Seme, seme, seme…MEN!!!!

This is my third attempt to write a post about seme and I’ve just realized of one thing: how can I dare to write about something which I have not idea at all?

Acording to my sensei, the simplest definition of seme (presure) is to provoke someone to do something. Nothing else. And he does it, he moves his kensen one inch or moves his body slightly, and I rise my arms instictivily, opening my do, or my kote, or I lost the center pointing my shinai somewhere else, or my kamae. When I try it, there is not answer from my counterpart at the moment, of course. Why??? I move my shinai and nothing, showing my loudest and most enthusiastic kiai, nothing, move my body forward, result: nothing. Am I not scary enough? Surely not. Is it, perhaphs, a matter of confidence, attitude, good kamae, good waza and, my biggeste weakness, calm and cold blood?.

Seme is one of those misteries I’d like to discover. Or, at least, scratch its surface. Or scratch the surface of the surface of the surface. I think a good starter is calm me down and think twice before going bersek looking for any hit. In fact, good seme seems that work; one of these days I’ll post a video from my very first shiai: the only moment I stayed calm and I did “something like seme”, it was the moment I got my first point ever.

By the way, I’m moving home, my flat is a mess plenty of boxes. This, plus catching up a lot of things means 10 days with no kendo. NO WAY!

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4 Comments on “Seme, seme, seme…MEN!!!!”

  1. Kristian Says:

    Good blog Marco 🙂
    I only really started to understand and use Seme after 3years of Kendo. I’m now not a place where I can overcome my opponents all the time but I do make them think before rushing in.
    Seme will come don;t worry about that but before it does make sure you can be calm, keep your feet where they need to be to deliver what it is you want to do. Also consider keeping correct Kamae and by that I mean, keep it Chusin (center) and relaxed but focused.
    As Steve says “Kendo is easy, we make it look hard!” Take from that what you will.
    See you soon.

  2. George Says:

    3 years!!!! Ive just started to scratch the surface after 14….

  3. timothyscott Says:

    Hi Marco

    Great blog… very interested to read it – and to notice that there is a link to my own! i am a little bit like Kristian was three years ago… I am still getting my head around the idea of seme. I had a glimpse of it last week at training when I seemed to relax into it. I don’t know how else to describe it. I simply waited, made sure that I was exerting a presence (for want of a better term) and then letting my opponent force his own error. Relaxed but focused… a good way of describing it.

    Cheers from down under!


  4. timothyscott Says:

    Oh… and I meant to add into my comment – thanks for visiting my kendo blog… (too quick with the submit button!).


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