Author: George

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27 teachings from past masters 訓導二十七ヶ条:内藤・高野・中山

The following is a list of sayings from three well known sensei of the past: Naito Takaharu, Takano Sasaburo, and Nakayama Hakudo. The former two are known as the fathers of modern kendo and were known as rivals. Naito and Takano made for an interesting pair. Naito was a laconic speaker who emphasised the power of spiritual training over technical – large men cuts from a far distance with lots of kirikaeshi and uchikomi. He didn’t care for shiai, left little in the way of writings, and was often referred to as an “old warrior” type. Takano, on the other …

45 points to consider during kendo practise 練習の反省点

The following is a loose translation of 45 points to consider during your kendo practise split into three levels. The book that it is from (see Source) was published in 1976, over 40 years ago. Although the book is old-ish, any kendo practitioner today could pick it up and refer to the pictures and text within without any sense of discomfort. The biggest difference is simply that some of the terminology has changed. The book has a few sections, but the bulk of the book covers a three-level “course” of kendo practise: basic, mid-level, and advanced. Today I present an …

Busen and Koshi 武専・高師

Over the last few years I’ve repeatedly mentioned Budo Senmon Gakko (Martial arts vocational school, known as “Busen”) and Tokyo Koto Shihan Gakko (Tokyo Higher Normal school, or “Koshi”) in articles. Their respective kendo head instructors, Naito Takaharu and Takano Sasaburo, have also made appearances all over kenshi 24/7. Despite this I hadn’t really gone into the difference between the two institutions, or talked in detail about how the kendo courses were structured. I know a lot more about Busen, and it is my plan one day in the future (after I am retired or win the lottery) to write …

Eighteen ways to improve your kendo 剣技上達法十八ヶ所

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!!!!

Suburi: a brief discussion 素振り:炉辺談話

A few months ago I was sitting down in an izakaya with Yano sensei discussing the upcoming Edinburgh Kendo Seminar. Over food and beer we discussed this and that, including of-course lots of kendo related things. During the conversation, in a rather off-hand manner, Yano sensei asked (because he knows I am a kendo history nerd) had I ever read much about suburi in pre-war kendo books, specifically in relation to the Budo Senmon Gakko (Busen). I had never even thought about that question before but I immediately knew the answer: no.