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Showing posts from June, 2012

Sutemi

The Japanese-English Kendo dictionary, located at www.kendo-usa.org, defines sutemi as:

"Sute-mi  (n.)  1.  Concentration and effort with all one’s might, even at the risk of death.  2.  Concentration of all one’s effort into one strike, even at the risk of defeat."

Ok, so risking everything at the risk of defeat or death.  But how does that apply to our own training?  Fighting to the death is a very foreign concept to many of us, but I believe that we can all understand fighting at the risk of defeat.  This is a concept that we've started examining in more detail at our dojo lately, and one that I believe can be learned at any stage of practice that you're at.

To put it simply, Sensei explained that sutemi is putting 100% effort into a strike.  Holding nothing back and leaving all cares and worries behind so that you can give all of yourself over to that strike.  it sounds like a complicated idea, and it is, but just like all things in kendo I believe that it has man…

Going Out In Style

Yesterday was a special time for the members of my dojo.  For the past school year we've had a nidan from Japan training with us.  He came over as part of an exchange program for school, and yesterday was his last practice with us before he heads home this week.  The energy and emotional levels were high, and we all did our best to give him a proper send-off.  I'm sure that he'll return home with some lasting memories, and I'm glad I got to be a part of all of it.

Sensei really emphasized having sharp footwork and sword work yesterday, and we spent much of our warm-up time working on these aspects.  Stepping forward and back, side-to-side while snapping our trailing foot into place quickly, as well as making our strikes all one quick motion, instead of two motions (bringing the sword up, pausing, and then swinging forward to strike).  Personally I feel like my swing is ok, it can always use more work, but the footwork is something that I can definitely pick up the pace…

Rose City Taikai 2012

This weekend our friends at the Obukan Kendo Club hosted their annual Rose City Taikai in Portland, Oregon.  We traveled down Friday with 14 people, 11 of whom were competing.  This year we also took a couple of our pre-bogu members so that they could be part of the taikai and kendo trip experience.  Overall I think it's safe to say that everyone had an amazing time.

Friday we showed up a bit late to the Obukan dojo, so we went straight from the van to the changing room to the floor as quickly as possibly to get in on a few drills and a whole lot of jigeiko.  I felt a bit off, a bit slow, but that could have been due to the eight hour van ride we just had prior to training.  Still I gave it my best and was able to get in a few rounds of jigeiko with a lot of the Obukan members, including their head instructor, Hancock Sensei.  I could definitely feel the difference in humidity between their dojo and ours, though, as it had me sweating buckets by about the fourth rotation!  It'…