a MMB! Kendo Blog: Boxing and Kendo

MMB! Kendo Blog

Friday, January 20, 2006

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Boxing and Kendo

Mon, Jan-16 - Pyrmont, UNSW
It was very humid on Monday, which made training a lot more tiring than it'd have been. I sweated so much that it was like carrying another kilogram on my body with the soaked double-layer kendo-gi during the trainings at Pyrmont and UNSW.

There were 4 sensei training at Pyrmont tonight - Payne sensei, Onodera sensei, Master Kim and Itakura sensei. I had the chance to jigeiko with all but Itakura sensei. The jigeiko with Master Kim was really intense, and I think he was in real shiai mode, going full-on. His control of the shinai - the twirling and knocking - was superior, and it was tough for me to concentrate on keeping the centre.

After Pyrmont, I rushed out of the dojo and quickly drove to UNSW for the final 30mins of jigeiko. I had jigeiko with Sano sensei, Michael, John and Elaine.

Predictable Behaviour before Attack
At the end of the UNSW training, Michael kindly offered me advice on his observations about my attacks - particularly men-uchi. He observed that I pressed his shinai down every time just before I launched a men-uchi; or moved straight in if I attempt kote-uchi. And he was right. I was thinking too much about having my shinai on top of his at every men attack. So after a couple of attacking attempts, Michael could figure out my attacking pattern very easily and neutralise my attacks.

I need to have a greater variety of play before my attacks, plus I think I used too much of the physical side of attack. I need to use more seme to create the opportunities.

Thanks Mike for your feedbacks! You are a true friend.

Wed, Jan-18 - North Sydney PCYC
Training was great at Master Kim's dojo on Wednesday night. There were 9 person training, including Master Kim, Jimmy and Taek.

We did a lot of the shiai-styled basics, such as seme-men, seme-kote-men, etc. I really like this session as it gave me lots of chance to practice a good cut. My men-cuts felt strong. I was concentrating on pushing out with my left hand in my men-cut, my body was moving in... it was great feeling. My posture is improving now.

Kostya Tszyu: A beautiful and inspiring story
While driving home after Wednesday night's training, I came across a very inspiring interview on ABC Radio with Kostya Tszyu - a Russian-born Australian Boxing Champion, who has won all the World Boxing Titles in the junior welterweight division.


The interview was beautiful. I could draw a lot of parallels between Boxing and Kendo - the mental and physical challenges, the juggle between training and family, the desire to become better, the pain barrier, etc... There are so much life experience accumulated through Kostya's boxing career. It was like listening to an 8Dan sensei speaking... Boxing / Kendo has evolved outside of the boxing ring / dojo and has become their way of life.

I would recommend listening to the audio clip than reading the transcript. From the audio clip, you could hear from Kostya's voice that he is a gentle, honest and humble soul. Here are the 3 audio formats to choose from: Real Audio / Window Media / MP3


  • Vivian fancies Kostya Tszyu?? :P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, January 20, 2006 2:13:00 PM  

  • I think he has a great character with great personality. He sets himself a high goal, strives hard to achieve. He is humble even when he achieves so much. He is optimistic even when the environment around him is harsh. He cares about his family and not arrogant or up to himself. I think these are the qualities which I admire about Kostya.

    Have you listen to the audio clip? I highly recommend it to you.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Friday, January 20, 2006 2:31:00 PM  

  • Hmm yes I taught him everything he knows lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, January 20, 2006 4:27:00 PM  

  • I'm a big fan of Kostya Tszyu as well (although I can never spell his name right haha). I love the way he hugs all his kids and his wife whenever he returns from a match. His sons wear his championship belt and he is so forward thinking and ready to commit to his next fight but has his family in mind all the time. Amazing, really.

    By Blogger plautus, at Friday, January 20, 2006 5:04:00 PM  

  • So after a couple of attacking attempts, Michael could figure out my attacking pattern very easily and neutralise my attacks.

    Habitual patterns. Always strive to recognize these and break out of them. They will serve only to telegraph your intentions.

    Feigned patterns can be very useful. They serve to draw your opponent into your rhythm - which you break in your real attack. Your opponent thinks he has "figured you out" when you are, in fact, intentionally deceiving him. These rhythms can range from your pre-attack patterns to your cadence.

    By Blogger ChiyoDad, at Saturday, January 21, 2006 2:32:00 AM  

  • So its not just the boxing that makes him great!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, January 22, 2006 12:38:00 AM  

  • Thanks Cindy. Yes, he is such a loving husband and father.

    Kostya is more than just a boxing champion. He has a gentle human touch, with emotions of love (for his family). He is definitely a sportsman that I would aspire to become.

    I remembered that when he lost to Ricky Hatton in last year's bout, he didn't find excuse for himself or talk down his opponent.

    In contrast, he congratulated Hatton's success, offered his younger opponent any assistance or advice he needs in terms of experience. And of course, Hatton responded to him in the press conference afterwards with a lot of respect to Kostya even though Hatton won the bout.

    From his voice, I could hear Kostya's sincerity. He is so full of charisma. The best display of sportsmanship. So humble, with great integrity, respect for himself and others.

    I am just totally inspired by him. I too want to become like him!

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Sunday, January 22, 2006 11:31:00 PM  

  • Chiyodad,

    Thank you for your great advice. I definitely need to work on it. And I think the best way to do it is to practice more variety of basics over and over again, until it becomes second nature. So that when I have to fight, those cuts become second-nature to me, and I can pull those techniques out anytime my heart feels right.

    Feigned - yes, that's very useful. I will definitely need to work on it to make it look more realistic in my game.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Sunday, January 22, 2006 11:34:00 PM  

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