Most people learning Iai or Kendo are taught the basic five stances - 五行の構え (Gogyou-no-kamae). Indeed these are important to know, and these are all physical postures taken when the sword is drawn. As written in a previous post, in Iai, victory is decided in the saya (居合の勝負は鞘の中です). Can one conclude that Iai has no kamae? While it may sound logical, it cannot be further from the truth. Although the sword is in the saya, how the person carries him/herself is an expression of m
This is actually a tale from Zhuangzi (莊子) about an Emperor who had a passion for cock-fighting. The Emperor desired to have the best gamecock there is, one that will not lose went to Sheng one day. He was the man who raised gamecocks for the Emperor, and was ordered to prepare an unbeatable gamecock for the Emperor.
Sheng asked the Emperor to return in ten days.
When time came, the Emperor asked Sheng if the gamecock is ready. Sheng replied, "The rooster is too proud, eage
Like all activities we do, we look for recognition and approval. We show our achievements to those around us all the time. This partly has pushed the social media phenomenon we come to know in the modern age. It is also because of this urge to "share/show" our achievements, my teacher never pushed me to take any grading exams in the past. In his eyes, it clouds the mind from what is more important - proper training (修行). For nearly twenty years, I continued practicing as Sho-