Categories
japanese kendo

Sword of the virtuous, sword of the inferior

Almost straight away after graduating university back in 1996 I moved to the east coast of America and began working in the I.T. industry. I’d already started kendo a couple of years before and wanted to continue while I was over there. It took a while for work to settle down and to find a […]

Categories
eikenkai kendo

Eikenkai Edinburgh – August 2014

Returning home to Scotland this summer I took some time out from my busy schedule and taught a small kihon-based seminar similar to how I run the Eikenkai sessions here in Osaka. The event was hosted by my home dojo, Edinburgh Kendo Club. Led by Edinburgh University’s Head of Strength & Conditioning Steve Bishop sensei, […]

Categories
updates

Summer break

Just a quick status update – yours truly will be going home to Scotland for 3 weeks over the summer (from Tuesday!) so there will be a break in the regular posting schedule and facebook updates… apologies!! I did intend to write another post this week, but I ended up doing loads of keiko (14 […]

Categories
iaido kendo

Tenouchi (revisited)

Last week I published a loose translation about tenouchi which was quite popular. However, when I was reading the original piece, and again whilst I was translating it, I was struck by the sheer detail of description and it made me uneasy. Now, I know that many people like to read quite detailed descriptions about […]

Categories
iaido kendo

Tenouchi

The following is a liberal translation of the teachings of Shimatani Yasohachi sensei as told by one of his students. Probably you have never heard this particular sensei’s name before, I hadn’t until quite recently. I had, however, seen his picture very many times, often beside the creators/influencers of the modern kendo style. I was […]

Categories
eikenkai kendo

Eikenkai June 2014

This morning 17 kenshi got together at Sumiyoshi Budokan (next door the beautiful Sumiyoshi Taisha) for the kenshi 24/7 led kihon keiko session EIKENKAI. Although it was very hot and sticky we still managed the usual kihon 40 – waza 30 – jigeiko 40 minutes format. The next Eikenkai session will be held in Edinburgh, […]

Categories
kendo theory

keiko, keiko, keiko

As far as the pursuit of kendo goes (shugyo), the most important thing is keiko, the second most important thing is keiko, and the third most important thing is keiko. You must not put academic learning of the principles of kendo before actual practice. If you do manage to become technically proficient then you will […]

Categories
kendo kenshi

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 […]

Categories
kendo theory

The difficult years

When I was a wee bit younger than I am today (I’m 39) I wanted to be good at kendo NOW. Not tomorrow. Not in 1 or 2 years time. Now. Immediately. I practised (and still practise -> more on that later) like a madman, feverishly awaiting the point where I’d make the switch over […]

Categories
kendo

Aggression, violence, and catharsis

I think it was at last years European Kendo Championships some footage emerged online of a kendo competitor flipping his opponent over and behind him mid-shiai. My initial reaction was that – despite it not being something we do in kendo shiai – it was a well timed and executed technique (informing my opinion was […]