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...
Halloween is Scary

Halloween is Scary

I think trick-or-treating is a crock of you-know-what. Kids dress up in costumes that aren’t all that warm to wander around in the cold (and sometimes rain) to get tons of free candy and chocolate, which compromises their immune systems which are already...

Practice Better

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...
Upcoming Kendo Gradings

Upcoming Kendo Gradings

Every summer and winter, there are kendo gradings held in Toronto for the ranks of 1st kyu and up. We also hold our own in-house gradings for ranks up to 2nd kyu. I am hoping there will be a few people ready to challenge for 1st kyu, 1st dan and 2nd dan this year. I...
Congratulations all Graduates!

Congratulations all Graduates!

It’s that time of year again. High school graduation. Congratulations to our students Sam and Liam who graduated this week! I’m excited to see students transition to a new phase in their lives. My hope as a teacher is that they apply the lessons they...

When You Hit the Floor

You have a choice: Stay down or get back up. If you stay down, your opponent will try to hit you. If you get back up, your opponent will try to hit you. If you stay down, you can’t strike back. Better to get back up. Any...

Wanna Be Great? Get to Work.

I came across a quote from 13th century Japanese Buddhist monk Nichiren Daishonin. “Iron, when heated in the flames and pounded, becomes a fine sword.” Nice. What’s that got to do with you and your kendo? Just a reminder that when you started your...