Category: Samurai/Bushido

Kendo player with Chudan no Kamae

Mental Training in Kendo

Kendo of course requires physical strength but also mental strength. There are many ways to train up your mentality, but the most basic level is mannerisms. This relates to other martial arts too, but it all “begins and ends with manners”. If you are aiming to be a strong kenshi, Read More

Kendo practice Keiko in the sunset

If everything is my teacher, anywhere can be my dojo

In today’s article we are looking at how we can work on our training outside of our regular dojo.  If you are struggling to make it to regular training and want some ideas on how to make it up outside of the dojo then this is the article for you. Read More

Meditation controlling breathing

Control your breath, control the match

In sports, many believe that breathing is important, and that is the same in Japanese Budo. Moving in the rhythm of your breathing gives your greater strength and speed, and brings out the best of your abilities. Moving with your breathing is necessary for a high level of performance. There Read More

Kusarigama Image

Kusarigama

In Japanese ancient martial arts, there are many unique weapons and techniques. Among them, the kusarigama is an especially famous and popular weapon. In Yoshikawa Eiji’s novel Miyamoto Musashi, there is a character named Shishido Baiken who shows a strong personality. And his combat is one of the most famous Read More

Young Musashi Face

The “Eye” for Winning in Martial Arts Part 2

Look at your opponent’s face, as taught by young Miyamoto Musashi Let us also break down Miyamoto Musashi’s teaching on the eye too. Musashi is known for his teaching on “Kanken no me” but long before his famous “Gorinsho”, he wrote the following at the age of 24, after defeating Read More

The “Eye” for Winning in Martial Arts

The “Eye” for Winning in Martial Arts Part 1

There are “teachings” of martial arts passed down from ancient times, and as we try to dig deeper into how our ancestors taught their skill, today we would like to talk about the theme of the “eye”. There are many teachings on the “eye” that have been passed down through Read More

Rei – Is it just about bowing your head?

The way of the samurai values mannerisms (rei) above all else as reflected in the saying “It begins and ends with rei (mannerism/bowing)”. Rei refers to the actions and behaviors expected at various events, and signifies the moral standards for developing human relationships and maintaining social order. Rei is now Read More

Samurai silhouette

Samurai Status On Sale!

Presently it is generally accepted that social status during the Edo period was not completely fixed. A generation earlier, we learned in school that there was a hierarchical system called Shi-no-ko-sho (Samurai-Peasant-Artisan-Merchant). But this is now rejected and the word Shi-no-ko-sho has disappeared from textbooks. Even then, it is generally Read More

Tozando 2017 Essay Contest Winning Article

The Last Samurai: Martial Arts in the Age of Cultural Appropriation, or the Tom Cruise Dilemma

by Timothy Slover I asked my friend Chelsea to measure my height. She asked me why. I didn’t want to tell her. I didn’t want to say, “I want you to measure me in inches, so that I can convert that number to shaku, and figure out how long my Read More

Tozando 2017 Essay Contest Winning Article

Death in Samurai Literature from Practical to Idiolization

by Edward N. Smith Death comes to us all at the end of our life’s journey, regardless of the path we walk. Inescapably, it pursues us; hiding in the shadows, it waits patiently for our time when our road runs out. Across human societies, culture and class mark subtle differences Read More