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 –...

Issho-kenmei

I remember growing up hearing this term. My rough translation of it is “to do something to the utmost of your ability”. What a wonderful phrase to apply to kendo, and to one’s life. Walking the path of issho-kenmei is not easy. It requires focus,...

Naysayer or Yeasayer – Your Choice

We all know what a naysayer is. A yeasayer* is the opposite. Positive. Encouraging. Looking for ways to make things better. We all have a yeasayer and naysayer in us. They’re like muscles. The one that gets more exercise is more dominant. As with most things,...

No Talent Required

Kendo is not just about one’s physical ability. Here are 10 ways you can make your kendo better that don’t rely on physical talent. Showing up to class on time Being physically and mentally prepared for class A good attitude Proper etiquette in the dojo...

Grading

I am quite pleased to report that all of my students were successful in their grading attempts. Congratulations to you all! Alas, I was not successful in my own grading challenge, but I received some very positive feedback and good advice to incorporate into my...

Start Failing Today!

Do babies learn to walk without falling? Do we tell children to not speak until their words come out fully formed? Mistakes are learning opportunities. Everyone makes them. They are a part of learning. Cherish your mistakes. Learn from them. That’s part of your...