Zanshin confusion, sutemi, and hikiage 真の残心

The common meaning of ZANSHIN nowadays is exactly as the kanji suggest – 残心 – “remaining spirit.” In other words, once you have struck you have to remain aware of your opponent in case they attempt to strike you back and, if they do so, you should be in a position to counterattack. In modern kendo this usually (for men) takes the physical form of turning around, facing your opponent, and going into kamae after a strike. I’ll explain why this can be slightly odd behaviour further down.

University invitational shiai 大学招待試合

When my alarm went off at 6am this morning (Sunday) I dragged my body out of bed, had a large cup of coffee, grabbed my stuff, then headed over to Kyoto to take part in this years Kyoto University high school invitational competition. By “take part” I of course mean “take my students over to compete.”

Conceptual kendo shield 我拳を楯につくべき事

Many many moons ago, straight after graduating university, I uprooted and moved to America. I had started kendo only a couple of years earlier and, after taking some time to settle down, I eventually joined Ken-Zen dojo in NYC. There I found myself in great environment with awesome teachers and – for the first time in my life – a proper dojo. Before iaido and kendo keiko on Saturdays there was also kenjutsu being taught, something I knew absolutely nothing about… and so, after some persuasion and with recommendations from some of the kendo and iaido sensei, I was given …

2018 Edinburgh Kendo Seminar エジンバラ剣道セミナー

Finally, this years Edinburgh Kendo Seminar, hosted by kenshi 24/7 and Edinburgh Kendo Club, has been announced!! 2018 is the 30th anniversary of kendo in Edinburgh, so we used this as an excuse to invite a guest – hachidan professional police kendo instructor Yano Nobuhiro sensei. Yano sensei was featured in a recent article on this site. I’ll keep this post brief, as you can find out full information on the following pages: Official page Registration Facebook event Hope to see you there!

My route to hachidan 八段への道筋

The following is a loose translation of a short essay from a book entitled “Kendo: the route to promotion.” There are two books in the same series, each containing about 60 short essays by people who have passed hachidan. In the essays the sensei discuss their mindset and approach to the exam. Of course, the vast majority of people who pass hachidan do kendo as part of their job (i.e. policemen or teachers) so their experience might not seem immediately relevant to your average kendoka. However, I do think there are some things to be learned from other peoples journey, …