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A very interesting four-part article on how our breathing relates to kendo and some quotes from the article which caught my attention:
- Steven Harwood, “The Role of Breath Control in Kendo – Parts 1 and 2,” Kendo-World, Jun 5, 2019.
- Steven Harwood, “The Role of Breath Control in Kendo – Parts 3 and 4,” Kendo-World, Jun 12, 2019.
Although superficially kamae, shizen-tai and seiza appear different, essentially they maintain the same elements: upright body with an emphasis on the lower abdomen and a corresponding de-emphasis of the upper body: all elements that we have already linked with abdominal breathing.
Ogawa Chūtarō reinforces this link between footwork and breathing by expanding on the interpretation of the Confucian lesson that common men breathe through their throats but true men breathe through their feet: “Where people are breathing through their noses or their throats in Kendo, they end up just striking with their arms….
The late Narazaki Masahiko (Hanshi 9th dan) also maintained that abdominal breathing is essential to both correct posture and footwork writing: ”Develop your breathing by putting strength into your belly and just pick up a shinai. If you do that your legs and your back will become vigorous and you will be able to do some real kendō”.
Let the neck be free. Let the head go forward and up. And let the spine lengthen. – Judith Stransky on the Alexander Technique and what F. Matthias Alexander what would say.
I am slave to my habits, … I have surrendered my free will to the years of accumulated habits and the past deeds of my life have already marked out a path which threatens to imprison my future. – Og Mandino from The Greatest Salesman in the World
The quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits. With the same habits, you will end up with the same results. But with better habits, anything is possible. – James Clear
Most of us spend most our lives feeling like we are the thinker of our thoughts. Where is this thinker? Isn’t there only the next thought that arises? – Sam Harris at the 22:57 min mark of “Waking Up with Sam Harris – Looking for the Self (26 Minute Meditation) (26:16mins)”
The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves – that is the day you will find your way out. – Michael Singer
Many people think that they experience life by thinking thoughts. That is not true. Thoughts are experienced like color, sounds and sensations. – Unknown wise one from Germany
Normally, one takes years or decades to arrive at anything like steady and spontaneous in-seeing. Nevertheless the method is quite simple and the same throughout. It consists of ceasing to overlook the looker – or rather, the absence of the looker. – Douglas Harding, p. 26, On Having No Head.