Tomoi had been active as a Tokuren member for many years, but when he left the world of competition to become an instructor, he was limited in practicing Kendo against others due to COVID-19.
Under such circumstances, he reexamined his own Kendo and renewed his desire to pursue good and beautiful Kendo.
Translation: Jouke van der Woude
Tomoi Koichiro, Kyoshi 7th Dan
I was a Tokuren member for the Osaka Prefectural Police Department for over 10 years, but retired 5 years ago and am now an instructor. Compared to my days in the Tokuren, when I had to work hard to achieve good results in Shiai every few months, I now have more time to reflect on my own Kendo.
I realized some of my tendencies in Kendo anew. Although I may think I am doing it correctly, I drift away from the basics before I know it.
A Sensei who performs wonderful Kendo that anyone would admire may appear inexplicably beautiful. Such Kendo is fantastic to see, and I feel like I should live up to it every day.
However, the Osaka Prefectural Police Department is currently limiting their practice against others as a measure against COVID-19. Therefore, I am now mainly practicing alone.
The main program consists of stretching, physical training, and suburi in between working shifts. Fortunately, the police force is well-equipped with training facilities, as it is necessary to strengthen the body and mind in the course of duty, so I try to use them as I go.
I spend more time looking in the mirror, and I try to check my posture, eye contact, and the curvature of my left leg to see if there are any imbalances.
For example, a proper posture allows for correct strikes and moves without strain or waste. I am now learning by trial and error that I need to relearn such important elements one by one. Sometimes I spend a long time in front of a mirror, but I never seem to get an answer, and I am painfully aware that I still have a long way to go in my Kendo training.
The other day, I had a talk with Furukawa Kosuke Sensei (Osaka Prefectural Police Academy), who gave me some advice on Kamae and other matters. I have been reflecting on the details of my posture and Kiai.
By thinking about my own Kendo, I make new discoveries and find new challenges in Keiko.
I would like to take the COVID-19 situation as a positive thing and study for good and beautiful Kendo through training by myself. It has been five years since I left the Tokuren, and I feel that my muscular strength has been deteriorating, but I feel that I have recently gained a little strength through practicing alone in my spare time. I want to develop as much as possible and continue my studies.
Swing big and fast. Aim for a sharp Ippon.
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