5 January 2017

Happy New Year; Team App

Akemashite omedetogozaimasu! 

Happy New Year and wishing you all the best for a happy, fulfilling and injury-free 2017! This year let's train hard and be vigilant about keeping our Kendo from settling on what is easy. Let's always push to make a little better the new normal.

Team App
The VKR is now using TeamApp for all notifications. This is very handy because it means all VKR members, not just club administrators, can be aware of all upcoming events as soon as they are published. Information goes from the VKR Executive direct to all members who use the app. To find out what to do, go to the TeamApp page of our website.

5 December 2016

Grading success and shochugeiko

Most of you know by now that I was finally successful at my 6th dan grading. As you can see from the photo below, I got a lot of invaluable, one-on-one help from Tajima Makoto sensei (Kyoshi 8 dan) who is kantoku (head instructor) of Shigakukan University in Kagoshima.

Now back in Melbourne it's time to focus on ending the year well. We will be having our annual Shochugeiko on Saturday 17 December, from 9am to 5pm. As usual there will be refreshments available but lunch is BYO. This will be our last training for the year.

Cost is free to Nanseikan members. $25 for non-members for the whole day.

5 November 2016

Another upcoming competition: Monash Uni Kendo Club 25th anniversary Taikai

The Monash University Kendo Club's 25th Anniversary Taikai is coming up!  All kendoka of any age and experience are welcome, as long as they are able to compete in full bogu.

The taikai will be on the 27th of November, with registrations opening at 11am and opening ceremony at 12pm. We will be hosting a BBQ on Monash Campus for all attending 5:30pm-8pm for no extra charge. Guests (partners/children) are welcome - please include them on the sign-up sheet to help with catering numbers.  

We are also calling for shinpan - please indicate on the registration form if you would like to volunteer! (3rd Dan and above.) 

Date: Sunday 27th November 
Time: Registrations open 11am
Location: West Stadium
Monash Sport, Clayton Campus
42 Scenic Boulevard
Monash University
Clayton VIC 3800

Cost: Free!
Participants: Juniors (Under 16)
Senior (16 and over)
Kendoka of all grades will be accepted.

The taikai format will be East vs West. Each team will consist of kendoka from all ages and grades. The teams and order of each team will be organised in such a way that each person will be playing against someone that is close to their own age level (junior/seniors) and grade (kyu/dan).

The 25th Anniversary Taikai is not only celebrate our club, but also to provide everyone with an opportunity to both catch up with old friends and foster new friendships. As such, the taikai will be free of charge! 

We invite all VKR clubs to submit a list of players who are interested in attending this event by Sunday 13th November, 2016

17 October 2016

Next week's training relocates to Kenshikan

Just for one week we will be training at the Kenshikan, due to local government elections requiring our usual dojo become a polling booth. Please note training will start at 8.30am sharp and go until 10.30.

3 October 2016

Term 4 starts next Saturday

tadashii, utsukushii, tsuyoi: "correct, beautiful, effective"

Saturday 8 October is start of term 4. Some dates to keep in mind:

  • 22 October - local government elections, no training at St Pius. Alternative venue an option to be discussed.
  • Sun 13 November - Victorian Junior Kendo Championships; open to everyone under the age of 16 no matter their experience level.
  • Sat 19 and Sat 26 November - I will be in Japan; Soon, Sean and Ben will supervise training.
  • Sat 3 December - Mumeishi 3s Taikai
  • Sat 17 December - last training for 2014 and Shochugeiko (9am to 5om)

30 September 2016

Vale Chiba Masashi sensei

As I learned from Geoff Salmon sensei's blog, we lost a giant of the Kendo world last week. Chiba sensei had suffered significant health problems over the last few years which is why he stopped his visits to improve our Kendo. A whole cohort of kenshi came up through the ranks thinking it was normal to have regular visits from a hanshi hachidan, former All Japan champion and Tokyo Police shihan. Sadly we know now that we were spoiled by his tireless generosity.

There are a lot of videos of his Kendo on the net, so we can still watch his technique. But what you can't see is his playful sense of humour*. My favourite teaching of sensei's was when he admonished everyone at one of his Kenshikan seminars.
"Do you think I have good Kendo?"
Silence. Everyone inside their own heads: "Is this a trick question?"
"Don't you think my Kendo is any good?"
Awkward shuffling and looking at the floor.
"Is it good?"
"Yes sensei!"
"So why don't you copy it?"
"If you like my Kendo, just copy my style. That's all you have to do."

We'll try sensei.

Chiba sensei's Oji waza by ichibyoshi

*actually in this video, you can! "Now you've seen it you can do it, yes? Ganbare, ganbare!"