Special Interview ~Ryo Iguchi〜（１）
Japanese Kendoka working men are so tough in terms of the limitation of training hours and training environment.
Today, we interviewed a Japanese Kendoka who also has a full-time career in a company.
This is Part I of the interview, have a read.
PART 1"Reality of Kendoka with a day job"
~Ryo Iguchi, Vice Captain of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. Kendo Division~
(From Here on KENDO PARK = KP Ryo Iguchi = IGUCHI Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. = MITSUI)
Mr Iguchi seems to be a really active member within Mitsui. Your achievements to date includes National High School Team Champion, Runner-up in the Kanto Student Tournament during your University years, Kanto Business Group Tournament Champion twice and All Japan Business Group Tournament 2nd Runner-up.
I have joined the company since 2010 after graduating from Keio university. It’s my 8th year in the company and I am turning 30 years old this year.
I have been assigned the task as Vice Captain Mitsui’s Kendo division for the 5 years to date.
As a working man, what kind of changes did you sense in your own kendo?
One definite point is the great drop in stamina. Especially for the first 2 years I worked in Mitsui. Of course, the frequency and intensity of training has greatly reduced compared to my time in University but I try to at least train for once a week and would be happy if I manage to squeeze in a 2nd training. As I am busy with my job, I feel that it is not a matter of me “looking for time to train” but instead “make time to train”.
What do you feel about your current training routine?
As my training time is only 90 minutes and the dojo is quite limited in size so I stick to a simple training menu.
It usually goes like this, Basic cuts→Free Waza→Jigeiko→Scenario Keiko.
Scenario keiko for example, sets the scenario of only having 30 seconds left and to take ippon within that time frame while simulating the situation when the opponent is overly defensive.
What do you keep in mind while training?
As I only have a short amount to train with my busy schedule, I focus to obtain results within a short amount of time. For that reason, fundamental mindset is different. Building on the fundamental of basics, we build up immense pressure behind them. This mindset is shared among the division members.
I think this is great and its difficulty varies across age groups and level of kendo.
I don’t think that is the case. Different level should train however they are capable of understanding. For example, a beginner who just started kendo may not fully comprehend the advice given by an 8-Dan sensei. The same is true for a new employee who just joined the company and obtained advise from a veteran employee. The Mitsui Kendo Division has participants in their 50s and 60s who has no experience in kendo. We ay have Kendoka of varying levels, this might in turn what makes the team stronger.
Specifically, what would be the ideal action?
There are 2 points that I think are important, “convey the topic of focus precisely” and “set your goal on people with skills that are slightly better than you”.
Kendo has two phrases ‘seme’ (physical pressure) and ‘kihaku’ (mental pressure) and a lot more which are hard to be explained with words. Of course, we are able to explain things in situations in the form of “when this happens, do this”, it would makes things clear.
For setting someone better than you as a goal would push you to improve overtime. Along with setting goals, be keen on obtaining advises would prove effective towards your improvement.
You will most likely repeat other people’s path, however, this will make it easier to understand how they achieve where they are now.
Is there any specific training method that would help most Kendoka overseas?
There are no specific training menu, however I do have 2 points to consider. First is “30 Waza”. This is the technique we learnt back in the dojo I trained in Shushinkan in Saitama. The elementary school students start from basic cuts, feint, Hikiwaza, Ojiwaza, Tsukiwaza and many others that makes the package of the 30 Waza training in one session. Coming up with your Waza is of course alright.
Be it you are able or unable to perform the training, train with the mentality of “go ahead and just perform the techniques in one breath”, put in your favorite Waza, your best Waza, then you will know where you are at. You may have already read this a lot in magazines, especially about working men who varies in age and stamina, these people has gone through times in search of fighting styles best suited to their current status.
Born December 8th, 1987 in Tokyo
Graduated from Keio University's Faculty of Law.
Started Kendo at 5 years old at the Tokyo-budokan (located in Ota-ku, Tokyo), and continued kendo club activities throughout Keio junior high school and Keio high school, and during Keio University Athletic Association's Kendo association, as well as Nomura Securities' Kendo association.
Started KENDO PARK services in 2017.
Major kendo accomplishments include:
・Second place in Kanagawa prefecture's high school kendo tournament
・Best 8 in Kanto students' new player tournament
・Best 16 in All-Japan Business Organization Kendo Tournament, etc.