What a ride it had been!
I cannot really look at those initial videos. Just the same, I can’t browse through the photos from the first Polish Jukendo seminar . Those clumsy moves, those basic mistakes, and the absolute lack of any clue what I’m doing on my face. Not that I don’t do stupid mistakes anymore. I’m just more aware of them, I guess, but they make me much less embarrassed.
I am a walking, talking, and thrusting people with sticks proof that jukendo is an extremely beginner-friendly budo – its complexity lies in its simplicity, hence there are no really fancy and complicated moves to be mastered. The more you can do, the less you actually do, as the flick of the wrist is more than enough, when your kamae is perfect. I had little to none previous experience with budo, less than a year (and 5th kyu) in kendo, and yet I was and still am able to enjoy the intricacies of the art, havinga great time with the most accomplished jukendo people. I admit I was genuinely stressed before coming to Japan, knowing I will be incessantly schooled by stern hachidans – and from the tales I’ve heard here and there, not without a reason! Instead, I’ve met most kind and helpful people. I miss them every day.
I have discovered so much along the way. It was not a smooth process, I can assure you. If you read my journals, here, on jukendo.world, you can follow the highlights and shadows of my journey. The short video accompanying this post shows exactly how I make my progress – mostly not having a single clue what I’m doing – boom – revelation or enlightenment happens and suddenly everything seems easy and nearly instinctive. I had just the same issue with every single sport I have practiced. With jukendo, the biggest changes happened when I understood the footwork (especially fumikomi – I couldn’t do it before, and the one used in kendo still seems elusive), powering the strike through footwork (the right leg does the job pretty well), and the biggest one of all – the role of my left and right hand. I’ve learnt how to relax and have fun in the middle of this thrusting madness. And that’s what is most distinctive about this short vid – yes, it’s budo, and yes – it’s fun!
*This is part of an ongoing series of posts by Jukendo World translator and guest author, Klara, who has only recently started jukendo and is undertaking a 3 month visit to Japan to further her training with her partner, Lukasz.*