Showing posts from 2010

Apollo Bay Kendo Club Seminar

ABKC - note Her Majesty the Kamiza in background Just got back from a wonderful four days in Apollo Bay. Thanks to Peter, Libby and family for their warm welcome and showing me and my family some of the many sights in the area. The Apollo Bay Kendo Club has recently been recognised by the VKR and congratulations to all the ABKC members for their perseverance up until now. I found a really keen and committed bunch of individuals who already show a solid grasp of basics and especially reigi saho (etiquette). We trained three times over the four days including all day on Sunday. There was a lot to get through as I had spoken to Peter, the club's instructor, prior to getting down there on what they wanted to cover. The two restrictions were a very hard floor (ceramic tiles on a a concrete base - ouch!) at their current dojo, and the lack of armour and armour experience of some members. For that reason we looked closely at the Bokuto ni yoru kihon waza keiko ho , as a way of teaching s

Nanseikan Summer Training report

We held our annual summer training this year on Saturday 11 December. It was a relatively small gathering this year but still boasted representatives from four different VKR clubs. A special thanks to Kyohei Fujiie for bringing his Renshinkan members down from Benalla for the day. The distinctive thing about this year's summer training was that, firstly, it wasn't so hot (and that's not a bad thing!) and secondly that we practiced kata. All of them. Some people had not done kata before and finished the day having an acquaintance with all kata up to number ten. Everyone did well with the overload of information to memorise. I hope that those who attended will be able to build on what they learned when they return to their home dojo. For those who are interested, it took four hours to get through all ten kata. This included time for demonstration and some (but not a great deal of) repetition. b

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 fo

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

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. Yoshiyama sensei lecturing recently in Canada. Click to go to video. These are the main sensei: YOSHIYAMA Mitsuru Sensei (Kyoshi 7dan) President of World Kendo Butoku Washinkai SHIINA Kazue Sensei(Ren

Shinpan studies: shinai hanashi - losing grip of the shinai

This relates to our practice of refereeing at yesterday's Harugeiko . Here is a great video of makiotoshi men . Watch closely at 0:50 you'll see the technique. What is not clear until the replay at a different angle is that the opponent totally loses his shinai. The timing of the men cut after the technique shows how quickly you must act before the shinpan have a chance to say yame ! In this case I think the opponent's shinai had not yet hit the ground when his men was struck. Another thing to note is that zanshin after the men is expressed not by going forward past the opponent as is usual, but by standing still. The reason is that, due to the nature of the technique just executed, moving forward would not have been a natural part of the technique. Quite a remarkable technique, even more so as it was executed under great pressure at a major competition, the Tozai Taiko or East vs West Competition.

春稽古 harugeiko - Spring training, 18 Sept

It's Spring! What better way to celebrate perfect kendo training weather than with an all day gasshuku? Saturday 18 September will be our first harugeiko , a one-day training camp from 9am until 5pm. The cost is $20/person for the whole day. BYO lunch but morning and afternoon tea provided. The focus will be shiai and will include some shinpan practice. Please leave a comment below indicating if you are intending to come. Hope to see you there. b

Only slightly kendo-related... Mazda Shinari

Here's a cool ad from Mazda Japan for their new "4 door, 4 seater concept car" the "Shinari". Not sure what the word means but the kanji (靭) contains the 'radical' (mini-character) for "blade" (刃). Must say I really DO like the look of the car. :P I think it will have to be an Autobot in the next Transformer movie! b (PS - Who else thinks the whole video is 3D animation?)

Assorted kendo videos

Here are some 'random' kendo-related videos which are worth checking out. Firstly, kendo versus sojutsu (spear). Both these practitioners are experienced. I don't know anything about the sojutsu sensei but the kendo sensei was apparently 7 dan when this was taken and is now 8 dan. Some every interesting strategy against a long weapon. This one is of a recent seminar Chiba sensei took in London. Here he is demonstrating oji waza (counter-attacking techniques) against jodan. Another instructional video, this one taken in Hungary of two visiting Japanese 8 dans. Rather unusually they demonstrate basic men, kote and do as well as various waza. The Way of the Warrior was a series made by the BBC in the 1970s. It's still one of the best documentary series on Japanese martial arts ever made. This one is about the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu. There is also one Youtube about kendo. In several parts. Here is the one about kendo. Actually it starts with an excellent look at

2010 Kangeiko report

What people were thinking during those 500 basics. Today's kangeiko was the third Nanseikan has hosted and it was a great success. Kendoka from three clubs were represented, braving a 1 degree Celsius morning to practice kendo under the theme 百錬自得 or practice it 'til it becomes yours . With that in mind we notched up 100 repetitions each of kihon men, kote and do , as well as harai kote and debana men . All in all 500 repetitions taking about 2.5 hours to complete. The day was rounded out with jigeiko and shiai . We also looked at kata number 7 in depth, helping many to get across that difficult o ri-shiki do footwork. Afterwards we had some nice Malaysian take away and some of the parent had chance to meet and have a chat. It was a long day, starting at 8.30am and finishing about the same time in the evening. On my way to the dojo I saw the first plum blossom had come out. Already! So I picked some and we decorated the dojo with it.

2010 Kangeiko 寒稽古

This year’s special winter training will take place on the first Monday of the school holidays, Monday 28 June Cost: $20 for the day, open to all VKR members, especially junior members of other VKR clubs Schedule: 0830 – arrival, registration, clean dojo 0900 – kangeiko start and first session 1100 – morning tea (provided) 1130 – second session 1330 – lunch (please note, lunch will again be BYO this year) 1430 – third session 1700 – finish The gasshuku will cover kihon, kata and shiai. Dinner This year I would like to also invite everyone to stay for dinner afterwards. Dinner would be held in the room adjacent to the dojo and would be from 1830 – 2030 approx. For this I would need an indication of possible numbers and also dietary requirements if any. Family and friends of people attending would also be welcome. Cost of dinner is to be advised depending on numbers. Most likely $10-15 per person Applications for Kangeiko close Friday 25 June. Payment due on the day. RSVP for dinner b

Sumi Sensei Kote

Here is an EXCELLENT video on kote uchi technique by Sumi Masatake sensei. Can't recommend highly enough! b PS - Thanks to Kendo World Forum's Richard Stonell ("Oroshi") for the translation, and "Dezza" for the subtitling.

Men uchi 面打ち - 8 May


This is a series of five videos from a TV program about kendo. The host is a Greek karate champion who lived in Japan for many years and became a very successful professional kickboxer. It's very interesting to see what problems he has when he first tries kendo! Enjoy. b

Kage Ryu - battojutsu with extra long sword

This is a video of Kage Ryu battojutsu (art of drawing the sword), using the choken (長剣), which means really long sword. More info about this rare and very interesting style here . b

2010 8-dan Kendo Championships Final

Five-fingered kote...

...seen last year in Genbudo, a bogu shop in Ikebukuro, a suburb of central Tokyo. Unfortunately I never did ask Mr Genbudo what exactly they were for,or the price. But they were in the same cabinet as the ultra-special do-dai made of sharkskin, or inlaid with mother-of-pearl... b