29 October 2010

Report on seminar by Sumi Masatake sensei

Last Saturday, Sumi sensei held a training session at the Kenshikan. Luke and myself were there and it was a great session. Sumi sensei's assistant was Tashiro Junichi sensei (8th-dan). There were also another three 7th dans and three 5th dans in attendance, so the level of instruction was very high.

Sumi sensei is famous as a kendo teacher and he was the head of the committee that designed the nine "Bokuto ni yoru kihon waza keiko ho". Sumi sensei calls them the "Bokuto kihon" for short. These are the kata where the is a kakarite and a motodachi, and the kakarite calls out "kihon ichi!" or "kihon ni!" before performing the movements. Most NSK members are familiar with these 'kata'. (Those at training last week will have them fresh in their minds!)

So Sumi sensei showed us how to perform these basics with full bogu and shinai, which was very interesting. We will definitely try this at Nanseikan. He also has devised his own patterns for kirikaeshi and a particular was of starting jigeiko. I took many notes so that we can use some of these drills at our dojo. I will also post those notes on Shugo Nanseikan.

Below are some photos of the training.

10 October 2010

Report on visit by Yoshiyama sensei and World Butoku Washinkai members

Well yesterday's visit by 22 sensei from Japan was a great success. It really did seem like a dream to have so many experienced instructors in our small dojo. When the bus arrived in the car park and they all started to get out it was like, "here they come!"

We had to "extend" the dojo outside with carpet. Luckily it was such a beautiful day, and some of the sensei took the newest Nanseikan members outside for some intensive training, leaving the rest of the space for jikeiko.

The format of the morning was first zokin (cleaning), which was pretty hectic but with so many people it was over in about 45 seconds!

Next we posed for a group photo, then had the usual welcome speeches and exchange of presents (Nanseikan gave each of the sensei a packet of Madura tea, since it is grown and made in Australia, is different to Japanese tea, and is something that is not breakable or heavy for their luggage. And the Japanese love a nice cuppa!). Then we introduced the sensei to our way of practicing footwork, which they thought was fantastic. Minowa sensei, the senior sensei of the group was particularly impressed and said that he would like to take the idea back to Japan. You can see from the photos below that the sensei had a great time trying it themselves!

Next was about 45 mins of jigeiko for those in full bogu. This was exhausting and I only got to train against three or four sensei in that time. Luckily the sensei, who outnumbered us 2:1, were also quite happy to train against each other. Then we had two demonstration matches: myself vs Wang sensei, who is only the third 7th dan female sensei I have ever fought against, followed by two of the other 7th dan's, Kuribayashi sensei and Itoga sensei.

The we went back to doing basics without bogu, which Shiina sensei taught. Shiina sensei has a background in some older styles of swordsmanship, so the way he moves and taught us was different to what we are used to but still very helpful. We will practice some of his drills again in class.

Finally it was time for closing speeches, more photos, and exchange of the all-important meishi or business cards. Nanseikan members who were there were encouraged to collect as many as possible because each one of those sensei could be a valuable contact if they ever visit Japan.

Well done to the three new beginners who turned up thinking they might just be watching: instead they had two hours of intensive training with one-on-one instruction! And also to young Alec, who got the most attention of all and hung in there like a trooper! b

1 October 2010

Yoshiyama sensei delegation coming to Nanseikan

On 9 October we will be hosting more than twenty (20!) sensei of (I believe) 6 and 7 dan. They are headed by Yoshiyama Mitsuru sensei, who I had the pleasure of meeting and training with last year in Osaka. Yoshiyama sensei has written quite a famous kendo guide which has been translated into English, on how to pass your 4th to 7th dan exam. He will be accompanied by some notable 7 dan sensei including two who are exponents of Itto Ryu Kenjutsu, one an exponent of Mizoguchi-ha Itto Ryu, and the other of Hokushin Itto Ryu. Itto Ryu was one of the main forms of swordsmanship from which kendo evolved.

Training is normal time and not extra fee is being charged for this special event. Even though we are sure to be outnumbered, I hope as that as many Nanseikaners as possible will be there.

These are the main sensei:

YOSHIYAMA Mitsuru Sensei (Kyoshi 7dan) President of World Kendo Butoku Washinkai
SHIINA Kazue Sensei(Renshi 7dan) The 7th head of Hokushin-Ittoryuu
MINOWA Masaru Sensei(Kyoshi 7dan) Master of Yamanashi Seishinkan Dojo, Mizoguchiha-Ittoryuu
KINOSHITA Fumio sensei(Kyoshi 7dan) Executive Director of Kumamoto Genbudo

Below is their full schedule while in Melbourne. See you there! :) b

7th Oct(Thur) PM Arrive MEL
17:00-18:30 Melbourne Univ. Kendo Club, Seminar for Univ. students
19:30-21:30 Kenshikan Dojo,
Seminar (Kihon-waza)
Demonstration(Hokushin-Ittoryuu, Mizoguchiha-Ittoryuu)

8th Oct(Fri)
13:00-17:00 Kenshikan Dojo
Seminar(Uchikomi, Oujiwaza, Kendo-Kata)
18:30-21:00 Kenshikan Dojo
Seminar(Dan-grading preparation )

9th Oct(Sat)
9:00-11:00 Nanseikan Seminar & Keiko for Kids
13:00-17:00 Kenshikan Dojo
19:00-21:00 Kenshikan Dojo

10th Oct(Sun)
8:30-12:00 Kenshikan Dojo
Demonstration(Hokushin-Ittoryuu, Mizoguchiha-Ittoryuu)

13:00-17:00 Kenshikan Dojo