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Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #002 -- New Tsubazeriai Rules
August 27, 2008

Kendo for LIFE

Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #002 -- New Tsubazeriai Rules

Thank you for reading the Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #002. It has been a great summer for my kendo. How about you?

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

Table of Content

- Article and Video of the Month -

- Kendo General Survey -

- New Articles since the Last Issue -

- High School Kendo Has Been Changed: Rules on Tsubazeriai -

- Another Place to Learn Kendo in Indiana -

- Comments or Questions -

- What Will Be in Next Month Newsletter? -

- Article and Video of the Month -

* "Kyodo-Men Video" and "Kyodo-Kote, Kyodo-Do" are up.

Kyodo-Men video is 17min 39sec long and Kyodo-Kote, Kyodo-Do video is 9min 10sec long.

These videos are showing very basic way of learning how to strike these targets (men, kote, do). They are useful for beginners and also for intermediates for self-check.

I do these sometimes to check the position of the left hand, coordination of the sword and feet and so on.

If you do not know these basic training method, it is a good idea to learn them.

These articles are located at

- Men Strike:Basic Men Training for Beginners

- Kote Strike: Basic Kote Uchi

- Do Strike: Basic Do Uchi

- The videos are available at Kendo Video Download...

* Jigeiko Example: At a Dojo in Japan (Video) is up in the Subscribers' Only Area

Jigeiko (sparing) Advice

It is ok to be hit by high ranked people. So do not try to block all the time. If you block all the time, you cannot improve your kendo.

When you decide which target you are going to strike, just go for it.

That is how keiko with high rank senseis should be done.

Click here if you have not watched Jigeiko: At a Dojo in Japan...

- Kendo General Survey -

We have done this once at The Cyber Dojo. But this time, it is more simple and you can see the result as well after your completion of the survey.

Please participate in this survey to help Kendo-Guide.Com improve its content and services.

To participate in Kendo General Survey, click here...

- New Articles since the Last Issue -

Several articles were posted since the last Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter.

ECUSKF Kendo Camp 2008

Before we had All US Kendo Championships, East Central U.S. Kendo Federation (ECUSKF) had a joint practice. I participated in that event.

To read more about the ECUSKF Kendo Camp 2008, click here...

Kendo Equipment

This article gives you a general idea about kendo equipment. Many people have to buy their kendo equipment online so I hope this article helps what to buy.

To read more about Kendo Equipment, click here...


Tsuba-zeriai looks like a clinch at a glance but it is not. Nor is it an opportunity for you to push your opponent violently.

What is tsuba-zeriai, then?

To read more about Tsuba-zeriai, click here...

Indiana Kendo Seminar August 2008: Seminar with Two 8th Dan

It was a great night. It is always good to have high ranked senseis but two 8th dan in Indiana? Man, that was a festival for me!

All the participants learned a lot at the seminar.

To know what we learned at Indiana Kendo Seminar August 2008: Seminar with Two 8th Dan, click here...

- High School Kendo Has Been Changed: Rules on Tsubazeriai -

This month, I would like to talk about how and why high school kendo changed the rules on tsuba-zeriai.

Before proceed, if you do not know what tsuba-zeriai means, please go and read Tsuba-zeriai.

How did it change?

Basically the committee of All Japan High School Athletic Federation KENDO Section (AJHSAFK) did not like how students used tsuba-zeriai in matches or shiai.

Students used tsuba-zeriai to kill time so that their team or they would win the shiai. Besides, they spent most of the shiai time in tsuba-zeriai.

According to some statistics, these high school students spent 3/4 of their shiai time in tsuba-zeriai.

This tendency was seen strongly in high school competitions so the committee of AJHSAFK decided to solve this problem and also to keep kendo clean.

Keep Kendo Clean?

In shiai, we want to win. Who competes to lose? But it does not mean we should spend the most of time in tsuba-zeriai so we could win our shiai.

Moreover, in tsuba-zeriai, we have many techniques to keep our opponents in tsuba-zeriai so that they cannot strike us.

In normal training or keiko, we do not really use such techniques because there is no winning-losing situation as we have in a competition.

What we usually do, when our opponent and we cannot strike anything from tsuba-zeriai, is that we start stepping backwards to break tsuba-zeriai and start from Issoku Itto no Ma. (Clean)

In keiko, we know it is not the matter of winning or losing. It is the matter of how we improve ourselves, but in shiai our goal is somehow shifted.

As a result, we spend more than a half of shiai time in tsuba-zeriai.

So Tsuba-zeriai is a Dirty Technique??

No. We can be in tsuba-zeriai.

This change is to prevent the kendo practitioners from using tsuba-zeriai as one of shiai techniques such as killing time.

Tsuba-zeriai is a result of getting too close after striking one another. And we should be seeking an opportunity to strike in tsuba-zeriai or should break it as soon as possible.

The purpose of tsuba-zeriai is not "to avoid losing".

Now What are High School Students Doing?

They had to learn "correct" tsuba-zeriai. We all should know what correct tsuba-zeriai so I will list up what we should or should not do in tsuba-zeriai.

1. The correct tsuba-zeriai should be done using tsuba (hand-guards) not hands.

2. We cannot keep our sword in the right (our left) side of our opponent shinai for a long time. It is OK if it happens to be in that position for a second.

We cannot keep going back to that position intentionally.

3. Your hands should not touch the blade part of your opponent shinai. In other words, your hand should not be above your opponent's tsuba.

4. Your shinai and the opponent's should not be parallel.

5. We should not rotate our shinai to the right in tsuba-zeriai.

Source: Kendo Nippon

The AJHSAFK committee revised more but since it is for high school shiai rules and regulations so I do not talk about these changes here.

Do shiai as if You are Training, Train as if You are In Shiai

"Do Shiai as if You are Training, Train as if You are in Shiai" is a traditional saying in kendo.

AJHSAFK tried to prevent tsuba-zeriai from being used as a tool to win or not to lose. I think it was a good decision.

They tried to apply the principle of "Do Shiai as if You are Training, Train as if You are in Shiai", I think.

It is important to win once we step into a shiai court because we are not there to lose.

But there is more important thing.

- Try what we have learned with a full of kiai without letting the desire to win take over our mind.

After all, winning is not as important as doing kendo fair and square because the purpose of studying kendo is not to compete with others, right?

The purpose of kendo is "to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the Katana (sword)" (From the Concept of Kendo).

Interesting Thoughts on Shiai

As we all know who struck whom in keiko, we should be able to judge who won or lost in shiai by ourselves.

If the one who got struck declares his/her loss, it would be much clearer. Actually we could not get clearer than this!

This needs experiences though, and would be more controversial. However, it seems to me the best way of judging shiai.

Since we ourselves judged our own shiai, we would really have to be honest to our opponents and ourselves.

I would love to see All Japan Kendo Championships by self-judging. I really do. And it should not be a problem...What do you think?

- Another Place to Learn Kendo in Indiana -

I am happy to announce that kendo class has become a part of the program at YMCA Fishers in Indiana. It will start from September 10, 2008.

I will be in charge of the class and the class is offered once a week (Wednesdays) from 6:45pm to 7:45pm.

This class is mainly for beginners. If you are advanced and need a place to train, please contact me through the form at Indiana Kendo: Where you can train kendo in Indiana.

Since the the YMCA Fishers are expanding their facilities, I am hoping to get some more hours.

If you know people who are interested in kendo and live in the north part of Indianapolis, please let them know about this class.

- Comments or Questions -

If you have a comment and/or question, please email through 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 soon. This is the main website.

Click here to contact us...

Thank you for reading the newsletter. I will see you in about one month!

- What Will Be in Next Month Newsletter?-

Main Topic: The Importance of Degeiko

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