Year: 2010

Miyazaki number

The kendo community is extremely small. I can’t even compute the number of times I’ve been chatting to someone (real life or online) when a connection has been made to a mutual friend. I’ve lived in three countries (U.K., America, and Japan) and have done keiko in 15+ more, so I’ve had plenty opportunity to meet various people. Through this website, Eikenkai, and via people visiting me for keiko in Osaka I’ve met even more. One night a couple of weeks ago I was reading an article about how the net has changed our sense of community, and how more …

Yuko-datotsu 有効打突

Ippon (n.) The act of successfully scoring a waza in kendo. The act of striking with ki-ken-tai-no-itchi. See ki-ken-tai-no-itchi and yuko-datotsu. Ki-ken-tai-no-itchi (n.) A term which expresses an important element in moving for offense and defense; it is mainly used in teaching striking moves. Ki is spirit, ken refers to the handling of the shinai, and tai refers to the body movements and posture. When there three elements harmonize and function together with the correct timing, they create the conditions for a valid strike. Yuko-datotsu (n.) Making a valid strike. A valid strike which is considered ippon. According to the …

The effect keiko has on the character of its practitioners

As it is said that ‘the eyes can speak as well as the mouth,’ it must follow that the language of the eyes is delicate and subtle. French philosopher Georges-Luis Leclerc de Buffon stated that ‘words’ express the character of man; an insightful remark. The sword is also considered to reveal the character of the person wielding it and as such, each person has their own individual kendo style. Courageous people, cowardly people, honest people; everyone’s character is reflected in their swordplay. The character of instructors will be passed onto their students as well. It is important to learn under …

shinai complex 竹刀コン

It must have been in 2001. It was the night before the European kendo championships (Bologna I guess) and I was chatting with the then U.K. kendo team coach Honda Sotaro sensei about shinai. In particular, I was unhappy with the shinai I had taken with me to use in the competition and was seeking advice. Many of my friends proclaimed to be happy to use anything that came their way, but I was a little bit more picky than that. I remember being told by Honda sensei quite specifically that it was important to understand what shinai is right …

Don’t give advice to other peoples students

他人の弟子をアドバイスするな。 子供たちは順調に伸びていくわけではない。 右に行ったり左に逸れたりしながら伸べていくのだ。 右に曲がっているものを矯正するには、 真っ直ぐではなくて。 左に行きすぎるぐらいにしないと真っ直ぐにはならない。 それが解って指導できるのは、直接の師匠だけなのである。 出稽古などに行って、よその門下生と稽古するときは、 スキがあったら打ってやればいい。メンばかり打ってくる子に、 「コテもドウもあるよ」などと言わない方がいい。 訳あって「メンの稽古をしろ」と言われているかもしれないのだ。 Don’t give advice to other peoples students! Kids (kendo) doesn’t always improve according to plan. If you go too far to the right the only way to fix it is aim left, not by simply going straight ahead. In fact, if you don’t bend extra far to the left then things won’t straighten themselves out. The person who understands how to do this is the kids direct teacher alone. If you go for degeiko (training outside your dojo) etc and keiko with other teachers students you should strike them …