By Jacek Lipiński
What is your budo background?
I am a kendo godan, when I started doing jukendo I was a yondan.
Why did you start a jukendo training group?
I was always interested in jukendo, but it was one of those martial arts, that you knew was there somewhere, but too far to get to it. I had a brief contact with jukendo in 2007 when Nippon Budokan delegation visited Poland and among many other budo demonstrated jukendo. I loved it, but after the event jukendo was gone from my life for 10 whole years until 2017. It is then that I heard that there will be a jukendo seminar in Poland conducted by an actual sensei from Japan. I immediately applied and loved the whole thing – made tons of friends and connections. The most important thing is that afterwards we were offered to keep some of the jukendo equipment should we like to continue practicing in our clubs – I initially took 4 and encouraged everyone in my dojo to come and join. It picked up and since then we gradually developed our skills and study group with huge help of the great people we met along the way.
How long has your jukendo group been training?
One year and two months.
What do you look for in a training venue, what would you suggest others look for in their local area?
I look for affordability, good floor and an option to store the equipment somewhere – it is also a good idea to find something in an easy to get to location.
How do you deal with the issue of equipment or lack of?
We have a lot of jukendo starter sets and mokuju, most of us use kendo bogu as all of our group members also do kendo.
Do you plan your training sessions? What can you suggest for those who are trying to start to instruct?
There is always some planning involved but never 100%. It is important to stay flexible and be ready to dedicate more time to some elements that need fixing. I think it’s a great idea to film some exercises and then consult them with more experienced jukendoka – helped us a lot when we were still beginners.
What issues did you come across trying to start your group?
Maybe it’s just in my case, but I met strong backlash solely based on the fact that I’m doing something new instead of dedicating more time to my own field. It faded after some time, but required some dedication to overcome.
General advice for others starting out.
If you want to start jukendo and tankendo – just do it! 🙂 get in touch with more advanced people and consult them as much as possible – you won’t believe how many there are willing to help.