We Are All Newbies

Our club practice is to accept new students whenever they arrive. I fully appreciate how much more work this is. There is some disruption to the routine as we gather around the shomen and talk about the concept and purpose of kendo. The group breaks up so advanced...

Observing Your Kendo

I often suggest to students (and myself) to pay attention to their kendo. I also know this isn’t as easy as it sounds. I have an approach that I use to check on my own kendo that I would like to share with you. Know all the steps of what you are attempting to...
Show Me Your Notebook

Show Me Your Notebook

If you listen to your instructors, you’ll hear a lot of things about your kendo. It’s easy to forget what you’ve heard. That’s why many sensei tell their students to take notes. You can’t take notes if you don’t have a notebook....

Kendo Self Talk Suggestions

Most of us are our own worst critics. Kendoka are no exception. The thing is, you don’t need another critic. Your sensei and dojo peers will do that for you. Fortunately, you have the power to change how you think about your kendo by changing your self-talk....

Tournament Reflections

This past weekend we participated in the 29th S.W.O.R.D. Tournament. In no particular order, here are some things whipping through my mind regarding tournaments and what can be learned from attending and participating in them. ORGANIZATION – It doesn’t...
1000 Cut Challenge 2018

1000 Cut Challenge 2018

Saturday, June 2, 2018 was the date of our 1000 Cut Challenge fundraiser. A bit of history: we first ran the 1000 Cut Challenge on November 4, 2006 as a fundraiser for Team Canada’s efforts in the 13th World Kendo Championships. This was the fourth time...

How to Improve Your Kendo

In no particular order… Show up Pay attention Focus Do the drills to the best of your ability Listen to feedback your sensei and sempai give you and others Implement Have an open mind Be disciplined Take notes Work on your basics Have a plan Push yourself...

Dynamic Stretches for Kendo

A few years ago, there was a seminar in Toronto on dynamic stretches for kendo. Most of the time we use this dynamic stretching routine at the start of each practice. I haven’t seen other clubs doing these warm ups, but I’m not surprised. Traditions are...

When are you ready to grade?

This is one of those “unwritten rules of kendo”. Don’t ask your instructor for permission to grade. There. I said it. Just don’t do it. If you have to ask, you’re probably not ready. If you’re ready, your instructor will let you...

Building Character Through Combat

Kendo is combat. It’s highly stylized, even ritualized combat, but it’s combat nevertheless. For all of its simplicity, it’s not easy. Most people can hit someone in the head with a stick. You don’t need to have any particular skill to...