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!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Taipei Youth Cup 2010

Last Sunday was the Taipei Cup, in which we had one team consisted of 7 people including me. We got the third place in the end, lost unexpectedly to the Taiwan University Alumni, who came the 2nd.

I was placed in the Jiho (the second place) in the match. My opponent scored a men-nuki-men first, when I carelessly striked men while my left foot was too far behind my right, meaning I couldn't jump far. Now 0-1. "Be calm..", as I told myself. Then after a few exchanges of strikes, he leapt in, and without thinking I took once small step behind to void it, and immediate striked his kote. "Kote-ari!", a men-nuki-kote. It was a 1-1 draw.

We lost the match 2-3. Ho Sensei was not happy about my performance of the day because I made many mistakes with basics. I need to:
  • always make sure I draw my left foot quickly when doing seme.

  • usemore hiki-waza.

  • do not bend my body when striking kote.

Of course the lack of practice lately was to blame. There is really no short cut but to do more suburi and more practice...

My friends came for some support. Thanks guys!!

Pretending to be bad asses.

I am the red one..

Not so pleased.. to be honest.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Kuroda-san's Visit in Taiwan

Kuroda-san and I met in Czech Republic about 4 years ago, when Ozawa Sensei was invited to Prague to hold a kendo seminar. Since then we've kept in touch, and met up for kendo and drink every time when I went to Japan. It all seemed like yesterday, and yet so far away. He is truly a special friend. Now I'm happy that he finally comes to Taiwan and visit me.

He arrived on Friday 3/29, and in the evening I took him to the Taipei Kendokan. As usual the training started with kihon, waza-geiko, mawari-geiko and jigeiko. Kuroda san's perfect body posture and balance could not be more familiar to me, and that's his uniqueness.

After the training at Taipei Kendokan.

My practice that evening was not so great as my right arm was too tense all the time. But it was nonetheless enjoyable to play kendo again with my old friend.

At the world-famous National Palace Museum.

Monday, 29th March

I took him to the Nation Chiao Tung University (NCTU) kendo club, and Kuroda san was asked to lead the session. The members who turned up for training were:

  • upon the point of contact between shinai and the men, the left arm is inclined with the shinai when looking from the side.

  • one should practise more large men-cuts. If one is good at large cuts, he/she is naturally good at small cuts.

Wednesday, 31st March

On Wednesday I took him to the National Tsing Hua University kendo club. The members who turned up that evening included many more advanced, who have trained for 2-3 years. Kuroda san was again asked to teach. So I told him that, and suggest he gave more tips on seme-techniques and correct attitudes as well as how to obtain them during training:

Kote strikes:

  • when practising kote, the kakarite should occupy the centerline first, and then the motodachi should push back at the same time create an opening while the kakarite makes the kote strike.

  • the kakarite should strike along the centerline.


  • always keep in touch with the motodachi's shinai before striking.

  • when sliding the shinai against the opponent's shinai, the kensen should lower slightly, so that it is difficult for the opponent to move the shinai to the other side and hit kote.


  • To seme, move the body forwards and direct the tip of the shinai towards the opponent's kote at the same time pressing his shinai down. This makes him want to raise his shinai up. At this moment strike do.

For me, he gave me the following advices:

  • My seme is too quick, and the opponents raise shinai easily to block. I should make the movement more subtle and slower, in order to let him feel the pressure and strike first while I use oji-waza.

  • Relax my right arm.

I hope Kuroda-san comes again soon!!

Here is one short clip of our jigeiko. Note: At the end of the clip I struck men when he attempted a kaeshi-do, but didn't manage to block the men-strike.