Top 10 Kendo articles of 2023


No.10 Overcoming the use of strength (Ijima Akira)

Everyone probably has been told to relax their upper body and put strength into their lower body, but just thinking about this does not mean that we can relax our upper body. As we progress from large to small strikes, we slowly learn how to relax as we progress. Ijima Sensei stresses that it is important to balance the amount of power you use. He explains how to train in order to learn how to relax.

No.9 Find the three opportunities to strike (Saito Yuichi)

Recently, passing the eighth-dan examination has become extremely difficult, but Saito Yuichi successfully passed the exam this spring by overcoming this high hurdle. Saito stated that changing his approach in applying Seme was the key to his success. By thinking more logically and strategically instead of relying solely on intuition, he was able to identify openings in his opponent’s defenses. What is Saito’s approach to creating opportunities through Seme?

No.8 The most powerful home training you can do on your own

In preparation for the upcoming day of resuming training, here are some tips for a workout you can do at home. Professor Takahashi is a leading sports biomechanics expert and long-time All-Japan strength training coach. We asked the professor for a menu that can be started right away and is easy to follow. Let’s try to keep your body mobile with continued training that can be done easily in a confined space and will help prevent injuries when you resume Keiko, making it easier for you to get back to Kendo. 

No.7 Tame and follow-through (Suzuki Tsuyoshi)

Suzuki Tsuyoshi has won the All Japan Kendo Championship title and currently mentors the next generation of practitioners in the Chiba Prefecture Police. He provided a clear explanation of the highly intricate technique known as Tame (roughly: build up). He stated, “To manifest Tame, one must enter into Aiki (a synchronous state with the opponent), and it is within this state of harmony that Tame creates opportunities for successful strikes.” In this article, Suzuki, an accomplished instructor, elaborates on the concept of Tame and the subsequent strikes which are followed through with (known as Uchikiri*).

*Uchikiri refers to the noun; follow-through. Uchikiru is the verb; to follow through

No.6 Results of the European Kendo Championships

No.5 Training camp for Candidates of the Women’s Japanese National Team (September 2023)

Following the men’s representative training camp held earlier this year, the second strengthening training seminar for the women’s team this year took place at the Japan Budokan Training Center in Katsuura, Chiba Prefecture. A battle for the representative spots ensued, featuring a mix of veterans, mid-level, and young competitors. Who will ultimately secure the ten spots to fight for Japan?

No.4 Thoroughly Improve your Shikake-waza (Nabeyama Takahiro)

The name Nabeyama Takahiro, the 8th Dan leader of the University of Tsukuba, is synonymous with a dynamic Men strike. He uses his left foot to allow him to strike at any moment. This preparation is the basis of his Seme and allows him to freely strike or counter his opponents. 

No.3 Know what kind of footwork suits you

Kiwada Daiki, Okido Satoru, Masuda Ryo. These three individuals who have represented Japan and are key competitors for the Osaka Prefectural Police, discussed the importance of footwork and the ideal footwork that suits them best. 

No.2 Interview with EKC winner Lucas Przewlocki

The winner of the men’s individual competition was Lucas from France, who won for the second year in a row. His Men strike is impressive and beautiful. Even when he is behind on points, he seems to calmly come back. What kind of kendo career and mindset does he have? I asked him 14 questions about his Kendo life and the EKC. I hope that his words can be an inspiration and help kendo in Europe and around the world move forward.

No.1 A fierce determination to fight for Japan

From July 4th to July 7th in 2024, the 19th World Kendo Championships (WKC) will be held in Milan, Italy. As the tournament approaches, the selection process for the Japanese representative team has entered its final stage. We spoke with the delegation leader, head coach, coaches, and competitors about their aspirations for the upcoming WKC.

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