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Showing posts from January, 2013

"Heavy" Kamae

Recently we've been learning the steps and the details of the kodachi kata, and during that study the term "heavy" has come up a lot.  It's been explained by Sinclair Sensei that our movements between striking and taking kamae should not be slow, but should not be a quick snap.  They should be done at a good pace but feel heavy while doing it, and we should have a feeling of still pushing forward with the kamae even when we do not have the sword directly in front of us.  One thing jumped into the forefront of my mind when I heard this, and that was "seme".  The way that I've been interpreting this is to mean that within the kata themselves there should always be an almost physical pressure emanating from your center and from your sword, no matter which kamae you take.  Even when you aren't moving forward or physically pressing forward, your partner should feel as though you are, and when tested your kamae should be strong and not easily collapsed o…

Determination

I received some really good news last week, which pertains to one of my goals for this year.  I have been recommended to test for nidan at the next regional shinsa, which will be in March.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity and I feel that all of the training and instruction I've received from my sensei and my dojo mates has prepared me for it.  It also made me stop and think about where my kendo was, is, and where it's going.  I started kendo in May of 2009 and four years later I'm here, standing on the edge of nidan.  It's been a wild ride, for sure, and I've put in countless hours of practice, both inside and outside of the dojo.  I don't think I've done anything spectacular, though.  Quite the opposite.  I think most of what I have now is from my sensei and his instruction and encouragement, and from the other dojo members pushing me to do my best, even when I didn't know exactly what my best was.  The one thing I will admit to having a lot of …

Spokane Kendo 2013 - Refinement and Beauty

2012 was a great year for our dojo, and for me and my kendo training.  I had some bumps along the way but I feel like I accomplished so much throughout the year.  I earned my shodan rank!  I pushed myself more and more in my training and began refining and improving my kendo even more.  I was able to take part in some truly epic matches in various tournaments throughout the year, with some very good people that pushed me to my limits.  I also made a bunch of new friends along the way, and many lasting memories that will stay with me long into my life.

We had our last practice of the year last night.  A short, sweet practice that was open to all members in all of our classes.  It ended up mostly being the advanced guys (and girls) but we had a couple of kids from the intermediate class join us. They show so much potential it's unbelievable!  When I see them train it makes me wish I had the opportunity to start that young, but at the same time it also pushed me to do the best I ca…