kendo theory

Eighteen ways to improve your kendo

At the moment I am super busy with work, life, and kendo (as usual), but I managed to get some time out this evening to put together a mini-translation. Nothing much really, this short (abridged) translation came from an addendum to a book by the writer Aoki Haruzo, originally published in 1975. I intended to translate a larger section of the book, but I don’t want to rush anything… instead you get this short bullet-pointed tip list to chew on, with links to various other kenshi 24/7 articles. Enjoy!!!!

The following are hints to improve your technique from the late kendo authority Ogawa Kinnosuke sensei who was the head kendo teacher at Busen (Budo Senmon Gakko) before the war, and the head of the Kyoto Kendo Association after it.

1. First, do lots of keiko.
2. Always keep in mind what your sensei taught you.
3. “Principle” and “technique” are like the wheels of a car, they must move in unison.
4. Never relax your spirit.
5. Don’t waste your time practising uselessly.
6. You must always keep in mind the ten evils whilst embarking on your shugyo (i.e. impatience, ego, avarice, anger, fear, doubt, hesitation, contempt, self-conceit)
7. If you are serious about kendo shugyo, don’t think about anything else.
8. Make the benchmark of your training past and present masters.

To this I’d like to add ten of my own ideas:

1. Keiko with all your might.
2. Don’t hold back against superior opponents, instead be brave and attack!
3. Do as much keiko as possible.
4. Learn through defeat.
5. Think deeply about your technique and research deeply.
6. Enjoy keiko!
7. Make a group of friends and encourage each other.
8. Find a good teacher.
9. Keep a calm spirit.
10. Do your best to find out about and learn from famous and/or skilful kenshi.

Sorry for the mini-post… more at a later date!



By George

George is the founder and chief editor of
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