Skip to main content

The Sun Sets...

A thought occurred to me last night during training;  a thought that made me both happy and a little sad.  I realized that, if all goes well this weekend, last night was my last training as a shodan.  I will be testing for nidan this weekend at the PNKF shinsa.  I feel ready for it, and everyone else says that I'm ready.  I just need to relax and not be nervous, and let my body do what it's been trained to do.  I'm glad to have this opportunity, though.  Sometimes I feel like it's too soon since I've only been training for just under four years.  In fact, it will be four years in May.  I feel like I've accomplished a lot in such a short time, but compared to this entire journey that I've set myself on it's only a drop in the bucket.  I definitely have my dojo, and the members, to thank for getting me where I am right now.  They all push me hard, right to the limit, but they also encourage me and will be the first ones to lend me a helping hand or encouraging words when needed.  And I have to thank my sensei for their instruction and for bringing out the best I have to offer. I wouldn't be where I am now without them.

Last night's practice was a bit different.  We started off with a local shinsa, in which a lot of our newer members were able to test.  We had both kids and adults, men and women, testing for ranks from 10 kyu up to 5 kyu.  Kyu, for anyone that might not know, are ranks below the black belt level (dan ranks).  One big thing that I noticed is that everyone had great spirit and kiai, and all of them did great with the basics.  Full swings, keeping the left hand in the center, etc.  Even the kids were doing great with these points, which was awesome to see.  Oh, and I also got to be on the judging panel, which was new for me.  I noticed as we went up through the ranks that the level of kendo presented rose.  Timing became more synchronized.  Swings were faster, cuts were sharper, footwork was a bit more refined.  Again, very refreshing to see, and great job to everyone last night because they all ended up passing.

After the shinsa we had open floor, and we used the time for jigeiko.  We grabbed partners and did over an hour of jigeiko, and in that time I had many great rounds with my friends and partners, and learned a lot during that time.  I tried to just focus on doing the best kendo that I had, because that's what I'm planning on doing at the shinsa on Saturday.  I worked on making my own strikes sharp and defined, and making my timing as perfect as I could, and keeping my footwork crisp and snappy.  I had a few good hits, and a few misses, but all throughout I never gave up and kept my focus.  I still have a ton to work on, but for now I feel good about where I'm at with my training. 

I can feel the sun setting on this chapter of my kendo journey.  I had a great year at shodan, but the end of this chapter marks the beginning of a new one.  I am hopeful and positive and will work to make this new chapter the best that I can.  I'm looking forward for what's in store for me in the future.


  1. Nice bit of retrospection there Chris. Best of luck to you! I'll be keeping an eye on you, slowly following in your footsteps :)

  2. Ah thanks! It's always nice to receive best wishes, especially from other countries. I find it amazing that when I started this blog I don't think I even had a rank, and now here I am moving into the yudansha ranks, slowly but surely :)


Post a Comment

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…