Advices from our Technical Manager

Dear Naginata friends,

Currently I am writing to you from the couch while with a melancholic mind. I think of wanting to return to the dojo to practice together with my Naginata family. At this moment it has been 18 days since my last practice in the dojo. We closed the dojo to conform to the regulations set by our government. Since that time I have been thinking how to stay on the path of progress.

Here in the Netherlands the weather has been good but still it is a bit cold. As I myself have contracted a cold for the last few weeks now I figured I would avoid sweaty training outside to not risk further lowering my immune system.  So practice inside it is for now. And since most people were not prepared for the quarantine I will list some exercises in which you don’t need any equipment.

Since the size of the Naginata is limiting what can be done, I first focus on non-technical practice to strengthen the core and to just keep in shape. Next some Naginata related exercises that improve basic technique.

  1. Non-Naginata techniques (photos below)

a. Plank

b. Side plank

c. Squat

d. Forward lunge

e. Side lunge

f. Stretch front upper leg and lower back (lean back on knees).

g. Stretch the hamstring while sitting down.

e. Upper front leg stretches while laying down.

2. Naginata techniques without any equipment ( Youtube link)

Fumikae ashi (straight forward movement of the leg coming with the hip).

a. Empty hand Joge Buri (or even happo buri with focus on body movement).

b. Empty hand furiage men (focus on hip movement, not stepping, leg goes with hip).

This is not a complete list but it will give you something to start with. You will have to determine your own number of repetitions and the length of the stretching depending on your current ability. A tip is to start simple and easy and gradually build up to more while adding more exercises from outside this list.

It seems like we will be stuck with this crisis for a long time to come. The dojos will remain closed for months to come.  Soon the weather will improve for most of us and those who have a garden may be able to practice with their Naginata again. 

Stay positive, keep your mind on the continuous improvement and stay safe!

Best wishes,

Mark Berghaan

(position a,b,c,d,e,f,g here under)