Richard was born in the U.S.A., in 1978.
Richard was looking for a martial art to get involved in when he remembered that an old roommate had mentioned Kendo. He did some research on his options, and fortunately, for CMKD, Richard decided to go with Kendo and started in 2004.
Richard currently practices at Costa Mesa Kendo Dojo (CMKD) and holds the rank of 4 Dan.
Who was your primary sensei when you started Kendo?
Hosokawa Hiroyoshi-sensei was Head Instructor and Takahashi-sensei taught me basics as a beginner.
What do you emphasize when you teach?
I like to emphasize doing and learning proper basics. It will set a sound foundation for your progression in Kendo. It will also, give you a good reset point to go back to when you feel that your Kendo journey is not going in the right direction.
When did you last participate in an examination for Kendo promotion? What was the experience like?
2017. Preparing and taking the 4 Dan exam was different than any other promotion exam that preceded it. It required a lot more preparation. During the whole process, it showed me things that were lacking in my Kendo. Actually taking and passing the exam, was both a validation that I am heading in the right direction and a lesson that you need confidence in your abilities.
What has been a significant challenge for you in kendo?
The biggest challenge for me has always been trying to fix my bad Kendo habits. I’ve managed to fix a few but, there are many others to correct.
Have you learned any important life-lessons from kendo?
A big life lesson that I learned through Kendo is that you can learn a lot from people if you just listen. You can learn from not only from people in positions above you but also your contemporaries and people in positions below you.
What about Kendo do you love most?
What I love most about Kendo is that it is very therapeutic for me. Once I get to the Dojo and put on my bogu, I can forget about the stresses in life and just concentrate on Kendo.
What about Kendo do you love most?Sensei often say "...you never stop learning in Kendo..." Do you feel this applies to the physical / technical aspects of Kendo? Or mental / philosophical? Or both?
I believe that you never stop learning in Kendo in regards to all aspects.
As our Kendo matures, we are able to use waza that is more advanced and we are able to use them more efficiently. Also, a Sensei from another Dojo once told me that we should do the Kendo our body allows. Since our bodies change as we age, we need to evolve the physical/technical aspects of our Kendo to match what our bodies can do.
The mental/philosophical aspects of Kendo keep changing throughout life as well. As we grow in knowledge and experience, it changes us as people. It is impossible to disconnect who you are as a person in everyday life from the person you are during Kendo. As a result the understanding we have, what we think, and what we do change accordingly.