Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences is the first physical education university of Kansai region (south-central Japan). In the past, this famous school has produced equally famous kendo practitioners such as Ishida Toshiya, the Yoji brothers, Sato Hiromitsu and Seike Koichi among others. In 2016, the university won the All Japan Student Championship for the for the 3rd time with the last time being 13 years ago. What is their practice method that gave the foundational strength for victory?
Straighten out two points to achieve your goals as a student in 4 years
Director Kanzaki cites two guidance points:
“Building up true strength in a period of 4 years and planning the next year when the time for subsitution comes (which must be done by third graders including the new captain).”
Building up true strength means create a foundation to meet the criteria for yuko-datotsu (valid strikes). The necessary elements such as footwork, tenouchi, kamae, physical strength, muscle strength, etc. are attained little by little during daily keiko. Many students will aim to become teachers at work or in their local community in the future. To achieve this, it is important to lay a foundation.
Furthermore, regarding to the making of a one-year plan, Director Kanzaki used the phrase “making them feel responsible”.
“At the end of the autumn competition, in the winter, the executive position will be handed over from the 4th graders to the 3rd graders.
At that time, the third graders will have a detailed meeting and think about what they can do to achieve the goal of becoming the best in Japan. For example, a call to prevent the dormitory life from becoming lazy and a thorough cleaning.
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