Saturday, January 12, 2013


My tasks for jigeiko:
Take initiative, attack, don't wait for an opening, make it.

Not a kakarigeiko, but attack, attack, attack...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just go straight

I was reading a nice jodan compilation ( and I found this at the end:

"Advice from a japanese 5.dan jodan sensei
"Yes, there are different types of one-hand men. As far as I know, more than 5. On training of men, we have to pay much attention to movements of left hand. If your left hand goes just forward, so your men is big men, on the contrary, if your hand goes down and up, your men is small men. If your hand goes like punch of boxing, it's a professional men.
Sure, there is one-hand kote men, and it must be a good exercise for your tenouchi. But actually it is not available in tournaments.
Concerning to one-hand kote, also there are many many types in modern kendo. First of all, straight kote, secondly "S" kote, thirdly "C" kote, fourthly "90 degree" kote. They are just typical ones. In any case when you practice one-hand kote, don't go left, just go straight. If you go left, you can see your partner's kote very easily. However I believe, that your purpose in Kendo is not victory, but self development. For that purpose, strong spirit "ki" or "kiai" are necessary. If you go foward with strong spirit, automatically your partner's kote will be opened, and you can strike. I want to say again, that ourr purpose is not getting effective ippon, but getting stronger and quiet spirit and mind in order to be better man. Just go straight." S. T-K."

I think it applies to learning chudan too. I tend to try to out move the opponent in jigeiko, but what I really should do is go straight through him/her. Just go straight. Simple as that.

My Budo plans for 2013

Learn Ranai! I did it a few times, but it still does not flow the way I would expect it.
Learn the basics, the movements of Omote and tanjo forms confidently to be able to start learning Chudan in the next Utrecht koryu seminar.
I have a lot to work on my seitei too and I want to keep advancing in koryu as  well.
I hope I can make it to more trainings at other dojos.

Work, get money, and get some good reading material :)

  • Jodo (Kyoten)
  • Jodo Kyohan
  • Ikkaku Ryu Jutte & Ittatsu Ryu Hojo by Tsunemori Kaminoda
  • Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu & Uchida Ryu Tanjojutsu by Tsunemori Kaminoda

1st dan grading in the summer
Practicing on my own on strengthening the left side to pick up jodan in the not so distant future. I hope the different kamae could be good to my injuries.

Suburi, suburi, suburi...

Keep it simple
Practice footwork – Heels up, perfectly upright but with the feeling of leaning half a degree forward. Stay relaxed.
Commit – When attacking attack with sutemi. Do not think about maneuvering. Once started to cut there should be no way of stopping it. Commit to cut.

Translating for

Buy books:

  • Kendo: A Comprehensive Guide to Japanese Swordsmanship
  • Kendo - Approaches For All Levels

  • Kendo Kata: Essence and Application

Pick it up again and learn more Japanese. It is a must.

Sadly that will be on hold I believe.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ishido cup - my second 杖道 taikai

Back to Utrecht to have some fun :)

I had the Saturday off, which was great, I had time to do some sightseeing. Utrecht is beautiful! I could live there for some time.

Sunday was about jodo.
We did not have a lot of participants which resulted in having the shodan and nidan taikai together. The advantage of this was a longer seminar in the morning :)
Mansfield sensei was in charge of the day. We had a great seminar with him.
He emphasized the importance of the kihons and we did repeat a some of them several times.
After a kihon, we were quite curious if we will get a shake of a head with a smile or he will just laugh at what we did :) And after each of this he explained us a lot of important points, a few of them weren't even new, but sinked more in this time, or maybe I just heard/understood them better now.
He was very honest and direct through the whole day. Didn't spare anybody, we have been laughed at a few times. I really enjoyed this. His attitude and way of teaching. Not the ever nice European style with pats on our head (and ego), but honest, direct, thorough and very much down to earth.

We heard again that makiotoshi is one of the easiest kihons, but still none of us could make it right. :)

The main message for me was:
Jodo is simple. Plain simple. Do not overcomplicate it for yourself.
We have to be loose, without power and too much strength
Big movement are essential for having seme, meaning and good jodo
Timing is the most important thing. You do not have to be fast, just move at the right time.
When practicing alone, we have to have the imaginary opponent just like in iai. And just like in iai, without that, it's meaningless and soulless.

The taikai was fun too. My second one so far. At the end I will grow to like it :)
I won one and lost two with 2/1 flags if I remember well. It was a good opportunity to try to implement what we learned in the seminar. I tried to make it big, loose, not hasty and better timed. Maybe taikai is not the best place to apply new knowledge, but anyway, why not :)  I enjoyed it :)
The result was that I flustered, I lost my jo a few times, and big wasn't that big because of the excitement. :)

I learned a lot, understood a lot of things from I already forgot a few (yes, I did take notes) but it builds in to my body. It learns better than I ever did :)

It was good to practice with experienced jodokas again. It was sharp again.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

On the way

I remember arriving in Italy some 4 years ago. I must have looked like a Christmas tree, with a big green suitcase on wheels, a 35 liter backpack which was quasi only containing my keikogi, a laptop bag, clarinet and a black wooden weapons bag containing a bamboo jo, a bokken and a tanto.

Quite unusual for an exchange student, I asked Beatrice Testini sensei, the dojocho of Katsura dojo in Padua if I could join while I am studying in Italy.

I went home the next summer after a wonderful year full of aikido. In my home town, Budapest, I found the ShinBuKan dojo.

This autumn I left again, but safe in the knowledge I have a dojo to return to. Also this time I took a 'part' of my dojo with me. So again looking like a Christmas tree, we arrived in Belgium with 2 suitcases, 2 backpacks, 2 clarinets, 2 wooden weapon bags and my iaito, Cseresznyemorc (literally, Dour Cherry, but that is a story for later).

We tried to convince the people in our dojo to write a practice blog, but they insisted it is us who should record practicing budo this way.

The main blog is in Hungarian and you can reach it here:, but we will try our best to keep up writing in English, too.