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history kendo

A very brief look at the formation of reiho used in todays kendo

Without taking your eyes of your partner, and at a distance of roughly 9 steps do a standing bow (ritsurei) of 15 degrees, move your shinai from sageto to taito, take three large steps in and “draw” your shinai in a largish arc up and diagonally down through to the center of your opponent while […]

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kendo theory

The reality of seme

The following is the translation of some notes written by Furuya Fukunosuke hanshi during a kendo lecture at a Yoseikai gasshuku in Nara, 2001*. Furuya hanshi sadly passed away in 2008 but his teachings have been recorded by one of his top students – Uegaki sensei – and published in book format. The book is […]

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equipment history kendo

The white hakama of Yushinkan

Yushinkan was the dojo of Nakayama Hakudo (1873-1958) in Tokyo. Nakayama had a varied and rich budo life, achieving hanshi in all three arts promoted by the modern ZNKR as well as being a shindo munen-ryu swordsman amongst other things. Its impossible to do a full bio of the man here, so I will leave […]

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kendo theory

Kendo is…

Sawaki Kodo (沢木興道, 1880-1965) is considered by some to be the most important Japanese Zen master of the 20th century. His parents died early and he grew up being adopted by a gambler and an ex-prostitute. When he was 16, he ran away from home to become a monk at Eiheiji, one of the two […]

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kendo theory

The concept of kendo in action

The following is a translation of an extremely interesting hand written note given to Jim Gucciardo (NYC kendo club) by Nishino Goro hanshi in 1998. Nishino Goro hanshi was born in 1923 in Kochi prefecture. After graduating from Tokyo Normal Higher School he became a school teacher in Hokkaido. After the war he returned to […]

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history kendo

A brief investigation into the SHOGO system

(updated Jan 2020) SHOGO (称号) in Japanese translates simply as “title” or “rank,” and the word can be used in many areas, for example formal titles of nobility, military ranks, scholarly ranks, etc, and informally in the sporting world, between friends, etc. The use of the word that I will look at here is of-course […]

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kendo

Practise may ingrain bad habits

From “Living with ambiguity” by Sydney J. Harris. Published by Nan’Un-Do You probably know the chestnut about the stranger in New York, carrying a violin case, who stops an old lady on the street, and asks, “Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” With a glance at his violin case, she replies, […]

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kendo shiai

Tsubazeria rule changes in high school kendo

The following rule changes will probably not impact your kendo training any time soon nor in the near future. However, implementation of them in competition for young Japanese kenshi ensures that there will be a stylistic change in the kendo leaders of the future and it is also strongly hints at what the kendo leaders […]

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kendo

Daily Readings for Kendo Growth and Development

“Motomereba Mugendai” (求めれば無限大) is my favorite Kendo book.  It is a small, easily readable book composed of 100 short essays on Kendo training and leadership topics.  One of the things I like about it (in addition to the uncomplicated, straightforward word choice and sentence structure) is the way the author has divided the book in […]

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history kendo kenshi

Fujimoto Kaoru

(Edit: originally published October 2009, updated in July 2015) So, Fujimoto Kaoru… have you heard his name before? Probably not. I hadn’t until quite recently. But like myself, almost everyone reading this website has seen his picture (above). So who was he and – if he was was strong enough to fight in front of […]