Fight like a girl! – a seminar to lead the way On the 24th of April, our internationally oriented 2022 Seminar for Women in Kendo & Iaido was held, organised by Sherita Lalji (Shin Nakada).
In my piece “Combined motivations in kendo and iaido” (Zanshin, 2020-3), I wrote that when I searched for my “why” in kendo, I found that I wish to learn (about) kendo for three reasons. One: I desire to gain a better understanding of Japanese sword culture and history. Two: I aim to become better at kendo and enjoy this practise. Three: I want to understand and remember kendo jargon and related Japanese terms in order to pass the theoretical part of my first Dan exam. In this blog post, I shall discuss some books that help me to grow as a kendoka.
In the last issue of Zanshin (2020-2), I wrote about the challenges of continuing your dō in these times of Corona. After its publication, many people reached out to me, mostly with questions on how to keep motivated enough for all these self-directed activities. Therefore, in the following article, I would like to share some more tips on how to keep your (budo) spirits up.
As a scholar and a musician, I can carry on with my work. Of course, things have changed – conferences became Zoom calls and concerts got replaced by recordings, for example. Still, I feel that I continue to grow in both areas from the safe place of my home. But how does this work for a martial artist? In this writing, I would like to share the various ways in which I currently work on my martial arts journey, and show you one of my “kata study drawings” as an example. It is my hope that by sharing our ideas, we can support and inspire each other to stay happy & healthy in these times of Corona.
A ‘90’s schoolyard, somewhere in Suburbia. The children are happily playing soccer, with their teachers as referees. But one chubby girl sits aside. She is not joining at all, not even looking. She is playing with a stick, quite monotonously and repetitively trying to draw perfect straight lines in the air. “You see, we just cannot have her join…” – the teacher explained to the girl’s father. “She doesn’t understand the rules and will just try to get the ball in order to bounce it and roll around with it, refusing to let go. Then of course, the other children will get annoyed and start kicking her. So that is why we as teachers decided that she should be on the side, so that the other kids …