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 not just any random stick or sword fighting without a purpose.
Kendokas are constantly seeking to train & synchronise their body, mind & sword for the purpose of self-improvement in order to one day achieve the most beautiful & perfect strike or Ippon that they can be proud of. Therefore, in order to achieve that goal one must put in effort & time to practice effectively.
Todays Keiko menu consisted of:
1. Kihon-geiko focusing on engaging our core & Tenouchi for Suburi, & more weight distribution on our left foot in order to perform more effective Okuri-ashi & Fumikomi-ashi by quickly follow up with left foot to be in proper Kamae at all times for rensoku or repeated strikes as well as able to push off & propel forwards adequately to generate proper momentum & power for each strike.
2. Big Men
3. Small Men with normal timing, striking when in Issoku-Ittou-no-Maai in one action without delay
4. Small Men with delayed timing, begin the striking motion when in Issoku-Ittou-no-Maai by moving forwards (right foot can either hover in the air or land on the ground depending on your timing & whichever way felt more natural) while raising the kensen as if going for the men but with a slight pause or delay to observe the opponents reaction, if they’re not blocking or are slower than you then you can continue to finish off the Small-men strike.
However, if the opponent anticipated & reacted to the Men strike first, they may try to block with their Shinai by raising their kensen over head & exposing their Kote, therefore this delayed timing may be useful for us to change the course of our strike to aim for the Kote instead.
This can sometimes be useful to disrupt the timing of opponent, make our strike timing less predictable, or even as a good strategy to feint & draw out opponents reaction as we desire.
Thank you to both Sam & Marleen sensei for leading the Keiko tonight.
Thank you to all the Senpais, Kyu grades & beginners who made tonight’s Keiko very productive🙏🙏🙏