Kendo lessons of Kobayashi Hideo

Follow through at lightning speed (Kobayashi Hideo), Part 1


In Kendo, you win by applying Seme, disrupting and following through with your strike. Hesitation and slowness will cause you to miss a satisfactory Ippon. Kobayashi Hideo, Chief Instructor of Kendo at the University of Tokyo, will teach you secrets of Kendo that you will never find in any instruction book.

Kobayashi Hideo, 8th Dan Hanshi

Born in Kumamoto Prefecture in 1942. He started Kendo when he entered Chinsei High School. After graduating from high school, he joined the Kanagawa Prefectural Police in 1960. Under the tutelage of Kikuchi Den and Nakamura Taro Sensei, he participated in the All Japan Kendo Championship and the National Athletic Meet. After serving as Chief Instructor of the Kanagawa Prefectural Police, he retired in 2002. He was the coach of the Japanese men’s team at the 12th World Kendo Championship. He is currently the President of the Kanagawa Kendo Federation, an Honorary Shihan of the Kanagawa Prefectural Police and the Chief Instructor of Kendo at the University of Tokyo.

I am often asked the question “What is the essence of Kendo?”

The theme of this article, “Uchikiri (following through with a strike)” probably has something to do with it. I am going to talk about what I think is important regarding this theme but there is one thing I would like you to keep in mind, dear readers. That is, your Kendo will never get better by cramming knowledge into your head alone. Sorry to put this bluntly, but it won’t even come close. Once you have read and understood, you must put it into practice. And not just once or twice, but many times until it is mastered. By doing so, the words will gradually sink in and become your own.

I am sorry to break it to you straightforwardly, but that is what Kendo is like. Now instead, there are some “famous phrases” that have been left behind by our ancestors in Kendo. These are not lengthy explanations, so they are practical in many situations. For example, “If you think you are in danger, step forward”. It may sound obvious, but by doing so, you will not fall back unnecessarily, and you will be able to thwart your opponent’s techniques. These words can come to mind quickly in Keiko, so you can put them into practice immediately. In this talk, I would like to introduce some of these famous phrases.

Following through

First of all, I would like to talk about what is necessary for Uchikiri and go from there.

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