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Issue #068 - Just Like Mt. Fuji
October 30, 2012

Kendo for LIFE

Issue #068 - Just Like Mt. Fuji

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Thank you for opening the newsletter.

I hope this finds you well.

It's the end of October!

My daughter apparently will be a fish and my son will be a dragon this Halloween. What are you going to be? I have no plan and am still getting used to the custom!

I have been super busy these days with work and taking care of my sick children.But I am enjoying the time I can spend with them because I don't usually see them for a long time.

Hope you enjoy these new pages as well as the updates!

Thank you!

Hiro Imafuji

Now Enjoy the Update!

Table of Content

- Video Update-

- Kendo Q & A -

- Kendo Work Shop -

- Article of The Month -

- Comments or Questions -


- Kendo Guide in Russian: Some articles from Kendo-Guide.Com in Russian


Kendo-Guide Social Network

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Kendo For Life, LLC Products

- Kendo Beginners eBook: Kendo Guide for Beginners
This e-book will give you great amount of information about kendo. It probably answers you most of questions you have when you start kendo. Download your copy of a sample today!

- Online Kendo Basics Video
11 kendo basics videos (139.8 min) are now available. You can watch them online or download to your computer. Get them all together with 32% discount.

- How to Learn Kendo Movements More Easily and Quickly
Are you having a hard time to get the kendo movements right? Try to find out methods that make easier and quicker for you to learn the movements.

- Interview with Alex Bennett
Do you think you are too old to continue kendō? You don't know how you should improve your kendo? Listen to Alex Bennett sensei who passed his 7-dan exam at his first attempt. He talks about how he trained for his 7-dan exam and how he performed in his 7-dan exam.

- Kendo Watercooler: A Place for Kendo Freaks
This is a place kendo freaks get together! I am sharing videos taken at the dojo I instruct with not only my students but also whoever has passion to learn kendo. Come and join us!

Rate Kendo Shops

When you buy your kendo equipment, please share your opinion about the kendo shop you purchased from. It helps other kenod-ka all over the world when buying off the Internet.

A List of Kendo Shops in The World

Thank you!


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What we have in this issue is shown below.

Enjoy this Newsletter!

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

- Video Update-

- Fix Your Posture and Shoulder Problem

- Kendo Q & A -

- Strength

- Weak shoulder

- Instructing a Club

- Combining kendo and Iaido (for example)

- Learning alone, with the wrong sword too.

- Kendo Work Shop -

- Tsuki best time

- Tsuki zanshin

- Suburi inversely

- Just Like Mr. Fuji-

The Japanese like Mt. Fuji. Maybe that's because it is the highest mountain in Japan. Maybe that's because it has been considered to be one of the greatest symbols in Japan. If your first dream of the year is about Mt. Fuji, then that year will be the best for you according to a saying.

One reason that I know why the Japanese like Mt. Fuji is because it has a lot of faces. What do the Japanese mean by "a lot of faces"?

It changes how it looks depending on

- Seasons,
- Places you are looking at it,
- Weather and
- Even a time of the day.

Take a look at this. You see what the Japanese mean by "a lot of faces".

They are sooo different!

Kendō also has a lot of faces

Like Mt. Fuji, kendō also has a lot of faces. How I see kendō must be different from how you see kendō. Even when you learn from the same teacher, you and your kendō mates have different views on kendō.

You may do kendō as a hobby. Some of the Japanese police officers do kendō every day, day and night and they get paid. They consider themselves as professionals in kendō. Some teachers in Japan do kendō as semi-professionally. They teach their school kendō club and they spend most of the time for kendō even when they are not teaching at school.

The ideal kendō may be different from people to people. For some, kendō of a particular sensei is their ideal kendō. For others, their ideal kendō is more athletic like we see in All Japan Kendo Championship. For some high school students, their ideal kendō may be the kendō of their high school champions.

They are all kendō, aren't they?

Kendō changes along with our growth. You might see kendō differently tomorrow because what happens to you today.

There are many different types of kendō. And it is normal because we used to have a lot of kenjutsu schools. And our kendō should change because we change as human; hopefully in a good way.

So when you are young, you should train hard, strike a lot, make a lot of mistakes and cultivate fighting sprits. Maybe they cannot control their fighting spirits well but they will learn and their teachers will (hopefully) teach them how to control their emotions so they can be assertive but not violent.

The Ideal Kendō is What We Should Aim At

Nice, beautiful and strong kendō is probably the ideal kendō for many people. It is to me too. And we just cannot gain that kendō without passing a lot of milestones.

Many senseis with high grade trained harder than than we can possibly imagine. This is very important to remember.

Their kendō is built up on those hard training. And probably when they were young, they did jigeiko or shiai vigorously, which may look very violent to us. They used to have throws and foot sweeps. Of course, I have seen them during training before and also I have seen front kicks in training. They are certainly considered to be violent and probably many of you think that that kind of kendō, especially with kicks, is not kendō.

Taiatari was very different back then. You know why? It is because you want to give as much damage as possible to your opponent. I know how to do it but do I do it against my opponent? Probably not.

But these were kendo once. And also I know that there are some people who still use these techniques (not kicking). I know I would not use them but it does not mean I deny these techniques. It is my responsibility to know about these techniques and know how to deal with them.

Do We Need To Train Violently To Become Better?

I do not think so. But certainly we should train very very hard. And it is, I think, possible to improve our kendō without these dangerous techniques.

Danger is not good. But a variety of techniques is good, don't you think?

So when you see people executing very vigorous taiatari, don't just think that his/her kendō is bad. If it is executed in a right manner (to make his/her opponent off balance), then he/she has a great technique with great fighting spirit. And please think how you can receive such great taiatari. It is our responsibility to receive these taiatari.


All are Kendō. Just Different Face (Phase)

Different age groups should train differently. 8-dan kendō and 1-kyu kendō should be different, correct?

People see a great kendō like 8-dan's but then what we cannot see is that different faces (phases) that they used have. Before 8-dan, they were 7-dan. Before 7-dan, they were 6-dan. And before 6-dan they were 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1-dan, right?

All the great senseis went through these levels and they had different faces when they were going through different phases.

So we all should know what we should work on at our current level. And it of course should be different from person to person. And it is all OK.

The most important thing is to ask for teachings from own instructor, study, analyse and adjust and try (Refer to: Yagū Sanma no Kurai).

- Comments or Questions -

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

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