I’m going to try my hand at a blog-like post here, so please bear with me. I’ll try and post something on a semi-regular basis – so please check back!
Okay, I thought I would start with something we keep talking about, but often forget in the heat of battle … the basics. The basics of footwork, posture, how to hold the shinai, etc. These are the foundations of our kendo, and are things we learn from the moment we step into the dojo for the first time. Yes, we learn reji, waza, kiai, etc., but the basics are there throughout. Kimura Sensei noted this during a recent practice, and that the basics of our footwork is what is holding us back (among oh so many other things).
So how to fix?
Well, the only way we can fix our basics is by doing the basics, and not allowing ourselves to rush through something just because we want to try something fancy. And footwork is something that we can actually do outside the dojo at home. What we can do is even that basic “compass” drill we do – front, back, left right etc. And by keeping our posture upright and footwork correct, we can build that muscle memory. That way, when we get to practice, we can have that muscle memory remind us of how that motion should feel, and move from there.
The basics are our foundation. We build our kendo from there. There is nothing magical about it … we fight like we practice, and the more we practice proper basics, the better we can make the rest of our kendo. Quality over quantity (and a quantity of quality) lets us improve!
So let’s try and remember our basics.