No matter how good you are at something, chances are you can probably improve your performance. What’s it going to take? One word: Practice.

What that one word doesn’t tell you is HOW to practice. Showing up at the dojo and doing the same as you’ve always done is going to get you the same results. To improve, you have to push yourself to go beyond what you’ve already accomplished.

Sometimes you have people around who can help with this and sometimes you don’t. It’s helpful when there’s someone better than you in the dojo, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary for one to improve. What’s more important in my opinion is your ability to critically analyze your own kendo.

From my perspective, video is a great tool to help you with this. Watching your performance during keiko or basic drills can make you aware of things you can be doing better. Knowing what to work on is essential to help you practice better.

There’s the key, really. Practice better. Don’t just show up and go through the motions. Figure out what needs work and work on it with focus and perseverance until you can feel and see improvement.

And then, keep going.