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...

When Will I Be Ready to . . . ?

Every now and then, someone asks when they’ll be ready to grade, or when they’ll be ready to wear bogu. To date, I have tended to answer these questions with questions. “Do you think you’re ready?” Not a very satisfying answer, although...

Class cancelled tonight

There will be no kendo class this evening as I am ill. This is the 2nd time in the history of the club that I’ve cancelled class due to illness. Not bad 🙂 Classes will resume on Thursday unless you hear otherwise. Sensei Mark

Relax

I call it the R-word. Seriously. It seems like a dirty word or at least an impossible feat to achieve for some kendoka. “How can I relax when someone’s swinging a shinai at my head?” I don’t know how to make someone relax. I just know that if...

Ringing in 2017

We wrapped up our 2nd Annual Toshikoshi Keiko around 1:30 a.m. ET. To my knowledge, we’ve held the first kendo practice in Canada two years in a row. Here’s hoping for a third 🙂 Highlights: Exploding Kittens (the card game). Food – lots of it –...