20 March 2016

DIY easy shinai bag

Shinai bags can be expensive but it is necessary to have something to carry your stuff in. Everyone at Nanseikan should have shinai and bokuto, if not now then soon, and these can be difficult to carry to-and-from training. If you're on public transport then you definitely need something to contain them in, preferably with a carry strap.

This little sequence of pics shows how to make a handy shinai bag out of a length of oridinary fabric and some lightweight rope (in this case it's an old men himo).  It's really just a glorified furoshiki. The great thing about this design is, firstly it's very cheap, it's expandable, and you don't need to take the tsuba off your shinai and bokuto before putting them away.
















































17 March 2016

Whoops! Easter and term 2 dates

























Usagi Yojimbo is angry at me for my bad scheduling over Easter.

Although I had scheduled two more classes this term, this coming Saturday will actually be the last for the term. There will be no training on Easter Saturday.

Training will start back for term 2 on Saturday 16 April.

As is our tradition, the last training for term 2 will be our annual Kangeiko (寒稽古) or winter seminar. This is on Saturday 18 June. Training on that day will go from 9am until 5pm, and there will be kenshi from many other Victorian clubs in attendance. Get ready to learn 6 months' worth of Kendo in one day...

Usually there is a small extra charge for the whole day training, to cover hall hire. But since my miscalculation of the dates for term 1, there will be no extra charge for Kangeiko this year for NSK members.

Wishing James good luck for his shodan grading next Sunday!

7 March 2016

Gradings March 2016























Yesterday the March 6th kyu to 2nd kyu grading was held at the Kenshikan. Congratulations to Chris and Andre for both receiving their 6th kyu. Commiserations to Alex for being unsuccessful at 2nd kyu.

As a grading panel member I learned the following:

  • sometimes they will include kakarigeiko!
  • most junior kyu grade candidates have poor tenouchi
  • as a result, most strike the mengane (grill), and not the datotsubui (scoring section) of the men
  • so you can really stand out from the crowd if you have flexible wrists when you cut
  • kiai is generally too quiet
  • left heel resting on the ground is a mistake that's very easy for the grading panel to see
  • many people judge distance poorly, or fail to match their technique to their motodachi's distance, especially when doing multiple cuts
  • most of my attention as a judge was not on whether people would pass or fail, but whether there was someone who deserved to be promoted to try for the next grade above (this was because it was quickly apparent whether someone was good enough for the grade)
  • those people who did all the things mentioned above tended to be double-graded
There is also a new article on Shugo-Nanseikan about the difficulty of grading.