Sensei’s hangover (I)

Definetely no, I am not going to talk about how senseis use their secret super geiko to overcome a morning after a night plenty of beer, friendship and popular songs. No, I am talking about my feelings after a few sessions with high skill senseis. With tons of new concepts and basics revisited, my mind remains blur for a few weeks until that knowledge is assimilated (or completely forgotten).

Last month we have been pleased to hosted Kobayashi sensei, Murata Sensei and a well known kendo-ka in the UK, Honda sensei. Very different styles, indeed. In this post, I’m focusing my attention in Kobashi’s teaching, leaving for a next one Honda’s visit.

Kobayashi sensei (nanadan kyoshi, Assistant Professor Sport Science, Jintendo University) and Murata sensei (rokudan renshi, Italy) visited us thanks to our sempai, Andrea Fontanot and his guys from Edinburgh University Kendo Club. Kobayashi sensei is a mature man, versed both kendo and koryu, who with you can feel the old tradition of Kendo. He worked in the very basics and enlighted us with some very useful concept about kamae, grip or eye contact.

  • Kamae: straight, looking forward, your head, shoulders, even your toes. Showing confidence, discipline, authority, you show your kendo even before than adopt chudan.
  • Eye contact: Looking at the eyes of your opponent from beginning until the end. When you are moving forward, your eyes show your spirit moving forward, when you are moving backwards, your spirit is still moving forwards. Your eyes reflect your spirit.
  • Grip: always in the same place. Do not release your grip when you raise your arms to deliver a cut, no “off/on” in your gripping. Always on, and when doing tenuchi “more on”. Loosing your grip when raising your arms provokes you need an extra effort, time and movement when you try to cut, loosing speed and, over all, power. It makes your cuts more defined, more real.

He taught us, of course, more things, included who old koryo forms are related to modern kata and Kihon ho. However, my focus is just in the mentioned points. As you can imagine, it is hard, very hard when your very basics are taught again.

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One Comment on “Sensei’s hangover (I)”


  1. […] but at least is something. At the moment, I’m focused to keep my grip in the same position, as Kobayashi sensei told us. It is interesting the shape of the movement, stiffer, I guess, but more effective if you are […]


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