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I’m glad that we’ve asked this question, it is good to hear from other kendoka about whether they’ve witnessed or experienced discrimination. It is a little unfortunate to see the alrge amount of discrimination and it is good to see that there are slow improvements for the future.
Oh my good gosh, I am a little envious of countries where the COVID-19 is well controlled and is not an issue. I’ve been practicing on my own and with others over zoom but it’s not the same unfortunately. The lag time on the video calls can be a little frustrating especially when it is my turn to teach.
Thanks for the clarifications all. That was quite useful for myself. I’ve not thought of the word ‘graceful’ having these lines of thought before but I can see what is being meant. Like a smooth style of kendo as opposed to rigid stiff kendo.25 February 2021 at 12:43 am in reply to: Tips for practicing with others of different physiques? #2602
I have encountered something similar too. I find that it my level of fitness has really changed from when I was in my 20s and my 30s which has also affected my kendo. What I’ve done to compensate is to try and find marginal gains wherever possible. Such as doing weightlifting, plyometric, sprints etc.
I’m still trying to learn about the timing and seme. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
What I find really useful was to keep practicing the basics over and over again so that I do not need to think as much about it during a jigeiko or taikai.
Thanks for your input. I think you’re right, perhaps there should have been an option with an answer on whether having both male and female teachers to your Kendo would help.
I’ve learnt from a variety of people, male, female, mature (older), young, short and tall. What I noticed is that each sensei or senpai have different ways of approaching Kendo and it helps to see what they do to take into my practice so that I can become better. For example, in my club, I’m one of the shorter people and I am used to fighting tall people so I need to adjust my Kendo when I fight people shorter than me.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen this congratulatory post (on the launching of the first female Kendo magazine from Sumi sensei available here), Sumi sensei says
“Rather than trying to practise like young men using physical strength, I would like to see women kendoka practising kendo more flexibly and gracefully, based on the mind and spirit’s interaction.”
Practicing kendo more flexibly and gracefully is something that currently eludes me so it is something to work on and it is a little harder if I don’t have a female teacher to learn from. That said, it would definitely be helpful to learn from both male and female teachers so that I can learn how best to use my assets as I’m not able to overpower a man as easily as another man.
With regards to your point about why there is not higher level female practitioners, it could be a range of reasons through societal, the intensity of the hits (some club members are rougher and hit harder), to the lack of female representation in a club (role models as you mentioned) etc. For example at a Uni Kendo club that I started in, there was only two female senpai practitioners who eventually quit. Whilst myself and another female friend of mine persisted and we’ve slowly changed the culture of the Uni Kendo club from being a macho ‘boys club’ to a more inclusive one which resulted in more females participating and continuing Kendo in the club.
I do notice that there is a big void in the Kendo media about female kendo practitioners so I’m glad that the Fine Ladies Kendo Worldwide can help bring them into the spotlight.
Ah, what a coincidence! Welcome to the forum Sonia 😊
- This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Michelle Lim.
I feel like since I started Kendo, it would have been beneficial to learn from female teachers. I’ve mainly been taught by male teachers and their style of Kendo is extremely different from female teachers.