Kenshi Journal

kendo musings

Seme 攻め

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There is often a mention of seme in every training in the dojo. I have heard it in every seminar and by a myriad of sensei. Seme first; Don’t forget to seme; At your next testing they will be looking for your ability to seme. The list goes on.
Recently at a seminar with Kato sensei, kyoshi hachidan, he spent a great deal of time trying to have people reflect of kizeme. I took it that we often focus on the physical demonstration of seme but do not spend enough time on the developing a strong spirit that can break the opponents’ kamae.

This motivated me to think back on the teachings and thoughts on seme by Endou Katsou Hanshi Hachidan:

“Seme is not just motion of the body, it is the ki (spirit) moving towards the opponent partially manifested by the movement of the body. Moreover, seme is the same for shikake or oji wazas. It is common to see people just enter and strike. This will never allow one to advance and pass 6 dan or higher. After initiating your seme, in that fraction of a second, the opponent will respond and based on their action, you will know what technique should be used. It is two-steps yet one motion.

We train our bodies over and over to allow it to react without conscious thought. This is what is meant by cutting away the self and reaching mushin 無心.”

Hopefully, being able to do this ever, if at all, comes with more time spent in training.

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