Attack from a far distance – be energetic and lively – attack with abandon

I posted this advice from the kendo legend Saimura Goro sensei (斎村五郎) on the kenshi 24/7 facebook page yesterday. As it got so many likes and shares I thought I’d better put it on the main site as well! Here is is: 「剣道の稽古は遠間より飛び込んで大きく伸び伸びと打つ。それが上品な男性的な、そして将来ますます上達する打ち方である。飛び込む、伸びる、思い切る。」 “During keiko you should attack energetically from a far distance with large … Continue reading Attack from a far distance – be energetic and lively – attack with abandon

1934 Tenran-jiai (illustrated)

On the 4th and 5th of May 1934, Saineikan – a budojo located in the grounds of Tokyo Imperial Palace – was the venue of the second of three Showa-period Tenran-jiai (a budo or sports competition held in front of the Emperor). This post was mainly written in order to share some of the pictures … Continue reading 1934 Tenran-jiai (illustrated)

MEI-SHOBU: the ki of Naito vs the waza of Takano 名勝負:内藤高治vs高野佐三郎

Kyoto Butokuden, late Meiji period*. It’s the last tachiai of a long day but the hall is packed. The yobidashi (announcer) steps forward: East side. Tokyo. Takano sensei ! West side. Kyoto. Naito sensei ! With the call the packed audience suddenly goes quiet and an palpable feel of excitement (or perhaps expectation?) fills the … Continue reading MEI-SHOBU: the ki of Naito vs the waza of Takano 名勝負:内藤高治vs高野佐三郎

Saimura Goro

一、剣道は精神が本である。技は精神を体得せんがための手段である。 一、剣道の稽古は竹刀を真剣の考え使い、身を捨てて練磨することが大切です。 一、どの間に入っても、少しもの気が抜けてはいけない。 The words above are attributed to Saimura Goro, one of the the most influential kenshi in the pre-WW2 period, and one of only 5 sensei that were awarded 10 dan after the war. A liberal translation in English reads: * The aim of kendo is to improve the spirit. The means of … Continue reading Saimura Goro