As Victoria comes out of lockdown, in-person training will resume with some changes. 6 February is the tentative start date for regular training in 2021, with 27 February as the start of the next beginners' course. Please check in with this website regularly for updates.
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 shikake-waza and oji-waza to everyone regardless of experience. This worked very well and revealed the real usefulness of this sequence in this instance. As a result of training in the Bokuto Kihon, all ABKC members can develop a working knowledge of waza that can then be further developed when they reach bogu stage. They also started to get an insight into how timing and distance affect waza execution.
We followed this up with practicing the Bokuto Kihon in bogu with shinai for a further extension of the principles of waza, but this time with the added feedback of striking a live target. All these waza were practiced using suriashi rather than fumikomiashi so as to prevent injury on the hard floor.
Even with the shortage of bogu, everyone was able to try wearing full bogu, some for the first time, and then have brief go at jigeiko.
We also spoke about some basic concepts to do with the kendo mindset such as seme, sutemiand zanshin.
Dinner at the pub on Sunday night was great: wonderful to be able to eat lobster caught within view of the hotel!
Thanks again to everyone for a great seminar and all the best for the future of the club.
Looking down on the rainforest from 45m up in the canopy!
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. http://www.bestkendo.com/HowtoDummy.html b
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 www.miamivalleykendo.org for the article
Here are some interesting tenugui designs. Not all of these are kendo tenugui, some were souvneirs of a particular place like we have souvenir tea-towels. This is definitely a kendo tenugui. It reads from right to left and says "sword heart/mind, bright way" meaning, I think that to develop a sharp mind like a sword makes your path in life clear and bright. I think this is beautiful shuji (calligraphy). This one was a souvenir from the famous Buddhist temple "Ryoanji" in Kyoto. The design depicts the reason the temple is so famous, its stone garden. This is the club tenugui of the Ryujokan dojo in Kumamoto. It was produced as a limited edition for the 1992 Australian Kendo Championships in Melbourne. It is based on the Ryujokan joseki, the character "ken" with a long 'tail'. Here it is sideways. This tenugui is a souvenir of Kagoshima in southern Kyushu. It has two of Kagoshima's most famous sons: Okubo Toshimichi and Takamori Saigo. Bo