About this blog..

This is a blog that I started in April 2006, just after I first put on my bogu (kendo armour). It collects the advices given by more experienced kendo practitioners as well as those from my own experiences. Both technical and the mental aspects of kendo are written in the blog. I hope someone will find them useful or interesting at least!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Asian Etiquette

During the training yesterday a guy who hasn't worn the bogu yet really pissed me off. I was the Motodachi for two people, and he was one of them. The trainer told us to finish each practise with Sonkyo, so after doing uchigumi-geiko with this guy who was the first Utodachi, I bowed and turned around to the second person. So the first guy bloody use his shinai and poked me from behind to get my attention!!! I was fucking furious but of course my sense won the day. I just told him to never do that again. This is totally ridiculous. Politeness and modesty is such a big part of Kendo. Not to mention the respect for the sword. Using the shinai as the mere extention of your arm is rediculous.

It brings me to another story, which is about whether to look at your opponents eyes when bowing. The answer is of course not. The other day someone who has done kendo for two years, thinking he's senior than I am, asked me to look at his eyes when bowing. I indirectly said that some other people said the opposite. But, oh-my-god, some people try to show that they know stuff, while having absolutly no idea about asian culture. In martial art, if one looks at his/her opponent while bowing, it means that this person is being cautious of sabotage, which not a real politeness. "Looking in the eyes" is a western etiquette.

[Note added 20/7/06: it turns out that some people even the japanese do look at each other's eyes. The bottom line is, your eye sight should not leave your opponent's body while bowing.]

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