What does teaching Kendo entail?

A: More than most students realize. Let’s be clear: teaching a martial art like Kendo is a challenge. Especially in a small dojo. Every student has their own reason for being there. Sometimes it’s tough to try and meet everyone’s needs in a class,...

Another difference between Kendo and school…

I listened to a CBC show this evening that discussed the prevalence of cheating in post-secondary institutions. Apparently 53% of Canadian undergraduates admit to cheating. In the United States, closer to 70% admit to doing so. What does this mean to us as a society?...

Lots to be thankful for.

I am thankful for: My students, who I learn from every class. The many Sensei I train with who push me to improve. Other kendoka who train with me, allowing me to demonstrate my strengths while they point out my weaknesses. The parents of my junior students, who bring...

What are basics for?

For practicing basics. Duh. The problem: people practice their basics poorly so they don’t actually improve. When you watch a video of yourself doing basics, are you in awe of how great you look? Probably not. You wouldn’t tell a beginner to do things the...

The Best Way…

. . . to say “thank you for advice”, according to one Sensei I met, is to actually implement the advice. After correcting a student’s technique, explaining to them what they’re doing wrong and how they can do it properly, it’s always...

New bogu observations

For those of you who are thinking of buying new bogu, here are a few observations on the “new bogu experience”. 1) It’s probably going to be stiff. For me, this has meant more pressure on my ears. The first class I had to take my men off to give my...

Toronto Kendo Club’s 30th Anniversary Seminar

This weekend was the 30th Anniversary Seminar for the Toronto Kendo Club. An all-round excellent event. I managed to videotape some of the sessions. Here are the links. Keiko Seminar: http://www.vimeo.com/27183609 Kata Seminar: http://www.vimeo.com/27168413 Chiba...

Learn From Your Mistakes

Have you noticed how our society frowns upon making mistakes? Granted, there are some professions where making mistakes is deadly. Snipers. Air traffic controllers. Nuclear plant operators. Yup. Mistakes are bad. That’s why these people train extensively before...