Shinken Shobu (death match)

A student should always strive to perfect their technique and execute every aspect of their training with full spirit. This is not to be confused with full power. It is essential to project your full spirit at the beginning of each practice, regardless of your opponent’s ranks. When the junior rank opposes the senior rank in Keiko, (practice), the senior rank is always conscious of their superior technical ability over the lower rank. It is of vital importance that from the beginning of practice that the spirit of both parties should be one of Shinken Shobu**, (a fight to the death).

A student spirit and determination is high at the start of practice; toward the end of practice when the student becomes tired and sloppy and starts to lose concentration it is of great value to encourage the student to raise their game and increase their determination and spirit thereby entering a state of Shinken Shobu Keiko (to fight as though your life depended on it) which reflects the core values of martial arts training, always ending every session on a high or upward “beat”. When a student thinks they have given 100%, they will still have 25% in reserve. “Train hard to fight easy“.

(**Note: Shinken Shobu – the original Japanese meaning is sword fighting with live blades. In more commonly used Japanese, Shinken has the meaning of earnest or serious and Shobu meaning a match).