Categories
theory

The How of Co-creation

After three years in Japan, I went back to the States and back to school, doing a BA in Psychology, particularly focusing on social and cultural psychology. I was quite fascinated at the idea of Japanese and other East Asian cultures thinking and even perceiving the world differently. Returning to Japan in 2005, I had […]

Categories
iaido

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Tameshigiri Practice

Tameshigiri has been quite the hot discussion on forums lately. It will always pop back up after a few weeks of dormancy and then someone will bring it back up again. In these discussions you always have the advocates of tameshigiri, the side that frowns upon it, and couple of guys who are just curious […]

Categories
kendo

How to pass hachidan

Here is the advice that was given to my favourite teacher just prior to him passing his hachidan on this 4th attempt at the age of 49 a few years ago. The advice was given to him by the shihan of my dojo, a kendo hanshi who was in the last class of 5 people […]

Categories
kendo

Secrets of Kuzushi (崩し大全)

Inspired by George’s recent translations, I decided to be bold (and possibly foolish!) and offer up one of my own. As most of us know, kuzushi (崩し) is a very important concept in Japanese budo (武道). Kuzushi goes beyond merely unbalancing an opponent; it drives to the heart of destroying the opponent’s mental and physical […]

Categories
kendo

Seme #1: Furukawa Kazuo

一足一刀の間合よりやや遠い間合で構え、相手の竹刀に表・裏から付けたり、軽く押せたりして相手の「心」・「気」に触れてみる。そこから、さらに竹刀の表・裏を力強く、短く張って中心を抑えながら一足一刀の間合に入り、時に剣先をわずかに突き出したり、グッと下にしたりして強い攻めをみせ、相手の手元の動きを見る。この時、足の動きは含み足で行なう。含み足とは、足指の全てを使って這うようにして一寸きざみに間合を詰める動きである。この攻めを何回かくり返し、相手の気分と剣先の動きを見ながら、攻め方と技の組み立てを考える。 – 古川和男、剣道時代の「名選手、錬磨の日々」(1983ー84)からの抜粋です。「錬磨の日々」の本は1989発行。 Seme Taking your kamae from a little bit outside issoku-itto-no-ma, lightly feel out your opponents shinai on both sides, all the time testing and looking at his KOKORO (心) and KI (気). From there, strongly press both sides of your opponents shinai and – whilst taking control of the center line – […]

Categories
kendo

It was 30 years ago today!

Not only when Seargent Pepper taught the band to play, but when I lived in Kansai doing pretty much the same kendo stuff as George is doing today. One of the real differences between then and now is that through the wonders of internet, email and skype etc., it is easy to let friends around the […]

Categories
kendo

The Same Path

In this months kendo nippon I read a short article by a 8 dan I occasionally have the pleasure to fence. In the article he mentions a phrase “師弟同行” (shitei doko), and its this that I wish to examine briefly here. There are two separate words here, so lets look at their definition: 師弟 (shitei) […]

Categories
theory

En 縁

On May 1st, 2007, I walked into the No. 2 Arena of the Tempaku Sports Center, in Nagoya, Japan. An elder gentlemen in a kendo-gi and hakama noticed me, politely smiled, bowed, and indicated the spectator seating with his hand. I sat down and observed Mr. Yagyu Koichi and another gentleman practice Sangaku En-no-Tachi, the […]

Categories
kendo kyototaikai

Kyoto taikai (extended)

Ok, so everyone knows about thelegendary Kyoto (Embu) Taikai. Founded way-back-when, this year was the 104th time. The embukai takes place in the Butokuden, which was completed in 1899 in Kyoto (next to Heian Jingu) and it served as the hombu dojo for the now defunct Butokukai (a new organisation exists with the same name […]