1 min read September 9, 2016 at 7:40pm on shiai

It's super embarrassing to talk about now, but years and years ago (when I was living in NYC in the mid-90s) I had a colleague round to my house. Failing to explain kendo well I tried to show him a video. The only thing I had was a VHS copy of some hachidan tournament. How I got the tape, who gave it to me, and what shiai it was is lost in the mist of time.... but anyway, I put it on to show him.

After a few minutes I started to feel embarrassed and switched it off: "this is not what I do" I said, "what I do is much more dynamic and exciting."

[ face-palm ]

Kendo is about seme-ai, the battle for dominance. This is both a physical thing (for example, but not limited to, control of the seichusen - or centre line) but also a spiritual one. 

I'm glad to say that whereas 20-something year old me had no idea what this actually was, 40-something year old me does. 

The video shared below - from the final of this years Prince Tomohito of Mikasa cup (a hachidan shiai held in the Kanto area) - impresses me thoroughly !