a MMB! Kendo Blog: To Lead by Example

MMB! Kendo Blog

Sunday, November 05, 2006

忍耐 + 掌握人生
To Lead by Example

I only trained 2 nights this week, which is less than my usual training frequency. However, I felt satisfied and good with the effort I put into my keiko. Best of all, I felt good stepping out of the dojo, and into my normal day life.

Thursday - UNSW
About 20 people were at UNSW training on Thursday night.

After warm-up, we men-tsuke and had several rounds of kirikaeshi.

Next, Fukuda Sensei picked Kirby, Gideon, Mike, Jackson, Yoshiki and me out to be the motodachi for the rounds of kakari-geiko to follow. This week, Fukuda Sensei wanted to experience the integral part of what all Japanese students do day-in day-out in their training. For those that have trained in a Japanese University, such as Ka-bi in International Budo University, or Mike and me in Nittaidai, kakari-geiko is a must in all training sessions.

In his final sentence, Fukuda Sensei said he gave permission for the motodachi to do ashi-harai (or foot-sweep) to the kakari. You should see the contrasting expressions on the kakari side and the motodachi side.

For Jackson, he was beaming with smile. Because there were two girls queuing up for him. Well, you can guess the rest. Fortunately, Fukuda Sensei noticed that, and gave Jackson a little speech so he wouldn't do inappropriate things. Mmmm....

So with 6 motodachi on the floor and 2 kakari queuing up for each motodachi, we had a continuous rotation of kakari-geiko. After a kakari finished a round of kakari-geiko, s/he would move to the back of the next queue, ready to go again for another set with the next motodachi.

Depending on the level of the kakari, the motodachi would either passively holding the kensen or going full-out to execute ai-kakari-geiko.

Although the bouts were only short - about 10 secs each, there were about 8 - 10 rounds of kakari-geiko in each of the 2 go. So that gave both the kakari and motodachi very thorough cardio workout.

During short break between for the kakari to catch their breath, the 6 motodachi would execute 3 sets of ai-kakari-geiko. It was great to release all the energy in one go. All there was in mind was to just go full-in, with all the determination in the world, to cut and cut and cut. I was puffing when it finished, but with the most satisfying feeling.

In the last 40mins, we had free jigeiko. I had my jigeiko with Jackson, Fukuda Sensei, Yoshiki, Kirby and Mike. It was great to be able to jigeiko one good player after the other. It made me realise that everyone around me was training hard, and I must train hard too in order to improve at the same or faster rate as those dedicated.

Comments from Fukuda Sensei
  • No cheap-shot hiki-waza. Use seme or waza from tsubazerai - Fukuda Sensei personally regards sneaky hiki-waza as student level kendo. Only student level would be awarded ippon for sneaky hiki-waza. The focus should be on using seme or waza to create opening to score. In tsubazerai, try using waza such as harai-hiki-kote, or seme technique such as when one side steps backward, use seme to create opening opportunity.
Saturday - Willoughby
In last Saturday's club meeting, the committee decided that the club should have a junior Dan grade to lead warm-up and suburi, while attending Sensei would correct and give advices and feedbacks to the class. So I volunteered to take the warm-up and suburi for this Saturday to kick-start this initiative.

I led a class of 30 to do stretching and suburi. I thought my job for leading the class was done until Payne Sensei indicated that he would let the junior Dan grade to take the class. So I unexpected had to lead the class into the waza session.

It was good for my kendo development as 30 pairs of eyes, including sensei and sempai, were scrutinizing my every move as I demonstrate before each exercise. Standing right in front of the class to lead means that I have to do my best, show my best kendo and spirit, so to create the right kind of training atmosphere for everyone to train at their best.

The kind of exercises that I decided to practice today were all very familiar to everyone. What I wanted was the correctness and intensity of each cut. We practiced the following for a few rounds - kirikaeshi, kihon-men, seme-men, kihon-kote, seme-kote (going into tsubazerai), kote-men, and uchikomi-geiko. And Payne Sensei and Itakura Sensei would give comments and advices to the class.

In the last 30 minutes, the class had free jigeiko.

It was a very rewarding experience to lead the class. On one hand, it was nice to hear that my friends were happy to have a good training that day. On the other hand, it helped my kendo improve too. Standing in front of the class made me concentrate on making each cut perfect, which in turn, helped bringing the best spirit and kendo out of me.


  • Good on you mattie to be volunteer instructor! Being a popular instructor/senpai is quite rewarding ha ~0_0~ 最高だ.

    Most of all, build up your confidence to show your waza to other members, don't feel bad if you make mistake or incorrect kamae構. Sensei will correct you + you have extra attention from all of us.

    Hope you will increase/uplift your fighting spirit 戦気 (せんき) for WKC.勝ちに乗る, 一気に攻める.

    By Blogger Bishojo美少女, at Tuesday, November 07, 2006 2:02:00 PM  

  • Hi Vivian,

    Leading is harder than it looks isn't it?... as Weitzner sensei always point, many can be great fighters and Kendoka, but just a handfull could make a good sensei.

    Passing knowledge is a great responsibility, and it is also very rewarding.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, November 07, 2006 2:55:00 PM  

  • Good for you!

    keepit up :-)

    By Blogger [Mat], at Thursday, November 09, 2006 3:16:00 AM  

  • To be honest, I didn't find it hard to lead last Saturday. Maybe it is the fact that I was so excited and pumped up for my 1st ever time to lead the Saturday big class that my endorphin in the system ran high, and I couldn't feel anything but pumped, confident and focused.

    The class was also very responsive which made my task nice and enjoyable.

    I look forward to the next time leading again.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Friday, November 10, 2006 9:38:00 AM  

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