Category カテゴリ Replies Created
I did react the same when I saw the small yet present portion of places and countries where they can still carry on their keiko; it seems so surreal :’)
I practised myself at home even though my Iaido/Kendo school is giving Zoom lessons. I stopped following them infortunately after almost smashing my computer and window (too risky and frustrating!). I was also getting tired of using my computer all day long too, I need to disconnect from it sometimes.
Ah, looking forward to the end of this outbreak! Meanwhile we have to stay strong ✊
Thank you for your reply Kazuyo Matsuda!
Indeed, translation can be tricky, sometimes it is hard to find the perfect word that match exactly the original one that was used. Glad to also hear that Sumi sensei did not used that word in that intent: thank you for your clarification, your thoughtfulness and for your commitment! Keep up with your good work 🙂
Hi again Michelle,
Thank you for your reply! This is very great that you managed to persist and fight for including more women practitioners in your Uni Club. Your determination paid off! It reminds me how one my fellow female sempai convinced me of practicing Kendo on top of Iaido. (Hi to you Laura if you are there!). Indeed, I was not particularly attracted by Kendo (mostly because of the fact that I was apprehensive to wear a fenced helmet – I thought that was kind of stuffy and oppressive) but she was so passionate about it, so determined in her practice that she made me tried it. Since then, I am practicing Kendo and actually realized that wearing the fenced helmet is not as bad as I thought. It is even at some degree interesting to see how the wee lack of hearing and sighting made you more aware of the “present”: you really need to concentrate more and be aware of your movements, of your opponent in front of you…and the comrades who are just nearby practicing like you. What is bad however, is receiving any men on top your head because most of your comrades are taller than you; they hit the men on the middle of your head instead of the front of the head; after ninth time in a row that kinda hurt a lot even with the helmet! :’)
Anyway, I am digressing here, I will never thank her enough for her enthusiasm and passion, I am realizing how important it is to have people pushing you and motivate you to start up and I will strive to be the same for other people too!
Regarding the interview of Sumi Sensei and the quote you are referring too, I must say that I express some reserves on the term “gracefully”: it leaves me puzzled.
I know from experience (here I am talking about Tai Chi and Kung Fu practice) that this term is generally used by men for women because they think women are only interesting and seeking an aesthetic aspect in their practice. For some men think that women are only just interesting in being graceful since you know; women are meant to be beautiful, graceful and gentle and soft and bla bla bla! Sarcasm aside, being graceful in itself is not something bad, and women (like men!) are allowed to just look for gracefulness in their martials arts practice; even though I do believe the purpose of martial arts lies elsewhere but everybody practice for their own reason.
This word starts to be pejorative when it is used to reduce women to just one aspect of their practice. That is why this term irks me a bit because when you are fighting, in my opinion, you are, first of all, looking for effectiveness, rapidity and powerful strikes. I am not really looking for hitting ‘gracefully’, I am just looking to hit correctly my opponent.
It will be interesting (in a future interview in the lady kendo mag for instance?) to see what exactly Sumi sensei meant by using that word.
Meanwhile looking forward to read the 1st mag!:)
I am Sonia, from France, living currently in the south region called Occitanie…and I did live for some years in Scotland not far from Glasgow!@Michelle Lim 😉
Hello to everyone from France!
I hesitated to answer A (the blue one) or B (the red one) when I finally decided to vote for B. For me, both of answers are correct but I had to make a choice, hadn’t I?:’)
Here is my point of view on that matter.
As a practitioner of martials arts (Wudang Wushu and Iaido/Kendo) I think what is important is that we have to learn both from male and female teachers whenever it is possible. As far as I am concern, martial technics are almost the same; a kick is a kick, a punch is punch, a saber cut is a saber cut wherever you are a male or a female practitioner. As long as you have a good teacher in front of you, regardless of its gender, you will learn good technics. That is why I do think it is normal and should be normal to be taught by male and female teachers: there is no huge difference in the practice. I said not ‘huge’ but yes indeed, difference there is still. Female practitioners do have by their morphology differences with their male compeers: hips larger which may influence the positions of some stances, musculature less proficient (nonetheless still there!) which do influence the strength of a strike (but not the power since power does not only reside in strength) and that is where it is so beneficial to have female teachers to teach us how to best fight with that type of morphology we have. Some male practitioners do have some knowledge about female morphology, yet, the best will be to gain that experience from a female martial arts master. On top of that, having a female teacher is deeply important as the role model she represents for all female martials arts practitioners (and especially the youngest ones). Since some decades, the representation of female masters have increased, notably on (and thanks to) social media, books and films, but we still do not find the same ratio of male and female martials arts practitioners and of male and female martial arts masters. The reasons why there is not higher level female practitioners who are taking the path of teaching can be various:
- Is it because there is more pressure from society (mainly patriarchal) to establish themselves as females teachers? As if they are not legit enough to be teachers since many people still think it is not normal or natural (sic!) for a woman to practice martials arts and the art of fighting. – Which I disapprove completely, women can be as good as men in fighting as long as they are trained to be and do have access to that education –
- Or maybe female masters are indeed present out there but they do not get the recognition and representation as their male counterparts and hence we do not know of them?
It is a very inspiring subject to talk about and I am glad that Fine Ladies Worldwide decided to shed indeed more lights on female teachers and practitioners in Kendo. Can’t wait to put my hand on the 1st magazine!