I’m Lear Pather, a Fibre Ops manager at Afrihost. My favorite food is lamb curry. In terms of my hobbies (aside from martial arts) I like anime, gaming and I’ve recently taken up yoga and meditation.
I’d say the motto/philosophy I live by are “live a life without regrets by accepting responsibility for your actions” (based off Miyamoto Musashi)and “there’s no shame in being weak, the shame lies in choosing to remain weak” (from the anime Black Clover)
1. How did you become interested in practicing martial arts in a dojo?
Originally it was the movie Kickboxer which got me interested in martial arts; after that it was Bruce Lee and Highlander movies that increased my passion. It was then anime as I got older
2. Which specific martial art(s) do you practice, and what attracted you to that style?
Currently I'm practicing kendo. I was attracted to the discipline and honour represented by the art. I also had a fear of weapons, which Kendo has helped me overcome.
3. How long have you been training in the dojo, and what progress have you noticed in yourself since starting?
I've been training for 6 months now. I've started waking up at 4:30am to workout, my mind also seems to cut through unnecessary noise and distractions and focus on what needs to be done in the moment.
4. What aspects of training in a dojo do you find most challenging or rewarding?
Ji Keiko (free sparring) would definitely be my favourite, going up against my senpai or sensei. Just standing face to face with them feels intimidating enough, landing a yukodatotsu (valid strike), is the most rewarding feeling to me. It lets me know I'm growing in my Kendo, even if it is only by a small amount.
5. Can you describe the typical structure of a training session at your dojo?
We typically start with Kata practice (this was probably the most useful for me to get over my fear of weapons) followed by warm ups, then wazza (technique) practice into keiko practice.
6. How important is the sensei (instructor) in your martial arts journey, and what qualities do you admire in your sensei?
I consider the guidance from my Sensei and Senpais to be extremely important. The quality I admire most in my Sensei is how serious he is about the training he provides. It was scary the 1st time I got lectured by him on correcting my mistakes but it showed me how passionate he is about teaching his disciples correctly.
7. Have you encountered any obstacles or difficulties in your training, and how have you overcome them?
That would mostly be the negative voice in my head saying the strike will not land, at times like that I just focus on breathing and relaxing my shoulders then just striking the 1st opening I see.
8. What principles or philosophies from your martial arts training do you apply to your daily life?
The respect, discipline and focus aspects play a major part in my life and it's simple to apply them to whatever you do daily. Aside from those, I also try a follow a few of the teachings of Miyamoto Musashi , which is living a life without regrets.
9. In what ways has practicing martial arts in a dojo impacted your physical and mental well-being?
My mind is a lot more focused on any tasks I perform, even when I do get distracted it's easy to bring my focus back to what needs to be done. I'm also becoming a lot more disciplined in what I eat, when I need to train and how I need to train daily.
10. Do you participate in any competitions or demonstrations as part of your martial arts training? If so, how do these experiences contribute to your overall growth?
Participating in my 1st match was nerve wrecking, until I traded strikes with my opponent and I realised this is just like training, and all I need to focus on was doing the best Kendo that I can at that moment.
The Ryū Ken Chi (RKC) Dojo train the traditional Japanese martial arts of Kendo and Iaido (sword-based martial arts), as well as Jodo (the art of the short staff), that encourages the cultivation of the human character.
Kendo Kid is also available for children aged 6-12 years old. 4
RKC DOJO has 2 training venues within Johannesburg - RIVONIA and OBSERVATORY.
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