Showing posts from 2012

Shochugeiko 2012 report

Last Saturday was our last training for the year, in this, our 10th anniversary year. We were lucky it wasn't as hot as previous years, although the temperature did climb in the late morning after some early showers. So it was humid, just like a Japanese summer. Attendance was good and for the first time we had a clear majority of NSK members. Kudos to Peter, Vanessa and Flynn who travelled up from Apollo Bay to attend. I hope you guys got a lot from the day. We had two objectives for the day: look at the use of the bokuto in Kendo and introduce our newest members to wearing full bogu. We managed both of those objectives I think, but perhaps with a little bit of brain-meltage along the way! I'm very conscious of how much mental effort it can take to remember new sequences of movement such as the Nihon Kendo Kata and the Bokuto Kihon . As it was we started with Kendo kata, covering katas one, two and four (we will look at number three in detail early next year). Thank

Remember, last training for 2012 this Saturday and all day seminar

Don't forget this Saturday is our annual shochugeiko, hot weather training. Looks like we'll be fortunate: at this stage the forecast is for 25 degrees and rain. For more info, check the post here . See you at training -- our last for our 10th anniversary year!

Benalla Renshinkan Gasshuku - uchikomi and kirikaeshi video

A sequence of training exercises from VKR yudansha who attended the special road-trip to Benalla last Sunday. Oh, and it was 35 degrees! First blast of summer north of the Divide.

Article about Nanseikan in GogoMelbourne

Yuko sent me the link to her article about Nanseikan which has just been published online (there will be a print version of it soon too I believe).  GogoMelbourne is a Japanese-language newspaper for tourists and ex-pats living in Melbourne. Yuko has written a whole series of articles focusing on fun things to do around Melbourne with kids and this is her latest one. It's a great boost for our club! You can find the article here:

Term dates and fees for 2013 now up.

All the dates for next year's training are now up on the Training Dates page. Fees are on the Fees page . The fees have not changed but there is a little more information about discounts for multiple family members and concession holders.

Equipment ordering - update

Junko has just informed me that they will have a full stock of shinai to purchase this Saturday. Price range I am guessing will be between $40–80, depending on size and also type of bamboo. They will have some sample kendogi and hakama which you can inspect and for which you can then place orders. These orders should arrive by 15 Dec. Junko asks that people placing orders please pay 50% deposit, either by cash or bank transfer.

Equipment ordering day next Saturday

Next Saturday 17th, Yuko from Eikobudogu will be coming to Nanseikan to take orders for shinai and dogi (uniforms). She may even have some stock to purchase on the day. You may remember her colleague Junko who came to Nanseikan last term with some equipment from the same supplier. They are still working on getting their English e-shopping site up and running, but in the meantime they are happy to come to us. Junko assures me that equipment ordered this Saturday will arrive by the last training for 2012 - Sat 15 Dec. That means you will have a new shinai and/or uniform to practice with over the summer break! So if you do not have your own hakama and kendogi yet, or your own shinai, now is the time to order them.

Nanseikan car-pool to visit Benalla Kendo Club

On Sunday 25 November the Victorian Kendo Renmei is organising a trip to visit the Benalla Renshikan to support Kyohei-san and his club which has been operating for several years now. Kyohei as you know, regularly comes to Melbourne to train with us, so it's only fair that we repay the compliment. Most people will be leaving from the Kenshikan Dojo in West Melbourne, but it makes sense for us to meet at the dojo to save time and make for a quicker trip. Benalla is about 2.5 hours drive away. Training is from 11am to 1pm followed by a BBQ at 1.30pm. This means we will need to meet at around 8.00am to get equipment from the dojo and head off no later than 8.30am. Here are Kyohei's directions: " The venue is the hall (sports gym) of Benalla College Faithfull Campus. There is another campus (Dunlop Campus) of Benalla College, so please do not confuse the two. Faithfull Campus is on Faithfull Street, and about 3 km from the exit of Hume Fwy. Get off Hume Fwy a

60th anniversary All Japan Kendo Championship today

Today is the day of the 60th All Japan Kendo Championships. UPDATE:  Videos will be uploaded on Kendo World soon for those who missed the live feed. This is the blue riband event in world Kendo. Although I'm not sure of the exact start time, we are about 2 hours ahead of Tokyo at the moment, so I think if you log in to their live internet stream when you get home from training today you might see they have already started the opening rounds. Above is a screenshot of the All Japan Kendo Federation's ustream page with a image for the All Japan Women's Kendo Championship. The link is here for the broadcast: And Kendo World have a commentary and results as they happen in English here: Enjoy!

Keep the day free: 暑中稽古 Summer all-day training seminar

ice-cold mugi cha (barley tea) and uchiwa (festival fans) — symbols of summer in Japan We've missed out on some training over the last fortnight but fear not! You'll soon have the chance for a kendo overdose. Saturday 15 December is not only our last training for the year but also our annual shochugeiko , or summer training. Shochugeiko is traditionally held during the height of summer, however since we will be on break at that time we have it on our last training. In past years we have been blessed with some particularly hot weather on this day which helps to make the training more authentic! The idea is that it should be more difficult than normal. This encourages extra effort which often leads to extra progress in one's Kendo. Training will cost an extra $10 for Nanseikan members who have paid their term fees, and $20 for non-Nanseikan members ($15 for students and concession holders). BYO lunch but other refreshments and fruit provided. Training starts a

No training tomorrow, and no info stall

There will be no information stall tomorrow at the dojo due to a family illness. We were due to have a table set up to promote the club to people coming to vote in the local elections (the reason why there is no training). Training will resume as usual the following Saturday. Sorry for the late notice.

Renshinkan seminar notes

Yesterday Nanseikan hosted members of the Benalla Renshinkan for a mini seminar. I thought it would be good to jot down some notes of the main points that were covered. Kihon Uchikomi Efficiency comes when you learn to be relaxed. 1000 suburi helps to teach your body efficiency because you're too tired to overwork each movement. You learn to do just enough with nothing extra. Left-hand only suburi is crucial to teach your left arm to be the "power arm". The left is the engine, the right is the steering wheel. If you finish your cut with a bent left elbow it shows that you are using your right arm to power the cut. Ki ken tai itchi can be taught in a variety of ways. But overall the aim of being able to co-ordinate your movements to happen together is more important than cutting quickly or leaping a long way. Achieving correct KKTI has a lot to do with the left leg. The left leg kicks off ( fumikiri ) and provides the drive for your forward movement. Not just th

Term 4 training starts this Saturday...

Image see you all at training! ( |:^{)}

Three (3!) new bogu suppliers!

It never rains but it pours... We suddenly have a surfeit of Kendo equipment suppliers! All of these suppliers are recommended and soon I will update the buying guide to include them. First and foremost is the new local branch of Eikobudogu . I have been a customer of theirs both online and in person at their shop in Tokyo and can recommend them highly. Junko Nomura is a Melbourne-based Kenshi who trains at Kenshikan. She is 4th dan in Kendo and is taking over Eiko Budogu's international operations and restarting their English-language site. The exciting thing about Junko's involvement with Eiko is that it means she can bring samples to our dojo, have stock on hand to sell and even take orders and measurements on orders for larger purchases such as bogu. Eiko has a good range of products from all price levels, the company is young, energetic and all their staff do Kendo. I was going to recommend that we all support Junko-san because she is a local, but I don't th

Happy holidays; homework video; other info

The second beginners' course is finished and well done to all my minions the new students! The energy in the dojo is great and everyone is progressing really well. Above is the video I promised of the basics of footwork and suburi that I would like everyone to practice during the break. Here is a sample exercise routine that I recommend: Rei and sonkyo: this is an important part of the practice. Focus on : bend from the hips—don't stick your chin out!; straight back at all times; always take a half step forwards into kamae position, never backwards. Okuriashi pattern (3 forwards, 3 back) repeated 10 times. Focus on : snapping the back foot up into place; keeping shinai tip pointed at enemy's throat; left heel off the ground both forwards and backwards Single-time sho-men : 10 times. Focus on : start slowly and speed up; stop the shinai by squeezing the grip ( tenouchi ); swing straight through the middle of your body; finish with arms outstretched horizontal

Funny Kendo videos and a thank you

First, thanks to those people who are helping with all the dojo packing-up chores in the background. It's great for me to be able to finish talking to some students about something important like how to fold the hakama, and to find all those little jobs already done. Thank you! Secondly, here are two funny Kendo videos, the first one I spoke about today because Jerry's kiai reminded me, and the second one is a similar, Kendo related one, based on a famous old story of a teacher and his student. Enjoy!

Snake game

Our beginners are just learning about using their footwork and their arms at the same time to produce a co-ordinated strike. To finish off training yesterday we played the Snake game: a long line of  motodachi  (receivers) and one person performs  men-uchi  along the line.  It is called Snake because they join onto the end of the line and then the person who was after them at the other end goes through. Gradually the line snakes its way around the dojo. The aim is for every cut to be done in time with every footfall of the right foot. It's also very fast, noisy and a lot of fun!

Beginners' course no. 2 starts this Saturday

the late Sumitaka Nagae sensei, instructing young beginners at the old Nanseikan Dojo in Brunswick, c. 2004 At Nanseikan we now have two beginners' courses each year. This Saturday will see the start of the second beginners' course for 2012. Training for beginners will be from 9am til 10am. Seniors will continue until 11am. Everyone will start without bogu for the first hour, helping the beginners learn how to hold the shinai, stand in kamae and use Kendo footwork. After the first three weeks, beginners will join in for the whole of training. The beginners' course will continue until the end of term (15 Sept). The fee is $90, payable on the first training. Let's make everyone welcome and show them our best Kendo.

Special Iaido training for Kenshi

The VKR is having a special try-out training for all kenshi who would like to try the sister art to Kendo — Iaido. Learn how to draw, cut and sheathe the katana in one quick, smooth action, just like our awesome iaido colleagues! For sometime now, many kendoka in Victoria have expressed interest in trying iaido, but never got around to it due to other commitments (including kendo!). Now here's your chance to try; the VKR and its Iaido members are inviting all VKR kendoka to a one-off introductory course to iai; Details: Date/Time:  Saturday 4th August, 2:00pm ~ 4:00pm Venue:  Kenshikan Fee:  $10 (paid individually on the day) What to bring:  kendo-gi, hakama, bokuto, obi (if you have one) RSVP: Sunday 29th July (email: or Places maybe limited so please respond early!

Term 3 starts this Saturday - Spring is not far away

Training starts again for regular members this coming Saturday 21st. The first thing we will need to do is collect names and details for VKR-AKR memberships which are due now for the 2012-13 membership year. Membership fees are $60.00 for seniors (16 and over), and juniors are $35.00. The next beginners' course starts on 4th August. The beginners will train for the first hour for the first three weeks. Then they will train for the full length of training until the end of the term, 15 Sept. Term fees are also due on Saturday. It is a 9 week term, so that means $135 for regular members. Beginners' course costs $90.00.

2012 Nanseikan Kangeiko Report

the morning group Last Saturday we had one of our biggest Kangeiko . This was thanks to the members of various VKR clubs that supported us by coming for a day of frozen feet, miso soup and lots of keiko . The day's focus was metsuke , and we looked at a range of waza that tested our ability to maintain an even and impenetrable gaze. I was very happy when some of MUKEN's newest members thanked me afterwards for a training session where they got to do a lot of new things, including how to perform and receive tsuki . It was great to have a whole day to devote to a specific focus, and then to test that focus over a long period of time. Personally I found that I was good at keeping my metsuke general when it was kihon and uchikomi, but after a few jigeiko  with difficult opponents I noticed my gaze wandering around looking at all different things and definitely giving away my intention. Lunch was a great chance to chat with people I don't normally get to sp

Kangeiko 2012 this Saturday

  Currawong in the snow by Trevor Harders UPDATE : a simple, vegan-friendly hot lunch will be available for the price of a donation.

Balloon keiko!


15th Kendo World Championships - on now

Thanks to the wonder of the interwebs, you can watch the World Kendo Championships live, for the first time ever! They are streaming from Novara, Italy over the next three days. Competition has already started and goes until Sunday. You will have to work out time zone difference, so it will mostly be late at night. The other drawback is its just a single webcam. It's a reasonably good quality image, but the camera doesn't move! And there's no commentary, although there's a chat window where other viewers discuss what is going on. Here is the schedule of events and list of who is fighting whom: Here is the link to the streaming video: Enjoy!

This just in: No training next week!

Typical handicrafts of the CWA Just found out that the Diamond Valley Branch of the Country Women's Association are having their annual show next week in our hall. So we have to have a holiday. So no training on Saturday 19th May. We'll be back the week after. As compensation for those who have done the right thing and already paid their term fees, I will make the Kangeiko on 23 June free of charge. Interestingly there is another CWA-Kendo connection, and that is Kyohei san's club in Benalla, the Renshinkan, train in the historic Benalla CWA Hall! And it was good to see Kyohei, Tomoko-san and new Renshinkan student Jay at training today. They left Benalla at 5.00am to get to training! And there was ice on their windscreen when they left!

new shipment arrived!

The new shipment of shinai and dogi have just arrived, thanks to Chee Jin and The dogi look really good. As you can see the kendogi has a sweat-wiking lining. The hakama are cotton and very thick fabric. Both appear to be indigo dyed (if the blueness of my fingers in anything to go by!). The shinai are very thick and made from bamboo with very pronounced nodes. It will be interesting to see how all these things fare in practice. Those people who placed orders can get their items from me at next training.

MUKEN Taikai 2012 - get ready to enter!

training at MUKEN Melbourne University Kendo Club, aka MUKEN , will be holding their annual competition. It is open to all VKR members. Date : Saturday 26th May 2012 Time : 12pm-5pm Venue : The University of Melbourne     The taikai will be the same as last year, with 4 divisions (individuals) involved: Beginners (commenced learning Kendo after  1 Jan  2012 ) Up to 3 rd  Kyu 1 & 2 Kyu 1 & 2 Dan Registrations for the event will open at the end of April, along with more information regarding the event.  This is a great taikai for newer Kenshi because it pits them against people their own level. There is no other kendo taikai in Melbourne that has a division for beginners.

Holiday fun — spot the Kendo mistakes and win a prize!

Each person who finds ten cringeworthy Kendo moments in this video wins a Nanseikan 10th anniversary badge. International readers included! Post your entry in the comments. I've tagged this as an "Instructional Video" because you can learn even by watching bad Kendo. :D

Takizawa sensei's explanation of kiriotoshi

This video was taken from Takizawa sensei's recent visit. He demonstrates a technique called kiriotoshi This technique is the specialty of the Itto Ryu, which is an old style of Japanese swordsmanship that had a large influence on Kendo. The aim is to cut through you opponent's attack and steal the centre line from them, while they cut you . It is a very difficult and subtle technique. Watching how easy T sensei makes it look might inspire you to give it a try.

Last training for term 1 tomorrow

  pic of Melbourne's famous Elm trees, from "the Age" Today's blustery, icy winds and rain are a reminder that it really is autumn now! The upside is that autumn is the perfect time to do Kendo: cooler temperatures make it pleasant to get warm by training. Tomorrow's class is the last for the term. It is also the last class for the beginner's course. As of next term, all beginners are invited to join the second half of class, and also start to wear bogu. In the beginning only do and tare . So beginners are no longer beginners but part of the main class. We start again for term 2 on Saturday 21st April. If in doubt about any dates, please check .

Takizawa sensei visit report

It was a great turnout for Takizawa sensei's visit. There were kenshi of all ages and abilities: even three of my high school students (two current and one former). Kyohei from Benalla also brought three of his students. It was great to see his wife Tomoko return to training after injuring her hand. Many parents and even some passers-by stayed to watch. The little Dojo certainly felt full of people and there was a great energy. Before we got started, Steph handed out 10th anniversary badges to all NSK members. My own two angels were there. Jetta only lasted through the warm-up but Sholto did the whole beginners' section of training. The class started with basic running and footwork drills... ...including our patented kikentaiitchi stomp-clap drill! Note Shinoda sensei's immaculately straight posture! We did a great deal of shinai geiko in the first half. Takizawa sensei remarked how much like his own Dojo's training thi