Proper raising of the shinai for people with long arms

Do not stick out your elbows on the side when lifting the shinai above your head

Keep the elbows in, in front.

To minimize injuries to the achille’s heel (talon d’achille)

Achille’s heel injuries are common in kendo. To minimize injuries to the achille’s heel, bend the knees. This makes the tendon not stretched and prevents injury. One of the common injury in kendo is when the kendoka changes direction from backward to forward, especially if you have a lot of weight. However, with the back leg slightly bent, the achille’s heal is protected from injury by not being stretched.

You always fight against yourself

Do not focus entirely on your opponent. With everyone you will fight with you will expose your same weakness.

Practice of 24 March 2015

Katas are really fun to learn with sensei Jeff, enriched with historical notes and explanations as well as depth in the mark of compassion in the way that the shidashi (winner) hits the ushidashi (looser) in a non-lethal strike in some katas. More depth as how we are to practice as if a real sword, in the strength and how in the third kata we do not use the front of the blade in the cutting area but with the blade bent slightly to block with the back of the sword – we don’t want to damage the sharp edge of the sword.

Hitting the shinai. Look at the way the opponent holds the shinai to see if any weakness. If only thumbs cover the upper part of shinai, it will go out easily with simple struck down. If held mostly with left hand, it will go out easily if it on the side. When the match is about to start, you have time to inspect your opponent.

Practice of 31 March 2015

I realize couples of day after that differences between teaching of kendo in UK vs in Canada is similar to the feeling I had when being thought horseback riding from Western saddle vs English saddle. The English saddle teacher was really strick on perfect posture and would not let me continue until I had it right.

Practice of 14 April 2015

Using Kia as a way to release tension. Kia should be used to release tension. This is widely known in kendo that we are faster when muscle are not tensed. We also learned that we need a strong introduction “here I am” when doing seme. It can be a small step the length of a foot with a Kia were tension is released. “Here I am, what are you going to do about it”.

Thanks to sensei Jeff Humm and to sempai Jeff Martin who were both very welcoming at Hizen Kendo Club near Euston Station in central London.