Showing posts from 2008

Merry Christmas to all!

...and a 2009 filled with much kendo! Here are some pics of Chiba sensei's chudan no kamae for you all to emulate! b

Results and pics - 2008 VJKC

Another great Victorian Junior Kendo Championships today. The standard gets better every year. This year we had two divisions, 14 & under and 16 & under. Unfortunately only three Victorian dojo were represented, Nanseikan (of course!), Fudoshin and Ballarat. Firstly thanks to the shinpan who came along today: Gary Oliver, Khay-Lin Teoh sensei, Richard Ward, Jason Widdy and Andrew Lam. Thanks also to all the parents for bringing their boys (and they were all boys this year, more girl-kendoka needed!) as well as supporting their kendo throughout the year. Last but not least, thanks to Tony of UMKC, who took all the fantastic photos below. All pics are (c) Tony Shearer. Straight off the 14 & under matches were high quality. Newcomer Yuichiro Sato of Fudoshin won his first match in his first ever taikai against Thomas Goh, also of Fudoshin. Sato (red) scoring men against Thomas Goh. Poor Thomas didn't fare any better in his next match against our own Mr Weber. Geoffrey won

2008 Victorian Junior Kendo Taikai

Next Saturday is not only our last training for 2008, but is also the day of the Victorian Junior Kendo Championships. Like last year, we will be having the competition straight after training, at our own dojo. We will finish training a little earlier and start registration and shinai check at 10.30am, with competition starting at 11.00am. The comp should finish around 12 noon. It is planned to have three age divisions, same as last year: under 12, under 14 and under 16. Everyone who is a VKR member and is wearing full bogu at every training can enter. And afterwards we will have lunch at a nearby cafe, to be decided. Come along and make sure we win back what's rightfully ours from Ballarat KC! b

Farewell to Natsu!

After 10 months in Australia, Natsu will be returning to Japan, and her final year of high school. She has really helped Nanseikan see what the next stage of kendo has in store, and has brought the reality of Japanese kendo right into our dojo. We will miss you Natsu! All the best and keep in touch. b

How the club looks in 2008...

Pretty self-explanatory... :D b

Nanseikan at Mumeishi 3s

Our team did well at this year's Melbourne Mumeishi 3s taikai. Jimmy was senpo (position 1) Natsu was chuken (position 2) and Richard was taisho (position 3) . Here's Natsu's report: Well the result was: Ballarat A; Jimmy, me, Richard lost with two points each to Fudoshin B; Jimmy draw, me and Richard won by tow points each UMKC A; jimmy got a dou, but lost by two points, and we lost too... it wasn't the best match if you say from the results, but both jimmy and Richard did extremely well, plenty of kiai, a lot of good techniques with really good timing. kaeshi dou etc i think they need more kihon so the uchi is stronger and also learn good 'kime' and they'll become excellent kendoka. The winning team was Kenshikan 'A', second was Ballarat 'A', they also got the fighting spirit award, and third UMKC 'A'. Well done guys and thanks to Geoffrey's dad and Jimmy's dad for transport on the day. b


It's nice to see a vid of jigeiko not just shiai. This is video of a jigeiko between Yamada Hironori sensei and Chiba Masashi sensei, both former All Japan champions. It was filmed a while ago, and shows Chiba sensei fighting someone of his own level. b

第1回全日本剣道選手権大会決勝 The first All Japan Championships!

For your viewing pleasure! b

Nakakura Kiyoshi (9.dan)

A short video of Nakakura sensei near the end of his life. He visited Australia several times over the years and was something of a kendo (and iaido) god. Next time you're at the Kenshikan, take time to notice the joseki. It says 'butoku' (martial virtue) and is by him. b

Term 4 starts 11 October

Term 3 has come to an end and we have almost a month off before we start on 11 October. In the meantime, the Australian University Games kendo competition will be taking place at Footscray Campus of Victoria University, Ballarat Road, Footscray on Wed 1 October, from 9.00am until 6.00pm. This year a record 70 competitors from 9 universities around Australia will be taking part. AFAIK entry is free for spectators, so if you're not doing anything on that day, come down and watch some intense shiai! And BTW, check out the Mt Fuji webcam down the bottom left of this blog. If you click on "more", you get a bigger image pop-up. It's a really sharp and clear picture too. b PS - there is always a link to Victorian school holiday dates on the left side of this blog too.

VKC ittekimashita!!

g'day! this is Natsu i'm gonna make a report on the VKC, which was held on Aug 24th Sunday at Ballarat. Me, Eli, Kurt and Jimmy entered VKC which started at an unhuman time(7:30am!! gosh!) and went though all day till well past 7pm. KYU INDIVIDUAL Jimmy was the first match of the day, fought against Son.N(UMKC) and Ryo.S(MBK), both really good matches, but unfortunately lost. Kurt won against Nicole.S(UMKC)(^o^), but lost to Rachel.L(MBK). Eli got through the first stage, beat Viet.H(UMKC), but lost to Andy.M(UMKC) at the next stage. Every ones matches were really great WOMEN'S INDIVIDUAL I got through the first league, but lost to Chiaki.K(Fudoshin) at the next stage. DAN INDIVIDUAL I lost to Tom.M(UMKC), and Ruben.B(MBK) ...(ToT)\meh KYU TEAM Nanseikan was against MBK. The team order was senpou-Jimmy, chuken-Kurt, and taishou-Eli. Good match but lost...Still, good fight everyone!!!! OPEN TEAM We were against Fudoushin (like last year). Senpou was me, chuken Kurt and tais

Anthony Bourdain learns Kendo in Tokyo

A great vid of Toda sensei. I've done jigeiko with him on several occasions. Ask me at training for some stories about his kendo. b

Good luck Nanseikan at the VKC!

Good luck and ganbatte kudasai to Jimmy, Natsu (both pictured above), Kurt and Eli as they strive to do their best (or better!) next Sunday at the 2008 Victorian Kendo Championships in Ballarat. Those of us who can't be there will be thinking of you. b

Kendo Shinai manufacturing [1/2]

Here's a great video of how a shinai is made. That's a lot of work for something that doesn't cost very much! The same YT user has also posted one about making bogu which is well worth checking out. b

Chiba sensei's Oji waza

Chiba sensei's Oji waza Video sent by ichibyoshi Note how straight Chiba sensei's cuts are after suriage, and esecially how stright his kote strike is. b

Chiba sensei seminar day 2

Looking back at my notebook most of my notes from Chiba sensei are about training drills and small aspects of waza that are best conveyed in the dojo. But there is one thing he said which is worth writing down: "If you're opponent wants to strike, let them." b PS - Eli just reminded me of another great tip from Chiba sensei: "People ask me how i win matches... i say to them, practice till you win." BAYM! :) (tnx Eli)

Chiba sensei seminar day 1 - notes

Just got home from the first evening's training of this year's shortened seminar and am writing down some of the major things he mentioned with us this evening. Chiba sensei emphasises strong tenouchi and being able to strike cleanly and powerfully even from a short cutting action. He took us through basic suburi, emphasising not stopping the cut on impact, but letting the shinai cut and then rebound from the target. He also stressed that kihon or basic cutting action and what you do in jigeiko or shiai (competition) are not different. What you do when practicing basics is what you should do when competing. Chiba sensei also emphasised natural standing posture in chudan no kamae which is difficult to describe in words without demonstrating. Probably the main thing he showed us was the way you should imagine that the cut is going through the target, e.g. cutting men you should cut as if the sword is continuing through to the chin, cuting kote you should cut as if to pass through

Chiba sensei visit

As happens now every year, Chiba Masashi sensei will be visiting Melbourne to run a kendo seminar at the Kenshikan. This year it will be on Friday 1 August, 6.00pm - 8.00pm and Saturday 2 August, 1.30pm - 4.30pm. Each session will cost something like $10.00. No bookings are required. Everyone who wears bogu should attend. Above is a screenshot of a Youtube video of Chiba sensei (on the right). It shows him prior to demonstrating kata at the All Japan Police Kendo Championships. Of course Chiba sensei was former Head of the Kendo Dept of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and multiple times All Japan champion and Police champion. The video is well worth watching. b

Kendo practice dummy

Kendo practice dummy Video sent by ichibyoshi This short vid is of a very sturdy and versatile-looking practice dummy for kendo, know in Japanese as an 'uchikomidai'. I saw it at the Asian Zone Shinpan Seminar in Seoul in 2006. Sorry I've forgotten the name of the university that was the host venue! It seems to be useable by four kendoka at once. I have no idea whether it is a commerically-made one, or just a very competent and well-designed amateur job. Would love to know! b

Kendo dummy

If any of you are good with your hands (or your mum or dad is!), you might like to try making this kendo dummy. I haven't made one but it looks good and the detailed plans are free to download. b

Hokusai manga

The Japanese artist and printmaker Hokusai was one of the most famous and influential artists of his time. He lived at the end of the Tokugawa era and the beginning of the Meiji era, which means he saw Japan change from a feudal society to a modern, industrial one. He produced the first manga , which were a collection of sketches of everyday life. These manga even covered martial arts training and armour as you can see from these drawings. Actually they were not just drawings, but woodblock prints, which means all the lines were carved out of wood, not just drawn with a pen or pencil. This makes them even more remarkable I think. The last picture is nothing to do with Hokusai, other than it is a photograph that would have been taken about the same time as he was producing his artworks, probably around 1860-70. The stances would have been posed for the camera, as photographic film wasn't sensitive enough at that time to take action shots. I think it's interesting to note litt

A scientific look at suburi

Some more holiday reading, this time about something that I hope everyone will be doing and thinking about regularly while they are not in the dojo – suburi! This research is by a group of researchers from Keio University in Japan, led by two 7-dan kendo sensei. They looked at the best position to swing back to, and also the best position to stop the cut, whilst doing men suburi. Click here to read the article. b *Thanks to for the article

Some fun holiday reading

This is an old story called "Neko no Myojutsu" (The Cat's Mysterious Skill) and even though it is about a cat, it is also about swordsmanship. "There was once a swordsman called Shōken, who was very much annoyed by a furious rat in his house. The rat was bold enough to come out of its hiding place even in the daytime, doing all kinds of mischief. Shōken made his pet cat go after it, but she was not its equal, and being bitten by it, she ran away screaming. The swordsman now hired some of the neighboring cats noted for their skill and courage in catching rats. They were let loose against the rat. Crouching in a corner, it watched the cats approach it and furiously attacked them one after another. The cats were terrified and all beat a retreat. The master became desperate and tried to kill the rat himself. Taking up his wooden sword he approached it, but every effort of the experienced swordsman proved ineffectual, for the rat dodged his sword so skillfully that it see

Balloon keiko

Congrats to Geoffrey who won a group contest for the second week in a row! Don't forget about your suburi: 50 joge, 50 naname--rest--50 double-time shomen, 50 double-time sayumen--rest--50 double-time katate men (left handed only)--rest--50 hayasuburi. b

Winter break

We will be ceasing training for the mid-year break tomorrow. The first training for term 3 will be on Saturday 19th July. Enjoy the holidays, and keep warm by doing lots of suburi! b

Inaugural Nagae Taikai

Sunday 1 May saw the first Nagae Taikai, a day of shiai in kata only: both kendo kata and seitei iaido kata. It was a great event with a large number of teams from all around Victoria competing. Nanseikan had two kendo kata teams: Stephanie and Natsu were team 1. Robert and Luke were team 2. Both teams did really well in displaying the first five kendo no kata under great pressure. Rob and Luke even got a round of applause at the close of their kata. They were the only team that got such a response. So well done guys! The eventual winners on the day were Chikushinkai for iaido, and Ballarat for kendo. b

Video on the winning point of last year's All Japan Championship

Here is an amazing video about the winning point by Teramoto to take last year's All Japans. It is in Japanese but has some English subtitles. The winning point was a men by Teramoto that struck his opponent Takanabe 0.009 sec before Takanabe struck him! (Click on the hyperlink "Amazing video" above) Above is a still photograph by Tyler Rothmar of the same point. Awesome stuff. Enjoy! b

Grading results

Today was the year's first grading, for 6th kyu up to 2nd kyu. Nanseikan had five members testing. Congratulations to Richard Rutter and Geoffrey Weber who achieved their 4th kyu, and Stephanie Kelso and Eli Robey who were awarded their 2nd kyu. Well done to all. Nanseikan's first dan grades can't be far away! b


Welcome back to term 2. This term there are not many scheduled events so that means we can focus on developing our kendo. As the days get shorter and colder, it gets more difficult to stay motivated. However this is the time when your effort counts the most. This term we will be working on building the level of energy that we can bring to our kendo every time we train. See you in the dojo! b PS - the photo is by Katsumori Shimada. You can see more of his autumn photos here .

Welcome to 2008!

Hi all Even though it's almost March, I thought I should have a New Year theme to the first post for 2008. That's why I chose the mochi (rice cake) arrangement, a symbol of the New Year in Japan. It's great to have everyone back at training. The new year already feels like it's off to a great start. b