Cougar Kendo at the University of Houston
Southeast Houston Kendo - UH Rec Sports Club
Note: This articles assumes that you have knowledge of the "The Really Short Beginner's Guide".
Before practice, make sure your belongings are arranged neatly against the wall. Take as little space as possible. Also, make sure they are placed towards the interior of the room, where the mirrors begin. We have many people who come to watch practice and will need space to do so.
At The Beginning and End of Practice
When we line up, we are already at attention - shinai down, heels together. We are all ready - and should rush if not ready - for Sensei and should not make him wait for us.
To sit in Seiza, do not bend forward, but instead go straight down to the ground. If you have your Shinai, first go into Taito (raise sword to hips, thumb on Tsuba). Place your left knee down, with toes bent, and then, your right knee. Slide your toes back. You may place your right toe over your left, but do not place one foot over the other. Your knees should be about 2 fist lengths apart. Traditionally, women sit with their knees together. While in seiza, keep your back straight, elbows tucked, and fingers together. Do not squirm about or lean forward. Place your shinai quietly on the ground. (It helps to place the tip down first). The Tsuba of the Shinai should align with your knees.
Tips: Sitting in seiza is difficult for beginners. As you will inevitably sit in seiza for long periods of time in Kendo, you should practice at home. When Sensei gives the opportunity for people to sit in Anza, many seniors will opt to sit in Seiza and take pride in their ability to do.
To rise in Seiza, pick up your Shinai and bogu if needed. Bend your toes. Bring your right leg such that the top of the toes align with your knee. Rise straight up (not forward and out).
Form a circle with starting your left hand. Your left hand should rest on your right. Your thumbs should press together. This shape Your hands and arms should not rest against your body. You may close your eyes or look around 3 feet in front of you. When you are done, place down your right hand and then your left.
Beginning with your left hand, form a triangle with the right hand on the ground in front of you. It should be out such that when you bow, your nose will be placed above the triangle. When you bow, keep your elbows tucked. Your back and head should be parallel to the ground. Try to keep your bottom from rising into the air. Finish your bow after your senior does. When you do, return your right hand and then your left.
A Kendo practice is not a school class or a social hang out. Goofing off, talking while Sensei is talking, etc. is considered highly improper and disrespectful.
During practice, there are multiple ways to stand and hold your Shinai. It is wrong to do other than those listed in the Beginner's guide. Always pay attention to Sensei or your Sempai. Do not lean against the wall, on your shinai, nonchalantly on one leg, etc. Don't even yawn. & PLEASE BOW WITH YOUR HEELS TOGETHER!
Courtesies with your partner
When initiating with partner
1. Face each other and bow - Make sure that your shinai does not move up when you bow.
2. Taito, take 3 sliding steps forward. Begin drawing your sword on the 3rd step.
3. Go into Sonyko - make sure the tip is pointed at your partner's throat.
a. Federation sonkyo: From Chudan no Kamae, bring heels together and squat. Do not let your bottom touch your heels.
b. Alternate Sonkyo: Bring your feet together like when at attention.
c. Traditional Sonyko for Women: knees are bend 90 degrees.
When finishing with partner
1. Go into Chudan. It is the Kohai's responsibility to cross swords with the Sempai.
2. Go into Sonkyo.
3. Return your sword.
5. Take 5 small steps back.
6. Sageto- Drop your sword from your hip.
7. Bow properly.
Also, there must not be a time when any Sensei/Sempai on the line don't have a partner or have to wait on their partner