All Japan Kendo Championship INTERVIEW

Striking Ippon like Murakami Tetsuhiko



Translation = Pepijn Boomgaard

Murakami Tetsuhiko

Born in 1992 in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture. Started practicing Kendo at Matsuyama Kendo Kai. Went to Nitta High School and Matsuyama University. After graduation, he joined the Ehime Prefectural Police. His achievements include reaching the final 8 in the All Japan Kendo Championship, winning the Kokutai, participating in the All Japan Interprefecture Championship, and participating in the All Japan Police Team Championship 4 times. Kendo 5th Dan.

Born in Matsuyama in 1992, Murakami is the second of four siblings and started kendo at the age of four. He followed in the footsteps of his father Tomoji and his older brother Yasuhiko (Ehime Prefectural Police).

Striking Ippon like Murakami Tetsuhiko

“My father always told me to work hard. He was always very strict about my attitude towards training and putting in effort. I did Suburi at home every morning, but I couldn’t do it very well, so sometimes I pretended to be asleep when my brother woke up.”

In addition to doing Keiko three times a week, he did Suburi in the morning and the evening. On days when there was practice, he would do Suburi in the morning and before practice. He practiced by himself every day.

“My brother’s ability to keep going was amazing. I practiced as if I was following him,”

At first, Murakami and his older and younger brother would do Suburi at home. As their bodies grew, they moved to the nearby park. They continued to do so every day until they graduated from junior high school. Their Suriashi created six deep grooves in the earth, which their neighbors named “Murakami Road”. 

“My brother would do Men Suburi while I would practice striking Men on an imaginary opponent without Shinai.”

This became the foundation of the solo practice he still does today. We asked him what he focuses on during practice.

“First of all, I think that it is important to strike with a single step. Therefore, when I’m doing Uchikomi or Suburi, I’m careful not to strike using two steps (i.e. using the momentum gained when taking two steps) and applying Seme to my opponent.”

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