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Showing posts from July, 2014

Balance

Marsten Sensei said something at my last shinsa, back in 2013, that has stuck with me ever since.  He was addressing the group of us and explained that kendo is like a chair, with the four legs being made up of shiai, shinsa, keiko, and kata.  He said that we needed all of them to have successful kendo.  Now I know that this won't apply directly to everyone, but the idea is the same for people that have no desire to compete.  What is a chair with 3 legs?  A stool!  I believe whole-heartedly that these four elements (or three, in some cases) are needed to create full, rich kendo in someone, but I'd like to add that all of them need to be balanced to reach full potential.  Have you ever tried to sit on a chair with uneven legs?  What happened?  I'd make a guess that the chair would fall over, or break. 

I enjoy all aspects of kendo.  I train a lot, by myself and with my dojo members.  I enjoy kata in the same way, as a solo endeavor and with a partner.  I also regularly co…

Layers and Curtains

Kendo is an interesting art.  There's not much to it, physically.  The footwork and attacks are all relatively simple, compared to some other martial arts out there.  There's a handful of different movements and even less targets and attacks, but all is not what it seems.  Kendo is about layers, and curtains.  You peel back one layer, peek behind another curtain, and all of a sudden there's more than you first realized.  A men strike is a men strike is a men strike, but it can mean vastly different things depending on if you are a beginner, upper kyu, or upper dan.  I love this aspect of kendo.  Easy to learn, difficult to master, and when you think you've got one thing down you discover another dimension to it which makes you see it in a whole new light and gives you more to think about and practice.

This mindset comes up to me all the time, as a lot of the advice and instruction I get are things that I've heard before.  Maybe not in the same way, but along the s…