, & spirit. Constantly striving for a more perfect & beautiful cut rather than being just a form of self defence or stick fighting. Ashi-sabaki or footwork ( Kouda sensei demonstration ) is very important in Kendo particularly Suriashi or sliding steps as it not only look more graceful & elegant, but also would reduce noise when moving on wooden floors & reduce likely injury from stepping onto hidden weapons or obstacles on the floor in medieval Japan. We were also reminded of the basic sequence of engagement during a kendo duel: 1. Holding good Kamae (on guard position, Kouda sensei demonst

Ji-ri-ichi - practice & theory combined into one 事理一致

Wednesday 19th April 2023 Keiko Reflection by Janet Tonight’s Keiko is a timely reminder of the importance of training in Ji-ri-ichi (事理一致, 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