Kendo strategy 3 - the scientist

To recap what I spoke about last Saturday, here are some thoughts to take with you into next weeks shiai at Melbourne Uni.

How is it that some people enjoy shiai and some do not? Recently we had a woman named Christina training in Melbourne. She is from Europe and in her country she is national women's champion. She is also a scientist. That fact got me thinking about why she might be so good at shiai: perhaps she looks at shiai like science. Rather than feel like she always has to win, maybe she thinks instead that she always must collect data, information. A scientist never expects every experiment to work. Most of them fail. But every experiment tells the scientist something important, even the failures. In that way there really are no failed experiments, they are all useful.

This is the way we should look at shiai. Be curious about finding out information about your opponent. If something doesn't work, make a note of that and then try something else. If you can have this open-minded approach, you will be able to perceive a lot more about the situation. On the other hand if you are only interested in trying not to lose you will become fearful and nervous. You will get tunnel vision and may miss opportunities. You will also tire more quickly.

You can either see the world like this:

Or like this:

Be like a scientist. Be curious. Be logical. Always look for the most up-to-date information to help you make your decisions. I think this is the more enjoyable way of approaching shiai. b


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