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Kendo World 8.4

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After a hiatus of far too long, we're back with Kendo World 8.4! It is now on sale in both hardcopy and ZINIO ebook versions.

The ZINIO ebook version can be purchased here.

The paper version can be bought from Amazon.

We're very sorry for the huge and unacceptable delay in publishing this issue, but life had finally caught up with all of us that are involved in Kendo World. We aim to get back on track from now on.

Thank you, as always, for your understanding and continued support of Kendo World.

The Kendo World Team


Kendo World 8.4 - Synopsis


By Alex Bennett

“Erai shitsurei shimashita. That’s Kansai dialect for, “Begging your pardon folks…” It has been quite some time since the last issue of Kendo World. The blame rests solely on my shoulders. The past 18 months or so have been characterised by life sort of getting in the way. But KW is back, and we are on the verge of taking it to new heights.”

Alex also discusses the recent iaido grading scandal and the WKC in Korea.

Uncle Kotay’s Kendo Korner

Kendo sage Uncle Kotay dishes out his inimitable brand of wisdom on the adage “katte-utsu”, or “win and then strike”.

Kendo and the Human Condition

By HoJun Yoo

This article is the winner of the “Kendo World / Shogun Kendogu Blue Label Article Competition”.

“Feeling utterly broken, I sit on the edge of my bed, surrounded by the suffocating darkness and silence. The clock reads four in the afternoon, and the winter sun should be about to set soon, but I can only guess. I haven’t been outside in over a week. Looking around the spartan room, I feel utterly detached, though the detachment is better than the usual crushing sense of self-loathing, panic, and anxiety. It is as close to relief as I can get.”

HoJun Yoo discusses how kendo is helping him with his mental well-being.

Kendo: Part 4

By Takano Sasaburo

Translated by Alex Bennett

The final section of Chapter 3 discusses kata.

“Kata forms were created by selecting the most fundamental techniques in kendo. Through studying kata, students develop good posture, hone their power of observation, fix bad technical habits, learn the correct cutting angle of the blade, become more agile and lighter in action, develop precise striking technique, understand correct distancing (maai), improve temperament, and augment a strong spirit (kiai). It is for these reasons that kata practice is very


Hagakure: Part 6

By Alex Bennett

In this installment, we are warned of the dangers of drinking too much… [Good luck paying attention to this one…]

Kitamoto 2017 Report

By Steven Hsueh and Zia Uddin

Steven Hsueh and Zia Uddin were the U.S. representatives at the 44th Foreign Kendo Leaders’ Summer Seminar in Saitama in July 2017. Here they discuss the aims and objectives of the seminar, what they learnt, and the training.

Bujutsu Jargon

By Bruce Flanaga

The words and terms nyumon, fu-rin-ka-zan, mi / shin, tameshi, oku, den, and gessha are discussed.

Kendo for Adults: Part 6

By Hatano Toshio

Translated by Alex Bennett

Hatano-sensei discusses his experiences of examinations and how to approach them.

Reidan Jichi: Part 22

By Oya Minoru

Translated by Alex Bennett

“Oji-waza techniques are executed as an extension of receiving the opponent’s shikake-waza, and include nuki-waza, suriage-waza, kaeshi-waza, uchiotoshi-waza and so on. This article will focus on nuki-waza.”

The Shugyo Mind: Part 4

By Alex Bennett

Alex discusses the importance of looking after your equipment.

“To excel in kendo simply means getting to the dojo as much as possible and training hard, right? Of course, training hard (and smart) is a prerequisite to success. But, as the strongest kenshi will tell you, attention to seemingly insignificant details - like taking good care of your equipment - is just as important.”

The State of the Japanese Kendogu Industry

By Kusanagi Hiroki

Shogun Kendogu’s Kusanagi Hiroki looks at the challenges ahead for the bogu manufacturing industry in Japan, notably the decline of craftsmen and the rise of internet vendors.

Buying your first set of kendō-gu?

By Alex Bennett

Alex gives advice on what to look for when buying your first set of bogu.

“Your choice of men will dictate the course your kendo will take. If money should be spent on anything, it’s ensuring that you have a men that fits you like a glove. An off-the-rack men might look good but it won’t do your kendo any favours at all.”

2017 UTS Kendo Seminar and Open Shield Competition

By Clement Guo

Clement Guo reports on another fantastic UTS Seminar attended by H8-dan Kamei Toru-sensei and H8-dan Furukawa Kazuo-sensei.

Dojo Files: Magyar-Japan Kendo Club

By Akos Vachter

A profile of the Magyar-Japan Kendo Club in Budapest, Hungary.

sWords of Wisdom: “Sara ni sanze yo sanjū-nen” “Do it again, another thirty years.”

By Alex Bennett

“Tsuji Gettan (1648–1727) was a famous swordsman who founded the of Mugai-ryu school of kenjutsu in 1695. Born in the village of Masugi-mura located in what is now Shiga prefecture, the young Gettan was sent to nearby Kyoto to study under Yamaguchi Bokushinsai. He was only 13 when he started learning swordsmanship from his master, but his diligence and natural ability led to him eventually receiving a licence in the Yamaguchi-ryu. He then departed on a journey to test his mettle against other swordsmen and the elements as many of his contemporaries were wont to do.”

Guidelines to the Kendo Promotional Examinations Part 2

By Jeff Marsten

Jeff Marsten looks at the purpose of gradings and ways in which the grading system could be improved.

Speed, Tension, Muscle type and Training

By James Ogle

James Ogle shows us how to better take care of our muscles through more sensible training.

“My job as a soft tissue therapist specialising in performance analysis has me dealing with athletes of all levels—from casual gym goers to international rugby teams, including the South African and Australian teams—with many different types of issue. In this article, I would like to address something that I regularly see (and experience!) in both my work and my kendo practice. Something that occurs on a regular basis in my work are injuries or further technical issues caused by changes in technique/style. 80 % of the time this is the result of an individual trying to change their technique or action while carrying it out at

the same speed/intensity that they were performing it at previously. What this tends to mean is that the wrong parts of the body are being used to develop the action. This is usually because they are tightening certain muscles in other areas of the body because they are not used to the new action, which consequently causes uneven stress to be put through the body, as well as making the movement/technique ineffective or damaging.”

A Guide to Japanese Armour

By Jo Anseeuw

Jo Anseeuw from the Association for the Research and Preservation of Japanese Helmets and Armour introduces a stunning set of armour from the Edo Period.

“The set of armour presented in this article is one that can actually be matched to documents from the Edo period and so can be verified with a high degree of certainty. It could be described as a Tetsu sabiji kikko-gane gata uchidashi go-mai-do gusoku (amour with a breastplate made of five hinged sections with a russet iron finish. The hexagonal turtle-like pattern is embossed in the do), and it stands out for several reasons.”

Passing 7th Dan: Reflections - Feelings - Meaning

By Gabriel Weitzner

Long-time Kendo World supporter, Gabriel Weitzner, gives his insights into taking and passing the 7-dan exam.

“‘If you want to get something you never had before, you have to be willing to do something you never did before.’ I realised that that ‘something’ was my ‘kendo mind’. In needed to create a powerful image of my understanding of kendo in my own mind. I had to believe…”

Refereed Article: An Exploration of How to Correct the Bad Habit Among Kendo Practitioners of ‘Chin-raising’ when Striking

By Takenaka Kentaro and Shimokawa Mika (National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya)

“This research investigates how to correct the habit of chin-raising when executing men strikes. Raising the chin can be dangerous when receiving the opponent’s

tsuki-waza (thrust to the throat) and can negatively impact stability and striking power. Improvement here will conceivably lead to both increased safety and striking ability.

We refined a special method to mitigate the problem and ascertained its effectiveness in kendoka who habitually raise their chins when striking. Through blocking the field of vision below the monomi on the mengane we were able to impede the tendency to rely on lower visual information when striking. The results of our experiments proved this to be an

effective method for remedying “chin-raising”.”

Shinai Sagas: I See You

By Charlie Kondek

The latest installment of Charlie Kondeks kendo-based fiction.

“In all the years I’ve been involved in kendo, among the dozens of people whose experiences I have come to know well, I cannot think of anyone that had a plan for their kendo when they began. Certainly I have known people, primarily Japanese, who pledged at the outset a lifelong commitment to the art. And surely there must be some people out there who visualised themselves becoming a champion or an accomplished master from the beginning, though I don’t know anyone like that personally. What is more common, in my experience, is that we are drawn to kendo, to its aesthetics and traditions, its rigour and action, without any realistic expectation of what kendo will do for us. We discover afterward and over long periods of time the kind of kendoka we are or can be.”

Inishie wo Kangaeru - A Look at Some of the Old Teachings in Kendo

By Alex Bennett

In this installment, Alex Bennett looks at some of the nuggets contained within the pages of Miyamoto Musashi’s Gorin-no-sho.

“Gorin-no-sho (1645) is a veritable treasure trove of wisdom for kenshi. Although some of his principles seem abstract or irrelevant in the context of the modern sport of kendo, peeling back the layers of the text will reveal timeless and universal truths that extend far beyond the dominion of swordsmanship. In fact, Gorin-no-sho can surely be considered a ground-breaking primer into what we know now as sports psychology.”

H8-dan Sumi Masatake-sensei’s Visit to Cordoba, Argentina

By Gabriel Weitzner

Gabriel Weitzner reports on Sumi-sensei’s recent visit to Argentina.

REVIEW: The Benefits of lunge training on striking ability

By Michael Ishimatsu-Prime

“I recently came across a study that investigated the effect of lunge training on the striking ability of kendo players. Titled “Effects of lunge training on the striking ability of kendo players”, it was authored by Tsubaki Takeshi (Kobe Shinawa Women’s University), and Maesaka Shigeki, Shimokawa Mika, and Maeda Akira (National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya).

The researchers employed collegiate kendo athletes to perform lunge training exercises three times a week for four weeks. After this training period, they found that the pull-speed of the left leg during striking (hikitsuke), the lunging distance of the right foot, maximal ground reaction force, maximal leg extension power, and the greatest leg split distance all increased significantly even over this short period of time. Their study demonstrated that lunge training was effective in increasing the striking ability (i.e. increasing the pull-speed of the left leg after a strike) of kendo players.”

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