Kendo Kamae – Jodan

In kendo, your kamae is more than just how you stand and hold your sword. Each kamae has its own personality and peculiarities. In this article we are taking a look at the distinctive and dramatic jodan-no-kamae. With its unmistakeable silhouette and powerful reach this stance is very attractive to Read More

Don’t be afraid of Tsuki

Kendo is a budo with a great amount of depth.  At the moment, there are four fundamental datotsu-bui – strike zones: men, kote, do and tsuki. Tsuki is sometimes regarded as an “advanced” technique, something you need skill to pull off effectively and safely.  This is sometimes extrapolated into “you Read More

Thus Spoke Hayashi – Vol. 3

We have another interview with Hayashi-san, Tozando’s most senior kendoka. This time we explore his connection with Kendo and how it has changed the course of his life. So, what actually made you take up kendo? It was the summer of my first year in junior high. At that time Read More

An image of Tozando Kendo craftsman assembling Men mask

10 Things to Check When Buying Bogu

Buying bogu is often a daunting task, not only is it a significant investment, but information about it can be difficult to track down. This is the same for beginners and veterans alike. In this article we take a look at ten key things for you to check; either before Read More

Reflections from Tozando’s 2018 Renseikai

Members from the Japanese National Kendo Team including All-Japan Championship winners Nishimura hidehisa and kiwada Daiki cross shinai with participants from all over Japan and the world at Tozando’s annual Renseikai. The visiting teachers all impart importants lesson that can be applied in shiai and everyday keiko. Tozando’s Annual Renseikai Read More

Memorable Kendo Matches 17: Ryoichi Uchimura (2006 All Japan Championships)

“I want to become No. 1 in Japan” Uchimura Ryohei attributes his first All Japan Kendo Championship title to all the hard work and unending effort that he put in everyday. Appearing in the All Japan Championship for the first time in 2005, Uchimura lost to Harada Satoru in the Read More

The Naginata

Just like the katana, the naginata conjures up many images of feudal Japan: the dedicated footsoldier, the heroic onna-bushi and also the devout warrior-monk to name, but a few. Whilst grounded in truth, these perceptions have warped our image of the naginata and its use perhaps more so than any other traditional Japanese weapon. To many the naginata and its accompanying ryu-ha are “feminine” or the sole domain of the warrior-monks. This is far from the case!

Kendo Kyoshi 7-dan Hayashi demonstrating Kendo

Thus spoke Hayashi – Vol. 2

Evaluating budo equipment can be very difficult, especially as a newcomer to martial arts. We thought who better to ask than our resident kyoshi 7-dan Hayashi Sensei: he not only has a great understanding of his chosen art (kendo), but he also actively works in product development. Let’s take a Read More

Where did your fascination with budo come from?

We have another of our essay contest winning entries to kick off this week. In this article Arash explores how his connection to Japanese budo developed and also shows how it now manifests in his sons. We all have our own experiences with discovering budo, but many of us did it alone.