29 June 2014

2014 Kangeiko

Yesterday saw a group of 26 kenshi turn up for our 2014 Kangeiko at Nanseikan. That meant that there was so little floorspace during keiko that people had to use the storeroom for adjusting their bogu!

As well as Nanseikan members, there were people from MBK, MUKEN, Monash Uni, Mumeishi and Fudoshin represented.

The focus of the day was on tokuiwaza. We spent a great deal of time practicing all the various shikake and oji waza, trying to work out which might become the one that is our 'best' or 'singular' technique. The afternoon was spent in shiai, testing out those waza.

Many thanks to Daniel Jeong sensei for attending and giving his time to coach the yudansha participants. This meant I could concentrate on helping the kyu grade and recent beginner kenshi and definitely meant the day was more rewarding for all concerned.

And of course thanks to all who attended. It is great that our little club's tradition has become such a well-attended event, year after year.

Also, farewell to Matteo, who will soon depart for Norway with his Mum to live (Eddie his Dad will follow at the end of the year). Good luck for your new life in the North, and try to keep up your Kendo!

14 June 2014

URGENT: non-training MSK members please read; also, 2014 VKR fee schedule

It is membership renewal time again. Until such time as the VKR devises an user-operated online membership portal, I have to submit all memberships manually.

Each year I have the same problem about what to do with people I haven't seen at training for a while.

So, if you not currently not training, but you:

  • imagine you will return to training soon, or
  • have no specific return date for training but wish to maintain membership for other reasons (e.g. retaining your grade, supporting the organisation, etc)
...you need to email me a.s.a.p. to let me know your intentions. 

I will only renew your membership if you are currently training, or if you get in touch with me in the next 5 days. 

NOTE 1: it is not necessary to send any money at this stage. The VKR will invoice me for the total amount when they process the application.

NOTE 2: it is possible to submit membership after the due date. However please keep in mind that all Kendo administrators work voluntarily, and the more sporadic, individual applications for membership they have to deal with, the more their workload is increased. It is much easier for them to deal with a single application that cover a whole club.

Further to that, below is the schedule of fees and how they break down for each art in the VKR (Kendo, Iaido, Jodo).  The way it works is: AKR fee + VKR fee + discipline fee + insurance = total due. For example 20 + 29 + 10 + 11 = $70. This is the amount payable for a full year, adult membership of someone who practices only one of the three disciplines. An adult who practices Kendo and Iaido will pay $80 and so on.

6 June 2014

More samurai films on SBS; Otsuka and Nagae Takai; Kangeiko, not so "kan"

"Sword of Desperation" (Hisshinken Torisashi) is another samurai film or jidaigeki currently on SBS onDemand until 18 June. "Hisshin" literally means "must die", which is significant when you watch the film!


Our annual winter training will be taking place on the last training of term 2, Saturday 28 June. As usual it will be from 9am til 5pm. It promises to be not-very-cold.

This year we will be looking at the concept of tokui-waza, one's ideal or favourite technique. The morning will be looking at how to find it and practice it, the afternoon we will set up two small shiaijo and run practice shiai for beginners and advanced kenshi.

Cost for NSK members $10 (on top of term fees).

BYO lunch but morning tea and snacks provided.

Otsuka and Nagae Taikai

These taikai are coming up in July. See Paul Bserani of MBK's information below. The day is a week before we start back for term 3.

Nagae & Otsuka Taikais 
Saturday The 12th July 2014 @ Kenshikan
The Nagae Taikai will be held during the morning and the Otsuka Taikai in the afternoon.
The format of the Nagae Taikai will be the same as last year.  It will be an individuals based Taikai for senior Kendoka.  Kendoka who are 2nd Dan or above are invited to apply.  Competitors must register their interest prior to the Taikai.  Kendoka who have competed in the Nagae Taikai are not eligible to compete in the Otsuka Taikai.  Please note, the number of competitors in the Nagae Taikai may be limited.
As per each year, the Otsuka Taikai is a teams based Taikai where each team is comprised of 3 Kendoka and will be picked on the day.  The teams will be picked from 3 pools of names.  The pools of names will be based on grades.  Kendoka who are 2nd Dan or below are invited to compete in the Otsuka Taikai.
If there are not enough Kendoka to form a sufficient number of teams, Kendoka that have competed in the Nagae Taikai will be eligible to compete in the Otsuka Taikai.
Senior Kendoka are also requested to Shinpan during both Taikais if possible.
Entry to both taikais is free.

1 June 2014

Oni no Tsume - The Hidden Blade

As mentioned at training yesterday, SBS on Demand has this movie available for streaming until 11 June. It is part of a trilogy of samurai films by the director Yoji Yamamoto: Tasogare Seibei (Twilight Samurai; 2002), Oni no Tsume (The Hidden Blade, 2004), and Bushi no Ichibun (Love and Honour, 2006).

The films are all linked by their themes of life as a middle-to-low ranking samurai in late-Edo period Japan. The locations and costumes are all immaculately put together to give a very realistic look into what life would have been like. Even language and customs are accurately portrayed: think of them as similar to a BBC period adaptation of Jane Austen.

And the swordsmanship is not terrible.