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Showing posts from August, 2012

Two Paths, Same Destination

This whole week Sinclair Sensei and his family, as well as a few dojo members, are gone on vacation so it's been left to the yudansha to help run the show while they're away.  I've been tasked with leading and teaching the intermediate classes.  This is something I'm used to and do often, but when I'm left to myself with no clear lesson plan it's always a challenge.  I have to take a look at the students and where they're at in their development, and try to put together a class that is appropriate for them.  Also trying to introduce the basics of new ideas, but not overwhelming them, is interesting.  If anyone has led a class, I'm sure they know what I mean.  Being that I'm only shodan, I definitely have a lifetime worth of kendo knowledge and technique left to learn, but I do the best with what I have and what I've been taught. 

Ando Sensei took over teaching our main class last night, and he led a very good, and exhausting, practice.  I'…

The Four Mental Sicknesses - Hesitation

In my ever-changing and growing kendo life, I come across various ideas and theories and techniques that are all over the spectrum of understanding for me.  A lot of things seem relatively easy to grasp on the surface, only to reveal their complexity later on down the road.  Some things completely pass me by the first time I hear them, and then, as I grow and mature and revisit those ideas, they suddenly begin to open up and share their knowledge with me.  The idea of shikai - the four mental sicknesses - was one of those ideas that was way over my head the first time I heard about it, but recently I've had a chance to take another look at it and I'm beginning to understand what it has to teach me.

Shikai, as the meaning implies, are detrimental to our kendo and can hold us back from performing to the best of our abilities.  The sicknesses are kyo-ku-gi-waku, or astonishment (surprise), fear, doubt, and hesitation.  Each one of these I've experienced in varying degrees th…