6 July 2011

Jodan article

Jakob Schmidt, a long-time jodan practitioner and Kendo World forumite, has written a very useful article on practicing jodan at Kenshi247.net.

There are also a lot of great jodan videos to be found on the net like this one from Kendo World's channel, which you can watch in HD! And the one below has a fantastic translation by Kenji, who came to Kangeiko last week. I learned a lot just watching it... when I was able to stop laughing (you'll understand when you watch it)!

And of course Chiba sensei himself will be here in August (although I've never seen him instruct in jodan).

3 July 2011

2011 Kangeiko Report

This year's Kangeiko was held last Saturday in chilly, but not excessively cold conditions. Three clubs were represented: Nanseikan, MUKEN and MBK. There was a good mix of experience levels present, and I think everyone who came got something out of the day. I know the NSKers present certainly did. Kangeiko and other kendo seminars offer the chance to explore something in depth, to try things out over and over. Usually, at the end of the day, as well as being sore and tired, everyone feels that they have measurably improved.

The focus of this Kangeiko was tenouchi. We started with some drills using the kusari fundo I have mentioned previously to emphasise correct swing. Then we moved on to exercises for increasing wrist strength and flexibility. From there we did exercises in visualising all the different movements of the hands in the various shikake and oji waza. This was done with empty hands. We then practiced these movements with shinai in hand, and finally against an opponent. Lastly we went through all these waza in full bogu. This process in all took about 4 hours.

After lunch we had an extended session of jigeiko. The idea was to give everyone the opportunity to research how to use in a 'live' situation these movements that we had been carefully honing in drills. We did an hour and a half of jigeiko before afternoon tea, at which point Kenji arrived, seemingly at the last minute! However there was still a good amount of time left in the day, so we did another 40 or so minutes of jigeiko for Kenji's benefit, then 20 minutes of pretty rigorous uchikomigeiko to finish off. 

All in all a tiring but excellent day of kendo!