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Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #019 - Learn from Senseis
July 23, 2009

Kendo for LIFE

Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #019 - Learn from Senseis

Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #019 - Learn from Senseis

Thank you for reading the Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #019.

A while ago, I sent an email to my students about learning kendo. I would like to share it with you in this newsletter.


- KOB101

Did you know Kendo Online Course, KOB101 is now available.

- Subscribers only discount: Maruyama Kendo Supply is giving you 15% dicsount until August 30, 2009.

This is how it works.

1. Go to Maruyama Kendo Supply
Add products you wish to purchase
2. Enter the discount coupon below when you check out.


- Kendo-Guide Social Network??

My friends invited me to Facebook and Linkedin but I did not have time to learn these. Still I am not sure what I am doing!

But I now have an account so when I have time I will make changes to these network but until then their designs remain very very simple...

- Facebook
- Linkedin
- Twitter

If you think I am not doing well with these Social Networking, please let me know. I do not want to be uncool!!

Thank you!

Now enjoy the updates!


I have several e-mails that I sent came back due to the wrong e-mail address or someone else.

If you don't hear from me within three or four days, it is quite likely that you mistyped your e-mail address or your e-mail software/Internet server reject e-mails from me. Please make sure to whitelist Kendo-Guide.Com.

If you have not done a kendo general survey, please participate. It takes only a few minutes. Thanks!

What we have in this issue is shown below. Enjoy this Newsletter!

Table of Content

- Articles Since the Last Issue -

- Kendo Q & A -

- Learn from the Senseis -

- Comments or Questions -

There are links to change your email address for the newsletter or unsubscribe at the bottom of every newsletter. Thanks!

- New Articles since Last Issue -

- Yagyu Sanma No Kurai: Learning Process

- Kendo Q & A -

- Training dummy for kendo

- Learn from Senseis -

There are many kendo videos out there now. I like technologies we have now. 10 years ago, it was impossible for people outside Japan to watch these videos of great senseis. But now, it does not matter where we are, as long as we are connected to the internet, we can watch kendo of great senseis.

But do we know what to watch? Moreover, what's missing from those videos?

I recently emailed my students about how they should watch and learn kendo. Also I recently talked to one of my students about what I would want him to watch when he attended this seminar with two great 8th dan from Japan.

In this issue, I would like to share what I told to my students.

Who's got that point!?!?

When you watch your sensei and others doing jigeiko (sparing), you probably want to know who's got what on the other.

What you should get out of such jigeiko is not who got points but the process before and after striking.

- How do senseis build up kiai?
- What do senseis do before strike?
- Ashi-sabaki (footowrk) and tai-sabaki (body movements) of senseis.
- Zanshin

"Who's got what" may attract us. But we cannot learn much out of it.

Now this is my story. I fought a sensei who is 6th dan one day. Next day, after the training of that night, I emailed to my students.

Here it is. (I edited it a little bit to protect my students' privacy and to understnad better what I was saying because you were not there.)

After the final bow of the entire training, I did not bow to him where I was sitting (I was sitting next to him).

I went around to be in totally "shimoza (a position where the lower ranks should be)".

That kind of thing is what you should be learning from kendo. How to SHOW respect.

This is totally cultural but it is your advantage to have Japanese as your instructors around you.

I told Student B to sit in seiza when he was introducing his son to S sensei. It is probably OK in US to talk to high ranks who are sitting while you are standing. But it is not OK in the martial arts world that I know.

I am not accusing B for what he did. He just did not know what was appropriate culturally. Matter of fact, I also have to learn Japanese culture since I've been away for a long time. These kinds of etiquette/manners have to be learned.

I want you to learn more than just swinging a sword.

…End of the email…

The following story may help you to learn these etiquette/manners.

The following is what I told my students before he was going to attend this seminar with two 8th dan from Japan.

- Watch out they act at the dojo
- Take a close attention to how they behave at the dojo.

This include…
* How they walk
* How they treat their sword
* How they sit
* How they bow

Many people do not pay attentions to these but these are the ones we cannot really learn from videos available on the internet.

I like being around my sensei when I go back to Japan. I pay attention to how he walks, talks, sits, behaves and acts at the dojo or outside the dojo as well as his kendo such as how he builds up kiai, performs his footwork, grabs his shinai, positions his left hand, bends his arms and more .

There are a lot of things that we cannot learn by verbal instructions. We just have to learn from observing what senseis do. Of course, by doing that, you may copy your senseis' bad habits too. But then, your senseis will know their own bad habits. Funny how teaching and learning work :)

Whenever I see my sensei, he often give me advice.

"You should fix such and such. Well, it is probably my fault."

My senseis did not give me any verbal instructions. I, or students back then, had to learn by observing. I have no memories of learning techniques from my teachers. I STOLE their techniques.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that learning techniques is very important. But there are a lot more for us to learn in kendo.

If you are fortunate to go to one of these seminars with high ranks, please pay attention to their attitudes and behaviours. I guarantee that you will find some interesting aspects of kendo.

- Comments or Questions -

If you have a kendo related question, please go to Kendo Q&A and use a special form for that.

If you want to contact me personally, please use a contact form.

If you do not send me email through the form, my email system does not pass through your emails. That means I never get your email.

Please do not use the email address I used to use at The Cyber Dojo either. It will not be used for communication purpose. This is the main website. Click here to contact us...

Thank you for reading the newsletter. See you in the next issue!

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