Skip to main content


You would think that after having a weekend full of Kendo I would be tired of it and want a break.  I don't.  I thoroughly enjoyed our practice last night, even though I had to step out a few times due to coughing.  It appears that my throat is not 100% healthy yet, and I forgot my water bottle, so each time I stepped out I had to take my Men off to get some water to try and calm down my coughing fits.  Still I did all I could and knew when to push and when to back off a bit.

I actually started my night by teaching the intermediate class.  Not only that, but my brother is now in the intermediate class so he was able to participate in one of my classes.  I kept things simple, going over kihon drills, kirikaeshi, and then getting into a bit of hiki waza at the end, which was new for him and the other new intermediate student.  I tried to break it down and explain as best I could, and I think I did a decent job since everyone was looking really good with their footwork and form.  With teaching, I take baby steps.

Before we started class we were each given a chance to give our own report of the taikai and to talk a bit about our favorite match of the day.  I said that my favorite match was the one in which I lost.  Sounds odd, I know, but I learned so much from that match that I am itching to apply to my own Kendo.  I'm hoping that when I go back for the Kent taikai in a couple of weeks that I will have improved, even just a bit, because of that match I had and the areas it gave me to work on.  Ando Sensei also talked a bit about our Kendo, and how proud he was of all of us for doing "beautiful" Kendo.  He said that a lot of people get into doing tournament Kendo, and even can win matches it's very ugly, in his words.  He said that he, and everyone else, notices our dojo for its good, clean Kendo.  I'm very proud to be a part of that.

Ando Sensei actually led class last night, and put us through a lot of endurance drills, having us do kirikaeshi at the end of almost every drill.  Also he had us move in and strike from to maai a lot, as well.  This is a distance outside of the ideal striking distance (issoku itto no maai), which forced us to take a big step in before striking.  I tried to concentrate on swift movement, small strikes, and good follow-through while keeping my kiai going all throughout.  I think I did ok, but I was a bit hindered by the constant coughing and dry throat.  Hopefully next week I'll be better.

Ando Sensei had us go through some drills afterward in which he would blow a whistle and have us either strike a target given by our partner once, twice, or perform ai-men with our partner.  Very interesting drills, and I could see in some others the speed that they possess to see an opening, process it in their mind, and strike (Dan in particular).  Ai-Men was also fun, and I think I'm getting faster with my strike, although I need to watch out for how far up I raise my shinai.

Our jigeiko session lasted for quite a while last night, and I really worked on being more aggressive overall.  It definitely felt that way to me, and from some of the others I asked later on it seemed that a few of them noticed, as well.  I tried to stay on my partners a bit more, watch their movements, follow them, and try to strike as I saw opportunities.  I also tried to create more opportunities by using some off-timing and other techniques.  I have one technique in particular I would really like to work on, although I didn't get a chance to do so last night.  Sadly I had to step out of the kakari-geiko we did to finish the night, but I definitely cheered my heart (and voice) out for everyone else that went.

After class Ando Sensei told me that my Men strike was very beautiful and fast, and that if I keep practicing it will be my specialty.  I was very glad to hear this from him, who has been beating me senseless in jigeiko for the past few months with Ai-Men.  I'll take his advice and continue to work on my Men strikes.

A few thoughts:

Jigeiko:  I should definitely keep trying to turn my dial up a bit on jigeiko.  I know I have a little bit of skill, and I think I can handle working a bit harder and keeping on people like I did last night.  One of the reasons the guy at the taikai beat me was because he kept the pressure on me, so I want to be able to develop that in my own Kendo.  Seme.

Nuki Men:  I have to work on my accuracy with this technique.  I have the speed and timing, I just need the accuracy.

Fumikomi:  I think I need to work on a little longer fumikomi.  I saw some of the pictures and the video of myself and realized that I have a good fumikomi, but it could be longer in some cases.  I should be able to do short, medium, and long fumikomi, so I can have versatility with my strikes and movement.

All in all, a great practice to have after coming back from a weekend of Kendo.  I look forward to tomorrow night!


Popular posts from this blog

The Ups and Downs of Kendo

Anyone that knows me knows that I love kendo.  I don't think I could do as much as I do with it if I didn't.  But loving kendo doesn't mean that it's easy.  Far from it, in fact!  If anyone says otherwise I would honestly question if they're doing it right.  From the first day where everything is brand new, to years down the road where you're trying to figure out the mental side of things, it's a challenge.

I've often had times when I just wasn't getting something.  Whether it was a new waza, or a new timing for an existing waza, or any other number of things that came up during training, sometimes things didn't click with me, and I would have many, many practices that felt fruitless.  It seems that every time that happened, though, If I kept at it and practiced, it would eventually click with me.  I'd wake up one day and "get it".  Not to say I'd be perfect at it, but the overall shape or timing would suddenly be there.  It r…


I've joined an online club.  Many of you, if you are reading, may have seen it or are even members yourselves.  It's called the Hundred Suburi Club 2018, on Facebook.  Check it out if you'd like!  This may be a shameless plug for it, but that's ok, it's my blog.  It's been fun joining in with other like-minded people around the world to share this experience.  I didn't necessarily join for the suburi itself; I've already been doing that consistently on my own time anyway.  For me it's more the community aspect of it, and being able to cheer on and motivate others, as they do the same for me, and share our stories back and forth.  Kendo really is a friendly group, and this gives me another way to meet and greet new people.  With that being said, though, it does make me think of my own suburi and practice and small tidbits of info that I've collected or realized throughout the years.  I want to present some of that, BUT please please please, if y…

Return to Form

It's been a while.  At first it was because I was just busy with work and life and training (always training!) but then I let this blog slip away from me and it kept slipping and slipping...and here we are, a full year has passed without any new entries.  It's time to change that!  I have always loved not only reading blogs myself, looking for little pieces of info or advice or a new take on something to give me another perspective, and I've also enjoyed sharing the information that I have, as well as the experiences and the ups and downs of kendo life.  I'm not perfect, it's definitely not high-level stuff, but I have a passion for it.  And hopefully I can keep that going for many years to come. So today it's time to get back to it!  I'll do my very best to keep this updated regularly with new entries.  This is also a perfect chance to reflect back on the last year.

2017 was a HUGE year for me, kendo-wise.  So much happened that I'm actually pretty bu…