Skip to main content

Free Flow

Photo courtesy of W. Sinclair

I love training.  It's obvious if you know me in person.  I love working on my kendo and making both big and small improvements.  I regularly check in with people around me to assess where I'm at and what I can work on, on top of reading articles, blogs (like this one), forums, and watching videos.  I'm always looking at new ways to improve and grow my kendo, but sometimes I think it's beneficial, and even healthy, to put that aside for a while.

What does this mean?  to me, this means I let myself stop worrying about all the details and let my body do what it does without thought...or perhaps, with little thought.  I think of it as a supervised auto-pilot;  I'm still in control of what and when I'm doing something, but instead of thinking about all the small points of hitting a kote, for example, I just think, "here comes my kote," and let my body do the rest.  This allows me to not only get comfortable with where I'm at at that moment, but also helps me to build confidence in my skills.  They don't have to be perfect, and they never will be, but building that confidence is just as important as sharpening my skills themselves, and in a way is another skill to improve.  But if I'm too busy trying to improve everything else I never really give myself that chance to work with what I've got, and I need that periodically in my training.

Letting myself go on this auto-pilot setting also helps me to remember to have fun with kendo.  Training can be just like anything else that we do; it can be super fun but it can also end up being a bit of a grind if we let it, and that can cause us to lose some interest and motivation.  Every once in a while it's good to let go of what you're actively working on and just enjoy the training.  Remember the reasons you came to enjoy kendo in the first place, and just let that be enough.  In these times I don't care if my footwork dipped a bit, or if my strikes weren't super accurate and polished (although I still do my best to hit the target!).  What matters to me at those times is just being on the floor and enjoying the training, the company and the things that I've learned so far.  This not only helps me remember to have fun with training, but coming back to something I've been working on after that can give me some new insight and possibly help me grow in a way that I hadn't expected.

I encourage anyone reading that has never done this to give it a try.  Have some fun with training every now and then.  Give your perfect kote strikes a rest for a minute and just enjoy the drills and keiko for what they are.  It might help open up new directions to take your training, and it will definitely refill the fun meter, if you are in need of that.  I know it does for me.


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…